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Learning to Compare Nodes in Branch and Bound with Graph Neural Networks

Abdel Ghani Labassi · Didier Chetelat · Andrea Lodi

Hall J (level 1) #611


Branch-and-bound approaches in integer programming require ordering portions of the space to explore next, a problem known as node comparison. We propose a new siamese graph neural network model to tackle this problem, where the nodes are represented as bipartite graphs with attributes. Similar to prior work, we train our model to imitate a diving oracle that plunges towards the optimal solution. We evaluate our method by solving the instances in a plain framework where the nodes are explored according to their rank. On three NP-hard benchmarks chosen to be particularly primal-difficult, our approach leads to faster solving and smaller branch- and-bound trees than the default ranking function of the open-source solver SCIP, as well as competing machine learning methods. Moreover, these results generalize to instances larger than used for training. Code for reproducing the experiments can be found at

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