[SciPy-User] (Possible) new optimization routines - scipy.optimize

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Thu Feb 14 17:05:46 CST 2013

On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM, Andrea Gavana <andrea.gavana@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 14 February 2013 22:53,  <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Andrea Gavana <andrea.gavana@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>>     as my team and I are constantly facing very hard/complex numerical
>>> optimization problems, I have taken a look at the various *global*
>>> optimization routines available in Python and I thought I could throw
>>> in a couple of algorithms I implemented, mostly drawing from my
>>> previous thesis work.
>>> I have implemented two routines (based on numpy and scipy), namely:
>>> - AMPGO: Adaptive Memory Programming for Global Optimization: this is my Python
>>>   implementation of the algorithm described here:
>>>   http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/glover/fred%20pubs/416%20-%20AMP%20(TS)%20for%20Constrained%20Global%20Opt%20w%20Lasdon%20et%20al%20.pdf
>>>   I have added a few improvements here and there based on my Master Thesis work
>>>   on the standard Tunnelling Algorithm of Levy, Montalvo and Gomez.
>> This could also be a good addition. similar to basinhopping.
>> >From my perspective, this kind of global optimizers are the most
>> promising, (compared to the evolutionary, ...)
>> >From a quick browse: Is the local optimizer fixed to a specific one,
>> or can it be any available solver as in basinhopping?
> It can be changed to be any available solver. As most of the
> optimization problems I deal with are horrendously complex (i.e., no
> gradient information available), I decided to use BOBYQA as default
> local solver inside AMPGO. So the benchmark comparison is fair only
> against derivative-free algorithms.
>> The only thing I might worry about that it only has 6 citations in
>> Google Scholar (which might not mean much if the optimizer is not
>> widely available).
> I am not sure how relevant the Google Scholar is regarding the
> effectiveness of an algorithm: AMPGO was the only method able to crack
> two of our latest (real-life) optimization problems (42 and 9
> variables respectively), while all the others failed.

That sounds good.

I'm all in favor,
But I'm just a user and cheerleader for scipy.optimize
( http://scipy-user.10969.n7.nabble.com/OT-global-optimization-hybrid-global-local-search-td5769.html

>> Given that there seem to be many variations of this kind of
>> optimizers, it might be good to have some background on comparison
>> with similar optimizers.
> As far as I know, there are no Open Source implementation of the
> Tunnelling Algorithm. I used to have access to a Fortran
> implementation (gradient-based only) in the past, but the code belongs
> to the National Autonomous University of Mexico. There are no Python
> implementation of it. AMPGO is a short-memory tunnelling algorithm
> loosely connected with the standard tunnelling method.
>> If you have other comparisons of similar optimizers, it would be
>> useful to see them. Also given that you have a large benchmark suite,
>> you could compare it with the new basinhopping in scipy.optimize.
> I'll give it a try tomorrow and report back. I still don't have scipy
> 0.11 at work (they won't let me upgrade), but I guess I can just get
> the Python source code for it and run it, can't I?

It's essentially just one module to grab and to adjust the imports.
That's what I did.

In the pull request there is also a link to benchmarks
which were not added to the scipy source AFAICS.


>>> - Firefly:  the Firefly algorithm, this is my Python implementation of
>>> the procedure
>>>   described here:
>>>   http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/29693-firefly-algorithm
>> the fileexchange has a large number of "animal" optimizers, and I
>> doubt they are all good.
>> I think there needs to be a convincing case before adding any of them
>> should be added to scipy.
>> On the other hand, having them available outside of scipy would make
>> it easier to try them out.
>> (and see if fireflies, or bees or ants are doing better :)
> I agree. I did it as an exercise to see if I remembered my Matlab
> after 10 years of using Numpy/Scipy only :-)
> Andrea.
> "Imagination Is The Only Weapon In The War Against Reality."
> http://www.infinity77.net
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