A standard linear program has the following formulation:
where



is the vector of decision variables 



is the matrix of constraints 



is the vector of objective function coefficients 



is the vector of constraints righthand sides (RHS) 
This formulation is called the primal problem. The corresponding dual problem (see the section Dual Values) is
where is the vector of dual variables.
The vectors and are optimal to the primal and dual problems, respectively, only if there exist primal slack variables and dual slack variables such that the following KarushKuhnTucker (KKT) conditions are satisfied:
The first line of equations defines primal feasibility, the second line of equations defines dual feasibility, and the last two equations are called the complementary slackness conditions.
To facilitate discussion of optimality conditions in nonlinear programming, you write the general form of nonlinear optimization problems by grouping the equality constraints and inequality constraints. You also write all the general nonlinear inequality constraints and bound constraints in one form as “” inequality constraints. Thus, you have the following formulation:
where is the set of indices of the equality constraints, is the set of indices of the inequality constraints, and .
A point is feasible if it satisfies all the constraints and . The feasible region consists of all the feasible points. In unconstrained cases, the feasible region is the entire space.
A feasible point is a local solution of the problem if there exists a neighborhood of such that
Further, a feasible point is a strict local solution if strict inequality holds in the preceding case; that is,
A feasible point is a global solution of the problem if no point in has a smaller function value than ); that is,
The following conditions hold true for unconstrained optimization problems:
Firstorder necessary conditions: If is a local solution and is continuously differentiable in some neighborhood of , then
Secondorder necessary conditions: If is a local solution and is twice continuously differentiable in some neighborhood of , then is positive semidefinite.
Secondorder sufficient conditions: If is twice continuously differentiable in some neighborhood of , , and is positive definite, then is a strict local solution.
For constrained optimization problems, the Lagrangian function is defined as follows:
where , are called Lagrange multipliers. is used to denote the gradient of the Lagrangian function with respect to , and is used to denote the Hessian of the Lagrangian function with respect to . The active set at a feasible point is defined as
You also need the following definition before you can state the firstorder and secondorder necessary conditions:
Linear independence constraint qualification and regular point: A point is said to satisfy the linear independence constraint qualification if the gradients of active constraints
are linearly independent. Such a point is called a regular point.
You now state the theorems that are essential in the analysis and design of algorithms for constrained optimization:
Firstorder necessary conditions: Suppose that is a local minimum and also a regular point. If and , are continuously differentiable, there exist Lagrange multipliers such that the following conditions hold:
The preceding conditions are often known as the KarushKuhnTucker conditions, or KKT conditions for short.
Secondorder necessary conditions: Suppose that is a local minimum and also a regular point. Let be the Lagrange multipliers that satisfy the KKT conditions. If and , are twice continuously differentiable, the following conditions hold:
for all that satisfy
Secondorder sufficient conditions: Suppose there exist a point and some Lagrange multipliers such that the KKT conditions are satisfied. If
for all that satisfy
then is a strict local solution.
Note that the set of all such ’s forms the null space of the matrix . Thus, you can search for strict local solutions by numerically checking the Hessian of the Lagrangian function projected onto the null space. For a rigorous treatment of the optimality conditions, see Fletcher (1987) and Nocedal and Wright (1999).