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Journal of Convex Analysis 30 (2023), No. 3, 887--896
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2023

Duality Between Lagrangians and Rockafellians

Michel De Lara
CERMICS, École des Ponts, Marne-la-Vallée, France, Marne-la-Vallée, France

In his monograph Conjugate Duality and Optimization [CBMS-NSF Regional Conference Series in Applied Mathematics Vol. 16, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia (1974)], R. T. Rockafellar puts forward a "perturbation + duality" method to obtain a dual problem for an original minimization problem. First, one embeds the minimization problem into a family of perturbed problems (thus giving a so-called perturbation function); the perturbation of the original function to be minimized has recently been called a Rockafellian. Second, when the perturbation variable belongs to a primal vector space paired, by a bilinear form, with a dual vector space, one builds a Lagrangian from a Rockafellian; one also obtains a so-called dual function (and a dual problem). The method has been extended from Fenchel duality to generalized convexity: when the perturbation belongs to a primal set paired, by a coupling function, with a dual set, one also builds a Rockafellian from a Lagrangian.
Following these paths, we highlight a duality between Lagrangians and Rockafellians. Where the material mentioned above mostly focuses on moving from Rockafellian to Lagrangian, we treat them equally and display formulas that go both ways. We propose a definition of Lagrangian-Rockafellian couples. We characterize these latter as dual functions, with respect to a coupling, and also in terms of generalized convex functions. The duality between perturbation and dual functions is not as clear cut.

Keywords: Lagrangian, Rockafellian, duality, generalized convexity.

MSC: 49N15, 52A01.

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