[SciPy-User] fmin_bfgs stuck in infinite loop

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Tue Oct 25 06:30:29 CDT 2011

On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 5:46 AM, Pauli Virtanen <pav@iki.fi> wrote:
> 24.10.2011 19:50, Johann Cohen-Tanugi kirjoitti:
> [clip]
>>     while 1:
>>         stp, phi1, derphi1, task = minpack2.dcsrch(alpha1, phi1, derphi1,
>>                                                    c1, c2, xtol, task,
>>                                                    amin, amax, isave, dsave)
>>         if task[:2] == asbytes('FG') and not np.isnan(phi1):
>>             alpha1 = stp
>>             phi1 = phi(stp)
>>             derphi1 = derphi(stp)
>>         else:
>>             break
> Looks correct to me. It should bail out from the loop on encountering
> a nan, as in that case it's unlikely it's possible to satisfy the wolfe
> conditions.

Is there an explanation for task? What does task[:2] == 'FG' mean?

I tried the condition separately.

        if np.isnan(phi1) or np.isneginf(phi1):
        if task[:2] == asbytes('FG'):

I also added the isneginf check, because I think there is also the
possibility of an infinite loop at phi = -inf.

I would still feel safer if there is a maxiter in the line search, as
in the python version, scalar_search_wolfe2

a separate issue:
bfgs does not have an xtol, which means we don't get any indication if
only one or some of the parameters go to inf.
But I don't have a nice example yet. This case can show up for example
in Logit estimation. In a variation of the example in this ticket, the
optimized parameters when one parameter goes to inf and the others to
a finite number looks sometimes pretty bad.



> --
> Pauli Virtanen
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