## Selecting Absolute Tolerance and Relative Tolerance for Simulation

SimBiology^{®} uses `AbsoluteTolerance`

and
`RelativeTolerance`

to control the accuracy of integration during
simulation. Specifically, AbsoluteTolerance is used to control
the largest allowable absolute error at any step during simulation. It controls the
error when a solution is small. Intuitively, when the solution approaches 0,
`AbsoluteTolerance`

is the threshold below which you do not worry
about the accuracy of the solution since it is effectively 0. RelativeTolerance controls the relative error of a single step of the
integrator. Intuitively, it controls the number of significant digits in a solution,
except when it is smaller than the absolute tolerance, and $$-{\mathrm{log}}_{10}\left(RelativeTolerance\right)$$ is the number of correct digits. For more tips on tolerances, see
Troubleshooting Simulation Problems.

### Algorithm

At each simulation step `i`

, the solver estimates
the local error `e`

in the state `j`

of
the simulation. The solver reduces the size of time step `i`

until
the error of the state satisfies:

$$\left|e\left(i,j\right)\right|\le \mathrm{max}\left(RelativeTolerance\ast \left|y\left(i,j\right)\right|,AbsoluteTolerance\left(i,j\right)\right)$$

Thus at state values of larger magnitude, the accuracy is determined
by `RelativeTolerance`

. As the state values approach
zero, the accuracy is controlled by `AbsoluteTolerance`

.

The correct choice of values for `RelativeTolerance`

and `AbsoluteTolerance`

varies
depending on the problem. The default values may work for first trials
of the simulation. As you adjust the tolerances, consider that there
are trade-offs between speed and accuracy:

If the simulation takes too long, you can increase (or loosen) the values of

`RelativeTolerance`

and`AbsoluteTolerance`

at the cost of some accuracy.If the results seem inaccurate, you can decrease (or tighten) the relative tolerance values by dividing with 10

^{N}, where N is a real positive number. But this tends to slow down the solver.If the magnitude of the state values is high, you can decrease the relative tolerance to get more accurate results.

### Absolute Tolerance Scaling

How SimBiology uses `AbsoluteTolerance`

to
determine the error depends on whether the AbsoluteToleranceScaling property
is enabled. By default, `AbsoluteToleranceScaling`

is
enabled which means each state has its own absolute tolerance that
may increase over the course of simulation:

$$AbsoluteTolerance\left(i,j\right)=CSAbsTol*Scale\left(i,j\right)$$

`CSAbsTol`

is the `AbsoluteTolerance`

property
defined in `SolverOptions`

of the active configuration
set object.

For a state that has a nonzero initial value, the scale is the maximum magnitude over the state, as seen over the simulation thus far:

$$Scale\left(i,j\right)=\mathrm{max}\left(\left|y(1:i,j)\right|\right)$$

For a state that has an initial value of zero, the scale is
estimated as the state value after taking a trial step of size AbsoluteToleranceStepSize using the Euler
method. Let us call this value `ye(j)`

. Then:

$$Scale\left(i,j\right)=\mathrm{max}\left(\left|\left[ye(j);y(2:i,j)\right]\right|\right)$$

If an initial state is zero and has no dynamic at time = 0, then:

$$AbsoluteTolerance\left(i,j\right)=CSAbsTol$$

Doses, events, and initial assignment rules at simulation time = 0 are not considered when calculating absolute tolerance scaling.