Balancing control and simplicity: a variable aggregation method in intensity modulated radiation therapy planning
- It is commonly believed that not all degrees of freedom are needed to produce good solutions for the treatment planning problem in intensity modulated radiotherapy treatment (IMRT). However, typical methods to exploit this fact have either increased the complexity of the optimization problem or were heuristic in nature. In this work we introduce a technique based on adaptively refining variable clusters to successively attain better treatment plans. The approach creates approximate solutions based on smaller models that may get arbitrarily close to the optimal solution. Although the method is illustrated using a specific treatment planning model, the components constituting the variable clustering and the adaptive refinement are independent of the particular optimization problem.