Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. J. Cole Smith, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Warren Adams

Committee Member

Dr. Mary E. Kurz

Committee Member

Dr. Amin Khademi


We examine multistage optimization problems, in which one or more decision makers solve a sequence of interdependent optimization problems. In each stage the corresponding decision maker determines values for a set of variables, which in turn parameterizes the subsequent problem by modifying its constraints and objective function. The optimization literature has covered multistage optimization problems in the form of bilevel programs, interdiction problems, robust optimization, and two-stage stochastic programming. One of the main differences among these research areas lies in the relationship between the decision makers. We analyze the case in which the decision makers are self-interested agents seeking to optimize their own objective function (bilevel programming), the case in which the decision makers are opponents working against each other, playing a zero-sum game (interdiction), and the case in which the decision makers are cooperative agents working towards a common goal (two-stage stochastic programming). Traditional exact approaches for solving multistage optimization problems often rely on strong duality either for the purpose of achieving single-level reformulations of the original multistage problems, or for the development of cutting-plane approaches similar to Benders' decomposition. As a result, existing solution approaches usually assume that the last-stage problems are linear or convex, and fail to solve problems for which the last-stage is nonconvex (e.g., because of the presence of discrete variables). We contribute exact finite algorithms for bilevel mixed-integer programs, three-stage defender-attacker-defender problems, and two-stage stochastic programs. Moreover, we do not assume linearity or convexity for the last-stage problem and allow the existence of discrete variables. We demonstrate how our proposed algorithms significantly outperform existing state-of-the-art algorithms. Additionally, we solve for the first time a class of interdiction and fortification problems in which the third-stage problem is NP-hard, opening a venue for new research and applications in the field of (network) interdiction.



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