Rosenbrock's function is a standard test function in optimization. It has a unique minimum value of 0 attained at the point (1,1). Finding the minimum is a challenge for some algorithms since it has a shallow minimum inside a deeply curved valley.
Here are two views of Rosenbrock's function in the unit disk. The vertical axis is log-scaled; in other words, the plot shows log(1+f(x)). Contour lines lie beneath the surface plot.
Rosenbrock's function, log-scaled: two views.
The function f(x) is called the objective function. This is the function you wish to minimize. The inequality is called a constraint. Constraints limit the set of x over which you may search for a minimum. You can have any number of constraints, which are inequalities or equations.
All Optimization Toolbox™ optimization functions minimize an objective function. To maximize a function f, apply an optimization routine to minimize –f. For more details about maximizing, see Maximizing an Objective.
To use Optimization Toolbox software, you need to
Define your objective function in the MATLAB® language, as a function file or anonymous function. This example will use a function file.
Define your constraint(s) as a separate file or anonymous function.
A function file is a text file containing MATLAB commands
with the extension
.m. Create a new function file
in any text editor, or use the built-in MATLAB Editor as follows:
At the command line enter:
In the editor enter:
function f = rosenbrock(x) f = 100*(x(2) - x(1)^2)^2 + (1 - x(1))^2;
Save the file by selecting File > Save.
Constraint functions must be formulated so that they are in the form c(x) ≤ 0 or ceq(x) = 0. The constraint needs to be reformulated as in order to have the correct syntax.
Furthermore, toolbox functions that accept nonlinear constraints
need to have both equality and inequality constraints defined. In
this example there is only an inequality constraint, so you must pass
an empty array
 as the equality constraint function ceq.
With these considerations in mind, write a function file for the nonlinear constraint:
Create a file named
the following code:
function [c, ceq] = unitdisk(x) c = x(1)^2 + x(2)^2 - 1; ceq = [ ];
Save the file
There are two ways to run the optimization:
The Optimization app warns that it will be removed in a future release, because it is based on technology that is maintained minimally.
Start the Optimization app by typing
optimtool at the command
For more information about this tool, see Optimization App.
The default Solver
- Constrained nonlinear minimization is selected. This
solver is appropriate for this problem, since Rosenbrock's function
is nonlinear, and the problem has a constraint. For more information
about choosing a solver, see Optimization Decision Table.
In the Algorithm pop-up menu
Interior point, which is the default.
For Objective function enter
The @ character indicates that this is a function
handle (MATLAB) of the file
For Start point enter
0]. This is the initial point where
its search for a minimum.
For Nonlinear constraint function enter
the function handle of
Your Problem Setup and Results pane should match this figure.
In the Options pane (center bottom), select
the Level of display pop-up menu. (If you don't
see the option, click Display to
command window.) This shows the progress of
the command window.
Click Start under Run solver and view results.
The following message appears in the box below the Start button:
Optimization running. Objective function value: 0.045674824758137236 Local minimum found that satisfies the constraints. Optimization completed because the objective function is non-decreasing in feasible directions, to within the default value of the function tolerance, and constraints are satisfied to within the default value of the constraint tolerance.
The message tells you that:
The search for a constrained optimum ended because the derivative of the objective function is nearly 0 in directions allowed by the constraint.
The constraint is satisfied to the requisite accuracy.
Exit Flags and Exit Messages discusses exit messages such as these.
x appears under Final
You can run the same optimization from the command line, as follows.
Create an options structure to choose iterative display
options = optimoptions(@fmincon,... 'Display','iter','Algorithm','interior-point');
fmincon solver with the
reporting both the location
x of the minimizer,
fval attained by the objective function:
[x,fval] = fmincon(@rosenbrock,[0 0],... ,,,,,,@unitdisk,options)
The six sets of empty brackets represent optional constraints
that are not being used in this example. See the
fmincon function reference pages for the
MATLAB outputs a table of iterations, and the results of the optimization:
Local minimum found that satisfies the constraints. Optimization completed because the objective function is non-decreasing in feasible directions, to within the selected value of the function tolerance, and constraints are satisfied to within the selected value of the constraint tolerance. x = 0.7864 0.6177 fval = 0.0457
The message tells you that the search for a constrained optimum ended because the derivative of the objective function is nearly 0 in directions allowed by the constraint, and that the constraint is satisfied to the requisite accuracy. Several phrases in the message contain links that give you more information about the terms used in the message. For more details about these links, see Enhanced Exit Messages.
The iteration table in the command window shows how MATLAB searched for the minimum value of Rosenbrock's function in the unit disk. This table is the same whether you use Optimization app or the command line. MATLAB reports the minimization as follows:
First-order Norm of Iter F-count f(x) Feasibility optimality step 0 3 1.000000e+00 0.000e+00 2.000e+00 1 13 7.753537e-01 0.000e+00 6.250e+00 1.768e-01 2 18 6.519648e-01 0.000e+00 9.048e+00 1.679e-01 3 21 5.543209e-01 0.000e+00 8.033e+00 1.203e-01 4 24 2.985207e-01 0.000e+00 1.790e+00 9.328e-02 5 27 2.653799e-01 0.000e+00 2.788e+00 5.723e-02 6 30 1.897216e-01 0.000e+00 2.311e+00 1.147e-01 7 33 1.513701e-01 0.000e+00 9.706e-01 5.764e-02 8 36 1.153330e-01 0.000e+00 1.127e+00 8.169e-02 9 39 1.198058e-01 0.000e+00 1.000e-01 1.522e-02 10 42 8.910052e-02 0.000e+00 8.378e-01 8.301e-02 11 45 6.771960e-02 0.000e+00 1.365e+00 7.149e-02 12 48 6.437664e-02 0.000e+00 1.146e-01 5.701e-03 13 51 6.329037e-02 0.000e+00 1.883e-02 3.774e-03 14 54 5.161934e-02 0.000e+00 3.016e-01 4.464e-02 15 57 4.964194e-02 0.000e+00 7.913e-02 7.894e-03 16 60 4.955404e-02 0.000e+00 5.462e-03 4.185e-04 17 63 4.954839e-02 0.000e+00 3.993e-03 2.208e-05 18 66 4.658289e-02 0.000e+00 1.318e-02 1.255e-02 19 69 4.647011e-02 0.000e+00 8.006e-04 4.940e-04 20 72 4.569141e-02 0.000e+00 3.136e-03 3.379e-03 21 75 4.568281e-02 0.000e+00 6.439e-05 3.974e-05 22 78 4.568281e-02 0.000e+00 8.000e-06 1.083e-07 23 81 4.567641e-02 0.000e+00 1.601e-06 2.793e-05 24 84 4.567482e-02 0.000e+00 2.062e-08 6.916e-06
This table might differ from yours depending on toolbox version and computing platform. The following description applies to the table as displayed.
The first column, labeled
is the iteration number from 0 to 24.
24 iterations to converge.
The second column, labeled
reports the cumulative number of times Rosenbrock's function was evaluated.
The final row shows an
F-count of 84, indicating
fmincon evaluated Rosenbrock's function
84 times in the process of finding a minimum.
The third column, labeled
displays the value of the objective function. The final value, 0.04567482,
is the minimum that is reported in the Optimization app Run
solver and view results box, and at the end of the exit
message in the command window.
The fourth column,
is 0 for all iterations. This column shows the value of the constraint
unitdisk at each iteration where the
constraint is positive. Since the value of
negative in all iterations, every iteration satisfied the constraint.
The other columns of the iteration table are described in Iterative Display.