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Справка Scilab >> Optimization and Simulation > Neldermead > neldermead

neldermead

Provides direct search optimization algorithms.

SYNOPSIS

newobj = neldermead_new ()
this = neldermead_destroy (this)
this = neldermead_configure (this,key,value)
value = neldermead_cget (this,key)
value = neldermead_get ( this , key )
this = neldermead_search ( this )
this = neldermead_restart ( this )
[ this , result ] = neldermead_function ( this , x )
stop = neldermead_defaultoutput(state, data)

Description

This class provides several direct search optimization algorithms based on the simplex method.

The optimization problem to solve is the minimization of a cost function, with bounds and nonlinear constraints

            min f(x)
            l_i <= x_i <= h_i, i = 1,n
            g_i(x) >= 0, i = 1,nbineq
        

where

n

number of variables

nbineq

number of inequality constraints

The provided algorithms are direct search algorithms, i.e. algorithms which do not use the derivative of the cost function. They are based on the update of a simplex, which is a set of k>=n+1 vertices, where each vertex is associated with one point and one function value.

The following algorithms are available :

Spendley, Hext and Himsworth fixed shape simplex method

This algorithm solves an unconstrained optimization problem with a fixed shape simplex made of k=n+1 vertices.

Nelder and Mead variable shape simplex method

This algorithm solves an unconstrained optimization problem with a variable shape simplex made of k=n+1 vertices.

Box complex method

This algorithm solves an constrained optimization problem with a variable shape simplex made of an arbitrary k number of vertices (k=2n is recommended by Box).

See the demonstrations, in the Optimization section, for an overview of this component.

See the "Nelder-Mead User's Manual" on Scilab's wiki and on the Scilab forge for further information.

Design

The neldermead component is built on top of the optimbase and optimsimplex components.

Functions

The following functions are available.

newobj = neldermead_new ()

Creates a new neldermead object.

newobj

The new object.

this = neldermead_destroy (this)

Destroy the given object.

this

The current object.

this = neldermead_configure (this,key,value)

Configure the current object with the given value for the given key.

this

The current object.

key

the key to configure. The following keys are available.

Basic.

-numberofvariables

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, the number of variables to optimize (default numberofvariables = 0).

-function

a function or a list, the objective function. This function computes the value of the cost and the non linear constraints, if any.

There is no default value, i.e. the user must provide f.

See below for the details of the communication between the optimization system and the cost function.

-x0

a n-by-1 matrix of doubles, where n is the number of variables, the initial guess.

There is no default value, i.e. the user must provide x0.

Output.

-outputcommand

a function or a list, a function which is called back for output.

The default output function is empty, meaning that there is no output.

See below for the details of the communication between the optimization system and the output command function.

-storehistory

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable the history storing (default storehistory = %f).

-verbose

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, set to 1 to enable verbose logging (default verbose = 0).

-verbosetermination

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, set to 1 to enable verbose termination logging (default verbosetermination = 0).

Bounds and constraints.

-boundsmin

a n-by-1 matrix of doubles, the minimum bounds for the parameters where n is the number of variables (default boundsmin = [], i.e. there are no minimum bounds).

-boundsmax

a n-by-1 matrix of doubles, the maximum bounds for the parameters where n is the number of variables (default boundsmax = [], i.e. there are no maximum bounds).

-nbineqconst

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, the number of inequality constraints (default nbineqconst = 0).

Initialization.

-simplex0method

a 1-by-1 matrix of strings, the method to use to compute the initial simplex (default simplex0method = "axes"). The first vertex in the simplex is always the initial guess associated with the -x0 option. The following methods are available :

"given"

the coordinates associated with the -coords0 option are used to compute the initial simplex, with arbitrary number of vertices.

This allow the user to setup the initial simplex by a specific method which is not provided by the current component (for example with a simplex computed from a design of experiments). This allows also to configure the initial simplex so that a specific behaviour of the algorithm an be reproduced (for example the Mac Kinnon test case).

The given matrix is expected to have n rows and k columns, where n is the dimension of the problem and k is the number of vertices.

"axes"

the simplex is computed from the coordinate axes and the length associated with the -simplex0length option.

"spendley"

the simplex is computed so that it is regular with the length associated with the -simplex0length option (i.e. all the edges have the same length).

"pfeffer"

the simplex is computed from a heuristic, in the neighborhood of the initial guess. This initial simplex depends on the -simplex0deltausual and -simplex0deltazero.

"randbounds"

the simplex is computed from the bounds and a random number. This option is available only if bounds are available : if bounds are not available, an error is generated. This method is usually associated with Box's algorithm. The number of vertices in the simplex is taken from the -boxnbpoints option.

-coords0

a nbve-by-n matrix of doubles, where nbve is the number of vertices and n is the number of variables, the coordinates of the vertices of the initial simplex (default coords0=[]). If the -simplex0method option is set to "given", these coordinates are used to compute the initial simplex.

-simplex0length

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the length to use when the initial simplex is computed with the "axes" or "spendley" methods (default simplex0length = 1). If the initial simplex is computed from "spendley" method, the length is expected to be a scalar value. If the initial simplex is computed from "axes" method, it may be either a scalar value or a vector of values, with rank n, where n is the number of variables.

-simplex0deltausual

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the relative delta for non-zero parameters in "pfeffer" method (default simplex0deltausual = 0.05).

-simplex0deltazero

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the absolute delta for non-zero parameters in "pfeffer" method (default simplex0deltazero = 0.0075).

Termination.

-maxfunevals

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, the maximum number of function evaluations (default maxfunevals = 100). If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "maxfuneval".

-maxiter

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, the maximum number of iterations (default maxiter = 100). If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "maxiter".

-tolfunabsolute

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the absolute tolerance for the function value (default tolfunabsolute = 0).

-tolfunrelative

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the relative tolerance for the function value (default tolfunrelative = %eps).

-tolfunmethod

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable termination with tolerance on function value (default tolfunmethod = %f).

If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "tolf".

-tolxabsolute

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the absolute tolerance on x (default tolxabsolute = 0).

-tolxrelative

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the relative tolerance on x (default tolxrelative = sqrt(%eps)).

-tolxmethod

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable the tolerance on x in the termination criteria (default tolxmethod = %t).

If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "tolx".

-tolsimplexizemethod

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %f to disable the tolerance on the simplex size (default tolsimplexizemethod = %t). If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "tolsize".

When this criteria is enabled, the values of the options -tolsimplexizeabsolute and -tolsimplexizerelative are used in the termination criteria. The method to compute the size is the "sigmaplus" method.

-tolsimplexizeabsolute

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the absolute tolerance on the simplex size (default tolsimplexizeabsolute = 0).

-tolsimplexizerelative

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the relative tolerance on the simplex size (default tolsimplexizerelative = %eps).

-tolssizedeltafvmethod

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable the termination criteria based on the size of the simplex and the difference of function value in the simplex (default tolssizedeltafvmethod = %f). If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "tolsizedeltafv".

This termination criteria uses the values of the options -tolsimplexizeabsolute and -toldeltafv. This criteria is identical to Matlab's fminsearch.

-toldeltafv

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the absolute tolerance on the difference between the highest and the lowest function values (default toldeltafv = %eps).

Algorithm.

-method

a 1-by-1 matrix of strings, the name of the algorithm to use (default method = "variable"). The following methods are available :

"fixed"

the Spendley et al. fixed simplex shape algorithm. This algorithm is for unconstrained problems (i.e. bounds and non linear constraints are not taken into account)

"variable"

the Nelder-Mead variable simplex shape algorithm. This algorithm is for unconstrained problems (i.e. bounds and non linear constraints are not taken into account)

"box"

the Box complex algorithm. This algorithm takes into account bounds and nonlinear inequality constraints.

"mine"

the user-defined algorithm, associated with the -mymethodoption. See below for details.

-mymethod

a function, a user-derined simplex algorithm. See below for details (default is empty).

Options of the "variable" algorithm.

-rho

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the reflection coefficient. This parameter is used when the -method option is set to "fixed" or "variable" (default rho = 1).

-chi

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the expansion coefficient. This parameter is used when the -method option is set to "variable" (default chi = 2).

-gamma

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the contraction coefficient. This parameter is used when the -method option is set to "variable" (default gamma = 0.5).

-sigma

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the shrinkage coefficient. This parameter is used when the -method option is set to "fixed" or "variable" (default sigma = 0.5).

Option of "box" algorithm.

-scalingsimplex0

a 1-by-1 matrix of strings, the algorithm used to scale the initial simplex into the nonlinear constraints (default scalingsimplex0 = "tox0"). The following two algorithms are provided :

  • "tox0": scales the vertices toward the initial guess.

  • "tocenter": scales the vertices toward the centroid, as recommended by Box.

If the centroid happens to be unfeasible, because the constraints are not convex, the scaling of the initial simplex toward the centroid may fail. Since the initial guess is always feasible, scaling toward the initial guess cannot fail. The default value is "tox0".

-boxnbpoints

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, the number of points in the initial simplex, when the -simplex0method is set to "randbounds" (default boxnbpoints = 2*n, where n is the number of variables of the problem). The value of this option is also use to update the simplex when a restart is performed and the -restartsimplexmethod option is set to "randbounds".

-boxineqscaling

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, in the interval [0,1], the scaling coefficient used to scale the trial point for function improvement or into the constraints of Box's algorithm (default boxineqscaling = 0.5).

-guinalphamin

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the minimum value of alpha when scaling the vertices of the simplex into nonlinear constraints in Box's algorithm (default guinalphamin = 1.e-5).

-boxreflect

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the reflection factor in Box's algorithm (default = 1.3).

-boxtermination

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable Box termination criteria (default boxtermination = %f).

-boxtolf

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the absolute tolerance on difference of function values in the simplex, suggested by Box (default boxtolf = 1.e-5). This tolerance is used if the -boxtermination option is set to %t.

-boxnbmatch

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, integer value, the number of consecutive match of Box termination criteria (default boxnbmatch = 5).

-boxboundsalpha

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, the parameter used to project the vertices into the bounds in Box's algorithm (default boxboundsalpha = 1.e-6).

Auto-Restart.

-kelleystagnationflag

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable the termination criteria using Kelley's stagnation detection, based on sufficient decrease condition (default kelleystagnationflag = %f). If this criteria is triggered, the status of the optimization is set to "kelleystagnation".

-kelleynormalizationflag

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %f to disable the normalization of the alpha coefficient in Kelley's stagnation detection, i.e. use the value of the option -kelleystagnationalpha0 as is (default kelleynormalizationflag = %t, i.e. the simplex gradient of the initial simplex is taken into account in the stagnation detection).

-kelleystagnationalpha0

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the parameter used in Kelley's stagnation detection (default kelleystagnationalpha0 = 1.e-4).

-restartflag

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to %t to enable the automatic restart of the algorithm (default restartflag = %f).

-restartdetection

a 1-by-1 matrix of strings, the method to detect if the automatic restart must be performed (default restartdetection = "oneil"). The following methods are available:

"oneill"

the factorial local optimality test by O'Neill is used. If the test finds a local point which is better than the computed optimum, a restart is performed.

"kelley"

the sufficient decrease condition by O'Neill is used. If the test finds that the status of the optimization is "kelleystagnation", a restart is performed. This status may be generated if the -kelleystagnationflag option is set to %t.

The default method is "oneill".

-restartmax

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the maximum number of restarts, when automatic restart is enabled via the -restartflag option (default restartmax=3).

-restarteps

a 1-by-1 matrix of doubles, the relative epsilon value used to check for optimality in the factorial O'Neill restart detection (default restarteps = %eps).

-restartstep

a 1-by-1 or a n-by-1 matrix of doubles, positive, where n is the number of variables in the problem, the absolute step length used to check for optimality in the factorial O'Neill restart detection (default restartstep = 1).

-restartsimplexmethod

a 1-by-1 matrix of strings, the method to compute the initial simplex after a restart (default restartsimplexmethod = "oriented"). The following methods are available.

"given"

the coordinates associated with the -coords0 option are used to compute the initial simplex, with arbitrary number of vertices.

This allow the user to setup the initial simplex by a specific method which is not provided by the current component (for example with a simplex computed from a design of experiments). This allows also to configure the initial simplex so that a specific behaviour of the algorithm an be reproduced (for example the Mc Kinnon test case).

The given matrix is expected to have n rows and k columns, where n is the dimension of the problem and k is the number of vertices.

"axes"

the simplex is computed from the coordinate axes and the length associated with the -simplex0length option.

"spendley"

the simplex is computed so that it is regular with the length associated with the -simplex0length option (i.e. all the edges have the same length).

"pfeffer"

the simplex is computed from a heuristic, in the neighborhood of the initial guess. This initial simplex depends on the -simplex0deltausual and -simplex0deltazero.

"randbounds"

the simplex is computed from the bounds and a random number. This option is available only if bounds are available : if bounds are not available, an error is generated. This method is usually associated with Box's algorithm. The number of vertices in the simplex is taken from the -boxnbpoints option.

"oriented"

the simplex is computed so that it is oriented, as suggested by C.T. Kelley.

The default method is "oriented".

value

the value.

value = neldermead_cget (this,key)

Get the value for the given key. If the key is unknown, generates an error.

this

The current object.

key

the name of the key to quiery. The list of available keys is the same as for the neldermead_configure function.

value = neldermead_get ( this , key )

Get the value for the given key. If the key is unknown, generates an error.

Most fields are available only after an optimization has been performed with one call to the neldermead_search method.

this

The current object.

key

the key to get.

The following keys are available :

-funevals

the number of function evaluations

-iterations

the number of iterations

-xopt

the x optimum, as a n x 1 column vector, where n is the number of variables.

-fopt

the optimum cost function value

-historyxopt

an array, with nbiter values, containing the history of x during the iterations.

This array is available after optimization if the history storing was enabled with the -storehistory option.

-historyfopt

an array, with nbiter values, containing the history of the function value during the iterations.

This array is available after optimization if the history storing was enabled with the -storehistory option.

-fx0

the function value for the initial guess

-status

a string containing the status of the optimization. See below for details about the optimization status.

-historysimplex

a matrix containing the history of the simplex during the iterations. This matrix has rank nbiter x nbve x n, where nbiter is the number of iterations, nbve is the number of vertices in the simplex and n is the number of variables.

-simplex0

the initial simplex. This is a simplex object, which is suitable for processing with the optimsimplex component.

-simplexopt

the optimum simplex. This is a simplex object, which is suitable for processing with the optimsimplex component.

-restartnb

the number of actual restarts performed.

this = neldermead_search ( this )

Performs the optimization associated with the method associated with the -method option and find the optimum.

this

The current object.

If the -restartflag option is enabled, automatic restarts are performed, based on the -restartdetection option.

this = neldermead_restart ( this )

Restarts the optimization by updating the simplex and performing a new search.

this

The current object.

[ this , result ] = neldermead_function ( this , x )

Call the cost function and return the value.

this

The current object.

x

the point where the function is to be evaluated

index

optional, a flag to pass to the cost function (default = 1). See the section "The cost function" for available values of index.

stop = neldermead_defaultoutput(state, data)

Prints messages at an iteration.

This function provides a default implementation for the output function. There is one line by iteration, presenting the number of iterations, the number of function evaluations, the current function value and the current algorithm step.

See "The output function" section below for a description of the input and output arguments. See in the Examples section below for examples of this function.

The cost function

The option -function allows to configure the cost function. The cost function is used to compute the objective function value f. If the -nbineqconst option is configured to a non-zero value, the cost function must also compute the value of the nonlinear, positive, inequality constraints c. Depending of these options, the cost function can have one of the following headers :

            [ f , index ] = costf ( x , index )
            [ f , c , index ] = costf ( x , index )
        

where

x

the current point, as a column vector

index

optional, an integer representing the value to compute

f

the value of the cost function

c

the value of the non-linear, positive, inequality constraints

The index input parameter tells to the cost function what is expected in the output arguments. It has the following meaning

index = 2

compute f

index = 5

compute c

index = 6

compute f and c

In the most simplex case, there is no additional cost function argument and no nonlinear constraints. In this case, the cost function is expected to have the following header

            [ f , index ]= myfunction ( x , index )
        

It might happen that the function requires additional arguments to be evaluated. In this case, we can use the following feature. The argument fun can also be the list (myfun,a1,a2,...). In this case myfun, the first element in the list, must be a function and must have the header:

                [ f , index ] = myfun ( x , index , a1, a2, ... )
                [ f , c , index ] = myfun ( x , index , a1, a2, ...)
            
where the input arguments a1, a2, ... are automatically appended at the end of the calling sequence.

The output function

The option -outputcommand allows to configure a command which is called back at the start of the optimization, at each iteration and at the end of the optimization.

The output function must have the following header

            stop = outputcmd(state, data)
        

where

state

a string representing the current state of the algorithm. Available values are "init", "iter", "done".

data

a data structure containing at least the following entries

x

the current optimum

fval

the current function value

iteration

the current iteration index

funccount

the number of function evaluations

simplex

the current simplex

step

the previous step in the algorithm. The following values are available : "init", "done", "reflection", "expansion", "insidecontraction", "outsidecontraction", "reflectionnext", "shrink".

stop

a 1-by-1 matrix of booleans, set to true to stop the algorithm, set to false to continue the optimization.

It might happen that the output function requires additional arguments to be evaluated. In this case, we can use the following feature. The argument outputcmd can also be the list (outf,a1,a2,...). In this case outf, the first element in the list, must be a function and must have the header:

                stop = outf ( state, data, a1, a2, ... )
            
where the input arguments a1, a2, ... are automatically appended at the end of the calling sequence.

If the output function sets the stop variable to true, then the optimization alorithm stops and the status of the optimization is set to "userstop".

Termination

The current component takes into account for several generic termination criterias.

The following termination criterias are enabled by default :

  • -maxiter,

  • -maxfunevals,

  • -tolxmethod.

  • -tolsimplexizemethod.

The optimization_terminate function uses a set of rules to compute if the termination occurs, which leads to an optimization status which is equal to one of the following : "continue", "maxiter", "maxfunevals", "tolf", "tolx", "tolsize", "tolsizedeltafv", "kelleystagnation", "tolboxf", "tolvariance". The value of the status may also be a user-defined string, in the case where a user-defined termination function has been set.

The following set of rules is examined in this order.

  • By default, the status is "continue" and the terminate flag is %f.

  • The number of iterations is examined and compared to the -maxiter option : if the following condition

                        iterations >= maxiter
                    

    is true, then the status is set to "maxiter" and terminate is set to %t.

  • The number of function evaluations and compared to the -maxfunevals option is examined : if the following condition

                        funevals >= maxfunevals
                    

    is true, then the status is set to "maxfuneval" and terminate is set to %t.

  • The tolerance on function value is examined depending on the value of the -tolfunmethod.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if the following condition

                                    abs(currentfopt) < tolfunrelative * abs(previousfopt) + tolfunabsolute
                                

    is true, then the status is set to "tolf" and terminate is set to %t.

    The relative termination criteria on the function value works well if the function value at optimum is near zero. In that case, the function value at initial guess fx0 may be used as previousfopt.

    This criteria is sensitive to the -tolfunrelative and -tolfunabsolute options.

    The absolute termination criteria on the function value works if the user has an accurate idea of the optimum function value.

  • The tolerance on x is examined depending on the value of the -tolxmethod.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if the following condition

                                    norm(xopt - previousxopt) < tolxrelative * norm(xopt) + tolxabsolute
                                

    is true, then the status is set to "tolx" and terminate is set to %t.

    This criteria is sensitive to the -tolxrelative and -tolxabsolute options.

    The relative termination criteria on x works well if x at optimum is different from zero. In that case, the condition measures the distance between two iterates.

    The absolute termination criteria on x works if the user has an accurate idea of the scale of the optimum x. If the optimum x is near 0, the relative tolerance will not work and the absolute tolerance is more appropriate.

  • The tolerance on simplex size is examined depending on the value of the -tolsimplexizemethod option.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if the following condition

                                    ssize < tolsimplexizerelative * simplexsize0 + tolsimplexizeabsolute
                                

    is true where simplexsize0 is the size of the simplex at iteration 0, then the status is set to "tolsize" and terminate is set to %t.

    The size of the simplex is computed from the "sigmaplus" method of the optimsimplex component. This criteria is sensitive to the -tolsimplexizeabsolute and the -tolsimplexizerelative options.

  • The absolute tolerance on simplex size and absolute difference of function value is examined depending on the value of the -tolssizedeltafvmethod option.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if both the following conditions

                                    ssize < tolsimplexizeabsolute
                                
                                    shiftfv < toldeltafv
                                

    is true where ssize is the current simplex size and shiftfv is the absolute value of the difference of function value between the highest and lowest vertices, then the status is set to "tolsizedeltafv" and terminate is set to %t.

  • The stagnation condition based on Kelley sufficient decrease condition is examined depending on the value of the -kelleystagnationflag option.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if the following condition

                                    newfvmean <= oldfvmean - alpha * sg' * sg
                                

    is true where newfvmean (resp. oldfvmean) is the function value average in the current iteration (resp. in the previous iteration), then the status is set to "kelleystagnation" and terminate is set to %t. Here, alpha is a non-dimensional coefficient and sg is the simplex gradient.

  • The termination condition suggested by Box is examined depending on the value of the -boxtermination option.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if both the following conditions

                                    shiftfv < boxtolf
                                
                                    boxkount == boxnbmatch
                                

    is true where shiftfvis the difference of function value between the best and worst vertices, and boxkount is the number of consecutive iterations where this criteria is met, then the status is set to "tolboxf" and terminate is set to %t. Here, the boxtolf parameter is the value associated with the -boxtolf option and is a user-defined absolute tolerance on the function value. The boxnbmatch parameter is the value associated with the -boxnbmatch option and is the user-defined number of consecutive match.

  • The termination condition based on the variance of the function values in the simplex is examined depending on the value of the -tolvarianceflag option.

    %f

    then the criteria is just ignored.

    %t

    if the following condition

                                    var < tolrelativevariance * variancesimplex0 + tolabsolutevariance
                                

    is true where varis the variance of the function values in the simplex, then the status is set to "tolvariance" and terminate is set to %t. Here, the tolrelativevariance parameter is the value associated with the -tolrelativevariance option and is a user-defined relative tolerance on the variance of the function values. The tolabsolutevariance parameter is the value associated with the -tolabsolutevariance option and is the user-defined absolute tolerance of the variance of the function values.

Kelley's stagnation detection

The stagnation detection criteria suggested by Kelley is based on a sufficient decrease condition, which requires a parameter alpha > 0 to be defined. The -kelleynormalizationflag option allows to configure the method to use to compute this alpha parameter : two methods are available, where each method corresponds to a different paper by Kelley :

constant

In "Detection and Remediation of Stagnation in the Nelder--Mead Algorithm Using a Sufficient Decrease Condition", Kelley uses a constant alpha, with the suggested value 1.e-4, which is is typical choice for line search method.

normalized

in "Iterative Methods for Optimization", Kelley uses a normalized alpha, computed from the following formula

                        alpha = alpha0 * sigma0 / nsg
                    

where sigma0 is the size of the initial simplex and nsg is the norm of the simplex gradient for the initial guess point.

O'Neill factorial optimality test

In "Algorithm AS47 - Function minimization using a simplex procedure", R. O'Neill presents a fortran 77 implementation of the simplex method. A factorial test is used to check if the computed optimum point is a local minimum. If the -restartdetection option is set to "oneill", that factorial test is used to see if a restart should be performed. O'Neill's factorial test requires 2n function evaluations, where n is the number of variables.

User-defined algorithm

The -mymethod option allows to configure a user-defined simplex-based algorithm. The reason for this option is that many simplex-based variants of Nelder-Mead's algorithm have been developed over the years, with specific goals. While it is not possible to provide them all, it is very convenient to use the current structure without being forced to make many developments.

The value of the -mymethod option is expected to be a Scilab function with the following header

            this = myalgorithm ( this )
        

where this is the current object.

In order to use the user-defined algorithm, the -method option must be set to "mine". In this case, the component performs the optimization exactly as if the user-defined algorithm was provided by the component.

The user interested in that feature may use the internal scripts provided in the distribution as templates and tune his own algorithm from that point. There is of course no warranty that the user-defined algorithm improves on the standard algorithm, so that users use this feature at their own risks.

Example #1: basic use

In the following example, we solve a simple quadratic test case. We begin by defining the cost function, which takes 2 input arguments and returns the objective. The classical starting point [-1.2 1.0] is used. The neldermead_new creates a new neldermead object. Then we use the neldermead_configure method to configure the parameters of the problem. We use all default settings and perform the search for the optimum. The neldermead_display function is used to display the state of the optimization and the neldermead_get is used to retrieve the optimum parameters.

function [f, index]=quadratic(x, index)
  f = x(1)^2 + x(2)^2;
endfunction
x0 = [1.0 1.0].';
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",quadratic);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
nm
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt");
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

Example #2: customized use

In the following example, we solve the Rosenbrock test case. We begin by defining the Rosenbrock function, which takes 2 input arguments and returns the objective. The classical starting point [-1.2 1.0] is used. The neldermead_new creates a new neldermead object. Then we use the neldermead_configure method to configure the parameters of the problem. The initial simplex is computed from the axes and the single length 1.0 (this is the default, but is explicitly written here as an example). The variable simplex algorithm by Nelder and Mead is used, which corresponds to the -method "variable" option. The neldermead_search function performs the search for the minimum. Once the minimum is found, the neldermead_contour allows to compute the data required by the contour function. This is possible since our problem involves only 2 parameters. This function uses the cost function previously configured to compute the required data. The contour plot is directly drawn from the data provided by neldermead_contour. Then we plot the initial guess on the contour plot as a blue dot. The neldermead_get function is used to get the optimum, which is associated with the -xopt option. The optimum is plot on the contour plot as a red dot.

function [f, index]=rosenbrock(x, index)
  f = 100*(x(2)-x(1)^2)^2+(1-x(1))^2;
endfunction
x0 = [-1.2 1.0]'
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",rosenbrock);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxiter",200);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxfunevals",300);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolfunrelative",10*%eps);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolxrelative",10*%eps);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","axes");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0length",1.0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","variable");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-verbose",1);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-verbosetermination",1);
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);
// Contouring the function.
function f=rosenbrockC(x1, x2)
  index = 2
  [ f , index ] = rosenbrock ( [x1,x2]' , index )
endfunction
xdata = linspace ( -2 , 2 , 100 );
ydata = linspace ( -1 , 2 , 100 );
h = scf();
contour ( xdata , ydata , rosenbrockC , [2 10 100 500 1000 2000] )
// Plot starting point: x0 : blue dot
plot(x0(1),x0(2),"bo");
// xopt : red star
plot(xopt(1),xopt(2),"r*");

The -verbose option allows to get detailed information about the current optimization process. The following is a sample output for an optimization based on the Nelder and Mead variable-shape simplex algorithm. Only the output corresponding to the iteration #156 is displayed. In order to display specific outputs (or to create specific output files and graphics), the -outputcommand option should be used.

 
[...]
Iteration #156 (total = 156)
Function Eval #299
Xopt : [1 1]
Fopt : 6.871D-27
DeltaFv : 2.881D-26
Center : [1 1]
Size : 2.549D-13
Optim Simplex Object:
=====================
nbve: 3
n: 2
x: 3-by-2 matrix
fv: 3-by-1 matrix
  > Termination ?
  > iterations=156 >= maxiter=200
  > funevals=299 >= maxfunevals=300
  > e(x)=8.798D-15 < 2.220D-15 * 1.4142136 + 0
  > Terminate = F, status = continue
  > simplex size=2.549D-13 < 0 + 2.220D-16 * 1
  > Terminate = F, status = continue
Reflect
xbar=1 1
Function Evaluation #300, index=2, x= [1 1]
xr=[1 1], f(xr)=0.000000
Contract - inside
Function Evaluation #301, index=2, x= [1 1]
xc=1 1, f(xc)=0.000000
  > Perform Inside Contraction
Sort
[...]
 

Example #3: use output function

There are several ways to print intermediate messages or plots during the optimization process. The first method is to set the "-verbose" option to 1, which prints a lot of detailed information. The other method is to use the "-outputcommand" option. We can either set it to the neldermead_defaultoutput or define our own function. In this section, we present the methods based on the "-outputcommand" option.

In the following example, we use the "-outputcommand"option and set it to the neldermead_defaultoutput default output function. This function prints one line by iteration, with the main optimization information.

function [f, index]=quadratic(x, index)
  f = x(1)^2 + x(2)^2;
endfunction
x0 = [1.0 1.0].';
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",quadratic);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommand",neldermead_defaultoutput);
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

The previous script produces the following output.

            Initialization
            Iter. #0, Feval #5, Fval = 2 -- init
            Iter. #1, Feval #5, Fval = 2 -- init
            Iter. #2, Feval #6, Fval = 2 -- reflection
            Iter. #3, Feval #8, Fval = 0.5 -- expansion
            Iter. #4, Feval #9, Fval = 0.5 -- reflection
            [...]
            Iter. #48, Feval #92, Fval = 8.557D-13 -- reflection
            Iter. #49, Feval #94, Fval = 7.893D-13 -- insidecontraction
            Iter. #50, Feval #96, Fval = 1.601D-13 -- insidecontraction
            Iter. #51, Feval #98, Fval = 1.291D-13 -- insidecontraction
            Iter. #52, Feval #100, Fval = 3.139D-14 -- outsidecontraction
            =================================
            End of Optimization
            Iter. #52, Feval #100, Fval = 3.139D-14 -- done
        

In the following example, we define our own output function "myoutputcmd", which takes the current state as its first argument. The state is a string which can contain "init", "iter" or "done", depending on the status of the optimization. The data input argument is a tlist, which contains the data associated with the current iteration. In this case, we use the fields to print a message in the console.

function [f, index]=rosenbrock(x, index)
  f = 100*(x(2)-x(1)^2)^2 + (1-x(1))^2;
endfunction

function stop=myoutputcmd(state, data)
  iter = data.iteration
  if ( state == "init" ) then
    mprintf ( "=================================\n");
    mprintf ( "Initialization\n");
  elseif ( state == "done" ) then
    mprintf ( "=================================\n");
    mprintf ( "End of Optimization\n");
  end
  fc = data.funccount
  fval = data.fval
  x = data.x
  simplex = data.simplex
  // Simplex is a data structure, which can be managed
  // by the optimsimplex class.
  ssize = optimsimplex_size ( simplex )
  mprintf ( "Iter. #%3d, Feval #%3d, Fval = %.1e, x = %s, S = %.1e\n", ..
    iter, fc, fval, strcat(string(x)," "), ssize);
  stop = %f
endfunction

nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",rosenbrock);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",[-1.2 1.0]');
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxiter",200);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxfunevals",300);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolfunrelative",10*%eps);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolxrelative",10*%eps);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","axes");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0length",1.0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","variable");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-verbose",0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-verbosetermination",0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommand",myoutputcmd);
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

The previous script produces the following output.

            =================================
            Initialization
            Iter. #  0, Feval #  5, Fval = 2.4e+001, x = -1.2 1, S = 1.0e+000
            Iter. #  1, Feval #  5, Fval = 2.4e+001, x = -1.2 1, S = 1.0e+000
            Iter. #  2, Feval #  7, Fval = 2.4e+001, x = -1.2 1, S = 1.0e+000
            Iter. #  3, Feval #  9, Fval = 2.4e+001, x = -1.2 1, S = 1.0e+000
            Iter. #  4, Feval # 11, Fval = 1.0e+001, x = -1.0125 0.78125, S = 6.0e-001
            Iter. #  5, Feval # 13, Fval = 4.7e+000, x = -1.028125 1.1328125, S = 3.5e-001
            ...
            Iter. #155, Feval #297, Fval = 2.0e-026, x = 1 1, S = 4.6e-013
            Iter. #156, Feval #299, Fval = 6.9e-027, x = 1 1, S = 2.5e-013
            Iter. #157, Feval #301, Fval = 6.0e-027, x = 1 1, S = 2.8e-013
            =================================
            End of Optimization
            Iter. #157, Feval #301, Fval = 6.0e-027, x = 1 1, S = 2.8e-013
        

As another example of use, we could format the message so that it uses LaTeX formatting rules, which may allow the user to directly copy and paste the output into a LaTeX report.

Example #4: Optimization with bounds

The neldermead solver can optimize problems with bounds. To do this, we can use Box's algorithm, which projects the simplex into the bounds during the optimization. In this case, the initial guess must be located within the bounds.

In the following example, we find the minimum of a quadratic function within given bounds. In order to compute the initial simplex, we use randomized bounds, that is, we compute k random vertices uniformly distributed within the bounds. The default value is so that the number of points is twice the number of variables of the problem. In this particular case, we have n=2 variables and k=4 vertices.

function [f, index]=myquad(x, index)
    f = x(1)^2 + x(2)^2
endfunction
rand("seed" , 0)
x0 = [1.3 1.8].';
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",myquad);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","box");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boundsmin",[1 1]);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boundsmax",[2 2]);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","randbounds");
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt") // Should be [1 1]
fopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-fopt") // Should be 2
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

Example #5: Optimization with nonlinear constraints

The neldermead solver can optimize problems with nonlinear constraints. In the following example, we solve Rosenbrock's Post Office problem, which has both bounds and linear constraints. In our example, we will manage the linear constraints as general non-linear constraints (i.e. the solver does not make a difference if the constraints are linear or non-linear). This example was first presented in "An automatic method for finding the greatest or least value of a function", Rosenbrock, 1960. This example was first used with the complex method of Box in "Algorithm 454: The complex method for constrained optimization" by Richardson, Kuester, 1971. Richardson and Kuester found the minimum function value F=-3456, with X1 = 24.01, X2 = 12.00, X3 = 12.00 and 72 Iterations were necessary for them to get this result.

In the following function, we define the function fpostoffice, which returns both the objective function f and the constraint value c. The original constraint is the "double" inequality constraint 0<=x(1) + 2 * x(2) + 2 * x(3) <=72. To take this constraint into account, we turn it into two separate, positive, constraints and set c as a 1-by-2 matrix of doubles.

function [f, c, index]=fpostoffice(x, index)
  f = []
  c = []
  if ( index==2 | index==6 ) then
    f = -x(1) * x(2) * x(3)
  end
  
  if ( index==5 | index==6 ) then
    c1 = x(1) + 2 * x(2) + 2 * x(3)
    c2 = 72 - c1
    c = [c1 c2]
  end
endfunction

In the following script, we solve Rosenbrock's Post Office problem. First, we initialize the random number generator, so that the results are always the same. Then, we check that the cost function is correctly defined and that the constraints are satisfied at the initial guess. Then we configure the algorithm so that Box's algorithm is used and setup the bounds of the problem. We configure the parameters of the algorithm as suggested by Box.

rand("seed" , 0);
x0 = [1.0 1.0 1.0].';
// Compute f(x0) : should be close to -1
fx0 = fpostoffice ( x0 , 2 )
// Compute the constraints: cx0 should be [5 67]
[ fx0 , cx0, index ] = fpostoffice ( x0 , 6 )
// Compute f(xopt) : fopt should be -3456
xopt = [24 12 12].';
fopt = fpostoffice ( xopt );
// Setup optimization
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",3);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",fpostoffice);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxiter",300);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxfunevals",300);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","box");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boundsmin",[0.0 0.0 0.0]);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boundsmax",[42.0 42.0 42.0]);
// Configure like Box
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","randbounds");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-nbineqconst",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolxmethod" , %f );
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolsimplexizemethod",%f);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boxtermination" , %t );
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boxtolf" , 0.001 );
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boxboundsalpha" , 0.0001 );
//
// Check that the cost function is correctly connected.
[ nm , result ] = neldermead_function ( nm , x0 );
//
// Perform optimization
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
xcomp = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
// Compare with the exact optimum:
xopt
fcomp = neldermead_get(nm,"-fopt")
// Compare with the exact function value:
fopt
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

In general, we should not expect too much from this algorithm with nonlinear constraints. Indeed, some cases require thousands of iterations to converge to an optimum, because the nonlinear constraints leave a too small space for the simplex to evolve.

Example #6: Passing extra parameters

In the following example, we solve a simple quadratic test case. Notice that the objective function has two extra parameters a and b. This is why the "-function" option is set as a list, where the first element is the function and the remaining elements are the extra parameters.

function [f, index]=quadratic_ab(x, index, a, b)
  f = a * x(1)^2 + b * x(2)^2;
endfunction
x0 = [1.0 1.0].';
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
a = 1;
b = 2;
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",list(quadratic_ab,a,b));
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

Example #7: Restarting without bounds

In the following example, we reproduce the experiment published by Ken McKinnon in 1998. For this particular function and this particular initial simplex, the Nelder-Mead algorithm converges to a nonstationnary point.

We first define the objective function, the initial simplex and the expected solution of this unconstrained optimization problem.

function [f, index]=mckinnon(x, index)
  tau = 3
  theta = 6
  phi = 400
  if ( x(1) <= 0 )
    f = theta*phi*abs(x(1))^tau+x(2)*(1+x(2))
  else
    f = theta*x(1)^tau+x(2)*(1+x(2))
  end
endfunction

// The initial simplex
lambda1 = (1.0 + sqrt(33))/8;
lambda2 = (1.0 - sqrt(33))/8;
coords0 = [
1  1
0  0 
lambda1 lambda2
];

// The expected solution
xstar = [0;-0.5];
fstar = -0.25;

Then we run the algorithm two times in sequence. At the end of the first optimization process, the algorithm has converged to the point [0,0] which is nonstationnary. This is why we restart the algorithm and get the correct minimum.

nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",mckinnon);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",[1.0 1.0]');
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolsimplexizerelative",1.e-4);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm, "-maxiter",200);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm, "-maxfunevals",500);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","given");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-coords0",coords0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","variable");
// Search #1: fails
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
fopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-fopt")
iterations = neldermead_get(nm,"-iterations")
status = neldermead_get(nm,"-status")
// Search #2: succeeds
nm = neldermead_restart ( nm );
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
fopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-fopt")
iterations = neldermead_get(nm,"-iterations")
status = neldermead_get(nm,"-status")
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

We can also use the automatic stagnation detection method created by Kelley, so that the algorithm automatically restart the algorithm when needed.

nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",2);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",mckinnon);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",[1.0 1.0]');
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolsimplexizerelative",1.e-4);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm, "-maxiter",200);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm, "-maxfunevals",500);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","given");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-coords0",coords0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","variable");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-kelleystagnationflag",%t);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-restartflag",%t);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-restartdetection","kelley");
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
fopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-fopt")
iterations = neldermead_get(nm,"-iterations")
restartnb = neldermead_get ( nm , "-restartnb" )
status = neldermead_get(nm,"-status")
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

See the demonstrations to get a graphical plot of the intermediate simplices in Mc Kinnon's experiment.

Example #8: Restarting with bounds

In the following experimeant, we solve an optimization problem with bounds. We use Box's algorithm, which is the only algorithm which manages bounds. We use the randomized bounds simplex both for the initial simplex and for the restart simplex.

function [f, index]=myquad(x, index)
    f = x(1)^2 + x(2)^2 + x(3)^2
endfunction
x0 = [1.2 1.9,1.5].';
// The solution
xstar = [1;1;1];
fstar = 3;
//
nm = neldermead_new ();
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-numberofvariables",3);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",myquad);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-x0",x0);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-method","box");
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boundsmin",[1 1 1]);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-boundsmax",[2 2 2]);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-simplex0method","randbounds");
nm = neldermead_search(nm);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxiter",200);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-maxfunevals",200);
nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-restartsimplexmethod","randbounds");
nm = neldermead_restart(nm);
xopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-xopt")
fopt = neldermead_get(nm,"-fopt")
status = neldermead_get(nm,"-status")
nm = neldermead_destroy(nm);

Changes in Scilab 5.4

Many changes have been done in Scilab 5.4, which simplify the use of the neldermead component.

Tagged -costfargument option of optimbase as obsolete: will be maintained for backward compatibility until 5.4.1. The -fun option can now be a list, where the element #1 is a function, and the elements #2 to the end are automatically appended to the calling sequence. To update your code, replace:

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",myfun);
            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-costfargument",mystuff);
        

with

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-function",list(myfun,mystuff));
        

Tagged -outputcommandarg option of optimbase as obsolete: will be maintained for backward compatibility until 5.4.1. The -outputcommand option can now be a list, where the element #1 is a function, and the elements #2 to the end are automatically appended to the calling sequence. To update your code, replace:

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommand",myoutputfun);
            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommandarg",mystuff);
        

with:

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommand",list(myoutputfun,mystuff));
        

Tagged "outputfun(x,optimValues,state)" calling sequence of fminsearch as obsolete: will be maintained for backward compatibility until 5.4.1. The new calling sequence is "stop=outputfun(x,optimValues,state)" To update your code, replace:

            function outfun ( x , optimValues , state )
            [...]
            endfunction
        

with:

            function stop = outfun ( x , optimValues , state )
            [...]
            stop = %f
            endfunction
        

Tagged "myoutputfun(state,data)" calling sequence of neldermead as obsolete: will be maintained for backward compatibility until 5.4.1. The new calling sequence is "stop=myoutputfun(state,data)" To update your code, replace:

            function myoutputfun ( state , data )
            [...]
            endfunction
        

with:

            function stop = myoutputfun ( state , data )
            [...]
            stop = %f
            endfunction
        

Tagged "-myterminateflag" and "-myterminate" options as obsolete: will be maintained for backward compatibility until 5.4.1. To update your code, replace:

            function [ this , terminate , status ] = myoldterminate ( this , simplex )
            ssize = optimsimplex_size ( simplex , "sigmaplus" );
            if ( ssize < 1.e-2 ) then
            terminate = %t;
            status = "mysize";
            else
            terminate = %f
            end
            endfunction
        

with :

            function stop = myoutputcmd ( state , data )
            simplex = data.simplex
            ssize = optimsimplex_size ( simplex , "sigmaplus" );
            if ( ssize < 1.e-2 ) then
            stop = %t;
            else
            stop = %f
            end
            endfunction
        

and replace the configuration:

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-myterminateflag",%t);
            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-myterminate",myoldterminate);
        

with:

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommand",myoutputcmd);
        

Tagged "-tolvarianceflag", "-tolabsolutevariance", and "-tolrelativevariance" options as obsolete: will be maintained for backward compatibility until 5.4.1. To update your code, create an output function:

            function stop = myoutputcmd ( state, data, tolrelativevariance, tolabsolutevariance, variancesimplex0 )
            simplex = data.simplex
            stop = %f
            if ( state == "iter") then
            var = optimsimplex_fvvariance ( simplex )
            if ( var < tolrelativevariance * variancesimplex0 + tolabsolutevariance ) then
            stop = %t;
            end
            end
            endfunction
        

Create the initial simplex and compute the variance of the function values:

            x0 = [1.1 1.1]';
            simplex0 = optimsimplex_new ( "axes" , x0.' );
            coords0 = optimsimplex_getallx(simplex0);
            variancesimplex0 = optimsimplex_fvvariance ( simplex0 );
        

Finally, replace the configuration:

            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolvarianceflag",%t);
            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolabsolutevariance",1.e-4);
            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-tolrelativevariance",1.e-4);
        

with:

            tolabsolutevariance = 1.e-4;
            tolrelativevariance = 1.e-4;
            stopfun = list(myoutputcmd, tolrelativevariance, tolabsolutevariance, variancesimplex0);
            nm = neldermead_configure(nm,"-outputcommand",stopfun);
        

Spendley et al. implementation notes

The original paper may be implemented with several variations, which might lead to different results. This section defines what algorithmic choices have been used.

The paper states the following rules.

  • "Rule 1. Ascertain the lowest reading y, of yi ... yk+1 Complete a new simplex Sp by excluding the point Vp corresponding to y, and replacing it by V* defined as above."

  • "Rule 2. If a result has occurred in (k + 1) successive simplexes, and is not then eliminated by application of Rule 1, do not move in the direction indicated by Rule 1, or at all, but discard the result and replace it by a new observation at the same point."

  • "Rule 3. If y is the lowest reading in So , and if the next observation made, y* , is the lowest reading in the new simplex S , do not apply Rule 1 and return to So from Sp . Move out of S, by rejecting the second lowest reading (which is also the second lowest reading in So)."

We implement the following "rules" of the Spendley et al. method.

  • Rule 1 is strictly applied, but the reflection is done by reflection the high point, since we minimize a function instead of maximizing it, like Spendley.

  • Rule 2 is NOT implemented, as we expect that the function evaluation is not subject to errors.

  • Rule 3 is applied, ie reflection with respect to next to high point.

The original paper does not mention any shrink step. When the original algorithm cannot improve the function value with reflection steps, the basic algorithm stops. In order to make the current implementation of practical value, a shrink step is included, with shrinkage factor sigma. This perfectly fits into to the spirit of the original paper. Notice that the shrink step make the rule #3 (reflection with respect to next-to-worst vertex) unnecessary. Indeed, the minimum required steps are the reflection and shrinkage. Never the less, the rule #3 has been kept in order to make the algorithm as close as it can be to the original.

Nelder-Mead implementation notes

The purpose of this section is to analyse the current implementation of Nelder-Mead's algorithm.

The algorithm that we use is described in "Iterative Methods for Optimization" by C. T. Kelley.

The original paper uses a "greedy" expansion, in which the expansion point is accepted whatever its function value. The current implementation, as most implementations, uses the expansion point only if it improves over the reflection point, that is,

  • if fe<fr, then the expansion point is accepted,

  • if not, the reflection point is accepted.

The termination criteria suggested by Nelder and Mead is based on an absolute tolerance on the standard deviation of the function values in the simplex. We provide this original termination criteria with the -tolvarianceflag option, which is disabled by default.

Box's complex algorithm implementation notes

In this section, we analyse the current implementation of Box's complex method.

The initial simplex can be computed as in Box's paper, but this may not be safe. In his paper, Box suggest that if a vertex of the initial simplex does not satisfy the non linear constraints, then it should be "moved halfway toward the centroid of those points already selected". This behaviour is available when the -scalingsimplex0 option is set to "tocenter". It may happen, as suggested by Guin, that the centroid is not feasible. This may happen if the constraints are not convex. In this case, the initial simplex cannot be computed. This is why we provide the "tox0" option, which allows to compute the initial simplex by scaling toward the initial guess, which is always feasible.

In Box's paper, the scaling into the non linear constraints is performed "toward" the centroid, that is, by using a scaling factor equal to 0.5. This default scaling factor might be sub-optimal in certain situations. This is why we provide the -boxineqscaling option, which allows to configure the scaling factor.

In Box's paper, whether we are concerned with the initial simplex or with the simplex at a given iteration, the scaling for the non linear constraints is performed without end. This is because Box's hypothesis is that "ultimately, a satisfactory point will be found". As suggested by Guin, if the process fails, the algorithm goes into an infinite loop. In order to avoid this, we perform the scaling until a minimum scaling value is reached, as defined by the -guinalphamin option.

We have taken into account for the comments by Guin, but it should be emphasized that the current implementation is still as close as possible to Box's algorithm and is not Guin's algorithm. More precisely, during the iterations, the scaling for the non linear constraints is still performed toward the centroid, be it feasible or not.

Bibliography

"Sequential Application of Simplex Designs in Optimisation and Evolutionary Operation", Spendley, W. and Hext, G. R. and Himsworth, F. R., American Statistical Association and American Society for Quality, 1962

"A Simplex Method for Function Minimization", Nelder, J. A. and Mead, R., The Computer Journal, 1965

"A New Method of Constrained Optimization and a Comparison With Other Methods", M. J. Box, The Computer Journal 1965 8(1):42-52, 1965 by British Computer Society

"Discussion and correspondence: modification of the complex method of constrained optimization", J. A. Guin, The Computer Journal, 1968

"Detection and Remediation of Stagnation in the Nelder--Mead Algorithm Using a Sufficient Decrease Condition", Kelley C. T., SIAM J. on Optimization, 1999

"Iterative Methods for Optimization", C. T. Kelley, SIAM Frontiers in Applied Mathematics, 1999

"Algorithm AS47 - Function minimization using a simplex procedure", O'Neill, R., Applied Statistics, 1971

"Nelder Mead's User Manual", Consortium Scilab - Digiteo, Michael Baudin, 2010

Ken McKinnon, Convergence of the Nelder-Mead simplex method to a nonstationary point, SIAM Journal on Optimization, Volume 9, Number 1, 1998, pages 148-158.

See Also

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Last updated:
Thu Oct 02 14:01:07 CEST 2014