Thevenin decomposition and large-scale optimization

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2 Scopus citations


The Thevenin theorem, one of the most celebrated results of electric circuit theory, provides a two-parameter characterization of the behavior of an arbitrarily large circuit, as seen from two of its terminals. We interpret the theorem as a sensitivity result in an associated minimum energy/network flow problem, and we abstract its main idea to develop a decomposition method for convex quadratic programming problems with linear equality constraints, of the type arising in a variety of contexts such as the Newton method, interior point methods, and least squares estimation. Like the Thevenin theorem, our method is particularly useful in problems involving a system consisting of several sub-systems, connected to each other with a small number of coupling variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Optimization Theory and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Circuit theory
  • Decomposition
  • Network flows
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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