Development of a branch and price approach involving vertex cloning to solve the maximum weighted independent set problem
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We propose a novel branch-and-price (B&P) approach to solve the maximum weighted independent set problem (MWISP). Our approach uses clones of vertices to create edge-disjoint partitions from vertex-disjoint partitions. We solve the MWISP on sub-problems based on these edge-disjoint partitions using a B&P framework, which coordinates sub-problem solutions by involving an equivalence relationship between a vertex and each of its clones. We present test results for standard instances and randomly generated graphs for comparison. We show analytically and computationally that our approach gives tight bounds and it solves both dense and sparse graphs quite quickly.