The four most successful approaches for solving the constrained nonlinear programming problem are the penalty, multiplier, sequential quadratic programming, and generalized reduced gradient methods. A general algorithmic frame will be presented, which realizes any of these methods only by specifying a search direction for the variables, a multiplier estimate, and some penalty parameters in each iteration. This approach allows one to illustrate common mathematical features and, on the other hand, serves to explain the different numerical performance results we observe in practice.

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