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From Luc Maisonobe <>
Subject Re: [math] constrained optimization
Date Mon, 07 Nov 2011 21:47:57 GMT
Le 07/11/2011 22:38, Luc Maisonobe a écrit :
> Hi all,
> Gilles has started adding an API for simple bounds constraints in
> optimization, which will soo be available for both Bobyqa and CMA-ES, as
> both method naturally support such constraints.
> I wondered if we could take the opportunity to set up a poor man
> implementation in the abstract base class for optimizers that do not
> support constraints, such as Nelder-Mead and Virginia Torczon's
> multi-directional algorithm. Gilles work on the proper API plus this
> poor man implementation would allow solving the old issue MATH-196 I
> created 3 years and an half ago ...
> A basic implementation can be based on an array of mappers inserted
> between the user variables and the variables the optimizer manages. For
> each component of the current point x[i] considered in user space, we
> would map it to an optimizer variable y[i] using:
>   for (int i = 0; i < n; ++i) {
>     y[i] = mapper[i].encode(x[i]);
>   }
> and a similar setting for retrieving x[i] from y[i] using a decode
> function. The x[i] variables would be subject to bounds (some may be
> bounded and others not bouded), whereas y[i] would all be unbounded.
> Mapper would be an interface with four implementations, depending on bounds.
> NoBoundsMapper would be used for components x[i] which are nturally
> unbounded, encode and decode would be the identity function.
> LowerBoundMapper would be used for components x[i] that must be larger
> than a lower bound a:
>   encode(x) = ln(x - a)
>   decode(y) = a + exp(y).
> UpperBoundMapper would be used for components x[i] that must be lesser
> than an upper bound b:
>   encode(x) = -ln(b -x)
>   decode(y) = b - exp(-y).
> LowerUpperBoundMapper would be used for components x[i] that must be
> betwee lower bound a and upper bound b:
>   encode(x) = ln((x - a) / (b - x))
>   decode(y) = (a + b exp(y)) / (1 + exp(y))

I forgot to say all these classes would be internal ones, the user would
never see them, he will simply see Gilles API with the bounds arrays,
where some elements of the array could be set to infinity, or some
arrays could be null which would be equivalent to set all their
components to infinity with the proper sign.


> Due to numerical considerations and the fact infinity can be
> represented, I'm not sure if the bounds can be reached or not, it
> probably depends on how we implement the encode/decode functions.
> For sure, it does not replace proper handling of bounds, but it would be
> quite useful. It is what we suggested as a fallback solution to several
> users who needed constrained optimization.
> If you agree with this, I could implement it in the next few days, so
> Gilles could set up the proper handling for CMA-ES and fine-tune the API.
> What do you think about this ?
> Luc
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