WIAS Preprint No. 2485, (2018)

Problem-based optimal scenario generation and reduction in stochastic programming


  • Henrion, René
    ORCID: 0000-0001-5572-7213
  • Römisch, Werner

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 90C15 90C34


  • Stochastic optimization, generalized semi-infinite programming, scenario generation




Scenarios are indispensable ingredients for the numerical solution of stochastic programs. Earlier approaches to optimal scenario generation and reduction are based on stability arguments involving distances of probability measures. In this paper we review those ideas and suggest to make use of stability estimates based only on problem specific data. For linear two-stage stochastic programs we show that the problem-based approach to optimal scenario generation can be reformulated as best approximation problem for the expected recourse function which in turn can be rewritten as a generalized semi-infinite program. We show that the latter is convex if either right-hand sides or costs are random and can be transformed into a semi-infinite program in a number of cases. We also consider problem-based optimal scenario reduction for two-stage models and optimal scenario generation for chance constrained programs. Finally, we discuss problem-based scenario generation for the classical newsvendor problem.

Appeared in

  • Math. Program., 191 (2022), pp. 183--205 (published online on 04.10.2018, urlhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10107-018-1337-6), DOI 10.1007/s10107-018-1337-6 .

Download Documents