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fminsearch Algorithm

fminsearch uses the Nelder-Mead simplex algorithm as described in Lagarias et al. [57]. This algorithm uses a simplex of n + 1 points for n-dimensional vectors x. The algorithm first makes a simplex around the initial guess x0 by adding 5% of each component x0(i) to x0, and using these n vectors as elements of the simplex in addition to x0. (The algorithm uses 0.00025 as component i if x0(i) = 0.) Then, the algorithm modifies the simplex repeatedly according to the following procedure.


The keywords for the fminsearch iterative display appear in bold after the description of the step.

  1. Let x(i) denote the list of points in the current simplex, i = 1,...,n + 1.

  2. Order the points in the simplex from lowest function value f(x(1)) to highest f(x(n + 1)). At each step in the iteration, the algorithm discards the current worst point x(n + 1), and accepts another point into the simplex. [Or, in the case of step 7 below, it changes all n points with values above f(x(1))].

  3. Generate the reflected point

    r = 2mx(n + 1),


    m = Σx(i)/n, i = 1...n,

    and calculate f(r).

  4. If f(x(1)) ≤ f(r) < f(x(n)), accept r and terminate this iteration. Reflect

  5. If f(r) < f(x(1)), calculate the expansion point s

    s = m + 2(mx(n + 1)),

    and calculate f(s).

    1. If f(s) < f(r), accept s and terminate the iteration. Expand

    2. Otherwise, accept r and terminate the iteration. Reflect

  6. If f(r) ≥ f(x(n)), perform a contraction between m and eitherx(n + 1) or r, depending on which has the lower objective function value.

    1. If f(r) < f(x(n + 1)) (that is, r is better than x(n + 1)), calculate

      c = m + (rm)/2

      and calculate f(c). If f(c) < f(r), accept c and terminate the iteration. Contract outside

      Otherwise, continue with Step 7 (Shrink).

    2. If f(r) ≥ f(x(n + 1)), calculate

      cc = m + (x(n + 1) – m)/2

      and calculate f(cc). If f(cc) < f(x(n + 1)), accept cc and terminate the iteration. Contract inside

      Otherwise, continue with Step 7 (Shrink).

  7. Calculate the n points

    v(i) = x(1) + (x(i) – x(1))/2

    and calculate f(v(i)), i = 2,...,n + 1. The simplex at the next iteration is x(1), v(2),...,v(n + 1). Shrink

The following figure shows the points that fminsearch might calculate in the procedure, along with each possible new simplex. The original simplex has a bold outline. The iterations proceed until they meet a stopping criterion.

Graphical representation of fminsearch algorithm showing reflection, expansion, contraction, and shrinking points.

See Also

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