`optimbase`

package`optimbase`

is a R port of a module originally developed for Scilab version 5.2.1 by Michael Baudin (INRIA - DIGITEO). Information about this software can be found at www.scilab.org/. The following documentation as well as the content of the functions .Rd files are adaptations of the documentation provided with the original Scilab `optimbase`

module.

Currently, `optimbase`

does not include all functions distributed with the original Scilab module but only those required for the proper operation of the `minsearch`

function from the `neldermead`

package.

The goal of this package is to provide a building block for a large class of specialized optimization methods. This package manages the number of variables, the minimum and maximum bounds, the number of non linear inequality constraints, the logging system, various termination criteria, the cost function, etc…

The optimization problem to solve is the following: \[ \begin{array}{l l} min f(x)\\ l_i \le{} x_i \le{} h_i, & i = 1,n \\ g_i(x) \ge{} 0, & i = 1,nb_{ineq} \\\\ \end{array} \] where \(n\) is the number of variables and \(nb_{ineq}\) the number of inequality constraints.

The basic object used by the `optimbase`

package to store the configuration settings and the history of an optimization is a ‘optimization’ object, i.e. a list typically created by `optimbase`

and having a strictly defined structure (see `?optimbase`

for more details).

The `fun`

element of the optimization object (thereafter referred to as `this`

) allows to configure the cost function. The cost function is used, depending on the context, to compute the cost, the nonlinear inequality positive constraints, the gradient of the function and the gradient of the nonlinear inequality constraints. The cost function can also be used to produce outputs and to terminate an optimization algorithm. The cost function can also take as input/output an additional argument, if the `costfargument`

element of `this`

is configured. It should be defined as follows:

`costf <- function(x, index, fmsfundata)`

where

`x`

: is the current point, as a column matrix,`index`

: an integer representing the value to compute:- index = 1: nothing is to be computed, the user may display messages, for example
- index = 2: compute
`f`

- index = 3: compute
`g`

- index = 4: compute
`f`

and`g`

- index = 5: compute
`c`

- index = 6: compute
`f`

and`c`

- index = 7: compute
`f`

,`g`

,`c`

, and`gc`

`f`

is the value of the objective function (a scalar),`g`

the gradient of the objective function (a row matrix),`c`

the constraints (a row matrix), and`gc`

the gradient of the constraints (a matrix),}`fmsfundata`

: an user-provided input/output argument.

The cost function must return a list with the following elements: `this`

, `f`

, `g`

, `c`

, `gc`

, `index`

. The `index`

output parameter has a different meaning than the `index`

input argument; it indicates if the evaluation of the cost function was possible:

- index > 0: everything went fine,
- index = 0: the optimization must stop,
- index < 0: one function could not be evaluated.

The cost function is typically evaluated at the current point estimate `x`

by using the following call: `optimbase.function(this, x, index)`

.

If the ‘type’ attribute of `this$costfargument`

is **not** ‘T_FARGS’, the cost function is called within the `optimbase.function`

as `this$fun(x=x,index=index)`

and returns non NULL elements for:

`f`

, and`index`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is FALSE and`this$nbineqconst`

=0 (there is no nonlinear constraint),`f`

,`c`

, and`index`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is FALSE and`this$nbineqconst`

>0 (there are nonlinear constraints),`f`

,`g`

, and`index`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is TRUE and`this$nbineqconst`

=0 (there is no nonlinear constraint),`f`

,`g`

,`c`

,`gc`

, and`index`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is TRUE and`this$nbineqconst`

>0 (there are nonlinear constraints).

If the ‘type’ attribute of `this$costfargument`

is ‘T_FARGS’, the cost function is called within the `optimbase.function`

as `this$fun(x=x,index=index,fmsfundata=this$costfargument)`

and returns non NULL elements for:

`f`

,`index`

, and`this$costfargument`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is FALSE and`this$nbineqconst=0`

(there is no nonlinear constraint),`f`

,`c`

,`index`

, and`this$costfargument`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is FALSE and`this$nbineqconst`

>0 (there are nonlinear constraints),`f`

,`g`

,`index`

, and`this$costfargument`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is TRUE and`this$nbineqconst`

=0 (there is no nonlinear constraint),`f`

,`g`

,`c`

,`gc`

,`index`

, and`this$costfargument`

: if`this$withderivatives`

is TRUE and`this$nbineqconst`

>0 (there are nonlinear constraints).

Each of these cases corresponds to a particular class of algorithms, including for example unconstrained, derivative-free algorithms, nonlinearily constrained, derivative-free algorithms, unconstrained, derivative-based algorithms, nonlinearily constrained, derivative-based algorithms, etc… The current package was designed to handle many situations.

The `outputcommand`

element of the optimization object 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 be defined as follows:

`outputcmd <- function(state, data, myobj)`

where:

`state`

: is a string representing the current state of the algorithm. Possible values are ‘init’, ‘iter’, and ‘done’.`data`

: a list containing at least the following elements:`x`

: the current point estimate,`fval`

: the value of the cost function at the current point estimate,`iteration`

: the current iteration index,`funccount`

: the number of function evaluations.

`fmsdata`

: a user-defined parameter. This input parameter is defined with the`outputcommandarg`

element of the optimization object.

The output function may be used when debugging the specialized optimization algorithm, so that a verbose logging is produced. It may also be used to write one or several report files in a specialized format (ASCII, LaTeX{}, Excel, etc…). The user-defined parameter may be used in that case to store file names or logging options.

The `data`

list argument may contain more fields than the current presented ones. These additional fields may contain values which are specific to the specialized algorithm, such as the simplex in a Nelder-Mead method, the gradient of the cost function in a BFGS method, etc…

The `optimbase.terminate`

function provided with the current package takes into account several generic termination criteria. It is recommended that specialized termination criteria in specialized optimization algorithms are implemented by calling extra termination criteria function in addition to the `optimbase.terminate`

, rather than by modification of the function itself.

The `optimbase.terminate`

function uses a set of rules to determine whether the algorithm should continue or stop. It also updates the termination status to one of the following: ‘continue’, ‘maxiter’, ‘maxfunevals’, ‘tolf’ or ‘tolx’. The set of rules is the following:

- By default, the status is ‘continue’ and the
`terminate`

flag is FALSE. - The number of iterations is examined and compared to the
`maxiter`

element of the optimization object: if`iterations`

\(\ge\)`maxiter`

, then the status is set to ‘maxiter’ and`terminate`

is set to TRUE. - The number of function evaluations is examined and compared to the
`maxfunevals`

element of the optimization object: if`funevals`

\(\ge\)`maxfunevals`

, then the status is set to ‘maxfuneval’ and`terminate`

is set to TRUE. - The tolerance on function value is examined depending on the value of the
`tolfunmethod`

element of the optimization object:- FALSE: the tolerance on
`f`

is just skipped. - TRUE: if \(|currentfopt| < tolfunrelative \cdot |previousfopt| + tolfunabsolute\), then the status is set to ‘tolf’ and
`terminate`

is set to TRUE.

- FALSE: the tolerance on

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`

.

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`

element of the optimization object:- FALSE: the tolerance on
`x`

is just skipped. - TRUE: if \(norm(currentxopt - previousxopt) < tolxrelative \cdot norm(currentxopt) + tolxabsolute\), then the status is set to ‘tolx’ and
`terminate`

is set to TRUE.

- FALSE: the tolerance on

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.

`optimbase`

functionsThe network of functions provided in `optimbase`

is illustrated in the network map given in the `neldermead`

package.