The parallel execution of branch and bound algorithms can result in seemingly unreasonable speedups or slowdowns. Almost never the speedup is equal to the increase in computing power. For synchronous parallel branch and bound, these effects have been studiedd extensively. For asynchronous parallelizations, only little is known. In this paper, we derive sufficient conditions to guarantee that an asynchronous parallel branch and bound algorithm (with elimination by lower bound tests and dominance) will be at least as fast as its sequential counterpart. The technique used for obtaining the results seems to be more generally applicable. The essential observations are that, under certain conditions, the parallel algorithm will always work on at least one node, that is branched from by the sequential algorithm, and that the parallel algorithm, after elimination of all such nodes, is able to conclude that the optimal solution has been found. Finally, some of the theoretical results are brought into connection with a few practical experiments.

Erasmus School of Economics

de Bruin, A., Kindervater, G., & Trienekens, H. W. J. M. (1995). Asynchronous parallel branch and bound and anomalies. Retrieved from