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Optimize in the Live Editor

Since R2020b


The Optimize task lets you interactively optimize a nonlinear objective function or solve a nonlinear equation. The task automatically generates MATLAB® code for your live script.

Using this task, you can:

  • Specify the objective function, either by writing a function or browsing for a function.

  • Specify solver options.

  • Run the optimization.

If you have Optimization Toolbox™ or Global Optimization Toolbox you can solve more problem types using the Optimize task, such as solve a system of nonlinear equations or optimize an objective function with nonlinear constraints. For general information about Live Editor tasks, see Add Interactive Tasks to a Live Script.

Optimize task in Live Editor

Open the Task

To add the Optimize task to a live script in the MATLAB Editor, on the Live Editor Insert tab, select Task > Optimize.

Insert Optimize Live Editor task

Alternatively, in a code block in the script, type a relevant keyword, such as fminbnd. Select Optimize from the suggested command completions.

Choosing Optimize from command completion suggestions


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Optimization solver that MATLAB uses to solve the problem, specified as one of these solvers:

  • fminbnd — Minimize a real function of one variable on a bounded domain.

  • fminsearch — Minimize a real function of several variables on an unbounded domain.

  • lsqnonneg — Minimize norm(C*x-d) subject to x ≥ 0.

  • fzero — Find a real point x where a real nonlinear function f(x) = 0.

Example: fminsearch

Function to minimize (for fminbnd or fminsearch) or to find a root (for fzero), specified as a function handle, local function name, or function file.

  • Function handle — Create the function handle in the workspace. Then, in the Optimize task, select Objective function > Function handle and choose the objective function.

  • Local function

    • New — In the Optimize task, select Objective function > Local function and then click the New button. A new function definition appears below the task. Edit the function so that it calculates the objective. Then choose the local function.

    • Existing — Select Objective function > Local function and choose the local function.

  • Function file

    • New — In the Optimize task, select Objective function > From file and then click the New button. A new function file appears. Edit the file to calculate the objective, then save the file on the MATLAB path. Click the Browse button and select the file.

    • Existing — Choose From file then Browse... and select the file.


  • For functions with extra inputs, Optimize requires you to choose the optimization variable, and to specify which workspace variables contain the fixed data inputs. This example contains three function inputs:

    Optimization input = "vars", Fixed input y = "y", Fixed input w = "w"

    Optimize generates code only after you specify all function inputs.

  • Optimize cannot parse a function containing the varargin input or a function that contains an error.

  • If you select an objective function from a file, Optimize adds the file location to your MATLAB path.

  • If Optimize has a parsing error or if multiple local functions have the same name, the list of available local functions is empty.

Version History

Introduced in R2020b

See Also