# [SciPy-User] how to use properly the function fmin () to scipy.optimize

Warren Weckesser warren.weckesser@enthought....
Tue Mar 13 12:50:52 CDT 2012

```On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM, Warren Weckesser <
warren.weckesser@enthought.com> wrote:

>
>
> On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 8:02 AM, javi <fralosal@ei.upv.es> wrote:
>
>> Hello, I have been trying to find the right way to use the function fmin
>> () to
>> use downhill simplex.
>>
>> Mainly I have a problem with that is that the algorithm converges to good
>> effect, ie as a solution with a value next to zero.
>>
>> To test the performance of the algorithm I used the following example:
>>
>> def minimize (x):
>>
>>         min = x [0] + x [1] + x [2] + x [3]
>>         return min
>>
>> In which given a vector x would want to obtain the values of its elements
>> that
>> when added give the minimum possible value.
>>
>> To do this use the following function call:
>>
>> solution = fmin (minimize, x0 = array ([1, 2, 3, 4]), args = "1", xtol =
>> 0.21, =
>> 0.21 ftol, full_output = 1)
>>
>> print "value parameters", solution [0], "\ n"
>>
>> and I get the following results:
>>
>>       Optimization terminated successfully.
>>                Current function value: 10.000000
>>                Iterations: 1
>>                Function evaluations: 5
>>
>>       value of the parameters: [1. 2. 3. 4.]
>>
>> As you can see the solution is VERY BAD, and I understand that due to
>> large
>> values of ftol and xtol that I gave it converges very quickly and gives a
>> small value.
>>
>> Now, for that is a better result, ie, better than the 10 found understand
>> that I
>> must decrease and ftol xtol values​​, but in doing so I get:
>>
>>
>> "Warning: Maximum number of function evaluations exceeded Has Been."
>>
>> Where I understand the algorithm before converging has made excessive
>> calls to
>> the function "minimize".
>>
>> Could you tell me what the correct use of the parameters ftol and  xtol
>> to find
>> a good minimum next to 0?. Sshould generally be used in subsequent cases
>> of ftol
>> and xtol values​​?, They differ?.
>>
>> A greeting and thank you very much.
>>
>>
>
> It looks like you want to solve a *constrained* minimization problem, in
> which all the components of x remain positive.  The function fmin() is for
> unconstrained optimization, and your objective function has no
> (unconstrained) minimum.
>
> You can try fmin_cobyla or fmin_slsqp.
>

Or fmin_tnc or fmin_l_bfgs.  See the docstrings of these functions for more
information and examples.

Warren

> Here's a short demonstration:
>
> -----
> from scipy.optimize import fmin_slsqp, fmin_cobyla
>
>
> def objective(x):
>     """The objective function to be minized."""
>     return x.sum()
>
> def all_positive_constr(x):
>     """Component constraint function for fmin_slsqp."""
>     return x
>
>
> # The following are the component constraint functions for fmin_cobyla.
>
> def x0_positive(x):
>     return x[0]
>
> def x1_positive(x):
>     return x[1]
>
> def x2_positive(x):
>     return x[2]
>
> def x3_positive(x):
>     return x[3]
>
>
> if __name__ == "__main__":
>
>     print "Using fmin_slsqp"
>     result = fmin_slsqp(objective, [1,2,3,4],
> f_ieqcons=all_positive_constr)
>     print result
>     print
>
>     print "Using fmin_cobyla"
>     result = fmin_cobyla(objective, [1,2,3,4], [x0_positive, x1_positive,
> x2_positive, x3_positive])
>     print result
>     print
> -----
>
> Warren
>
>  _______________________________________________
>> SciPy-User mailing list
>> SciPy-User@scipy.org
>> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/scipy-user
>>
>
>
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