Solving large-scale linear circuit problems via convex optimization

J. Lavaei, A. Babakhani, A. Hajimiri, and J. Doyle

A broad class of problems in circuits, electromagnetics, and optics can be expressed as finding some parameters of a linear system with a specific type. This paper is concerned with studying this type of circuit using the available control techniques. It is shown that the underlying problem can be recast as a rank minimization problem that is NP-hard in general. In order to circumvent this difficulty, the circuit problem is slightly modified so that the resulting optimization becomes convex. This interesting result is achieved at the cost of complicating the structure of the circuit, which introduces a trade-off between the design simplicity and the implementation complexity. When it is strictly required to solve the original circuit problem, the elegant structure of the proposed rank minimization problem allows for employing a celebrated heuristic method to solve it efficiently.