The Sequential Unconstrained Minimization Technique for Nonlinear Programing, a Primal-Dual Method

This article is based on an idea proposed by C. W. Carroll for transforming a mathematical programming problem into a sequence of unconstrained minimization problems. It describes the theoretical validation of Carroll's proposal for the convex programming problem. A number of important new results are derived that were not originally envisaged: The method generates primal-feasible and dual-feasible points, the primal objective is monotonically decreased, and a subproblem of the original programming problem is solved with each unconstrained minimization. Briefly surveyed is computational experience with a newly developed algorithm that makes the technique competitive with known methodology. A subsequent article describing the computational algorithm is in preparation.