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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: Solve Feature?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg52846] Re: Solve Feature?
  • From: DrBob <drbob at bigfoot.com>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 06:00:11 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200412100123.UAA18967@smc.vnet.net> <opsir6lsn2iz9bcq@monster.ma.dl.cox.net> <002401c4dfb5$809b6a00$1802a8c0@Pentium4> <opsiu9j4nmiz9bcq@monster.ma.dl.cox.net> <opsiu90xstiz9bcq@monster.ma.dl.cox.net> <41BE2889.8030108@wolfram.com>
  • Reply-to: drbob at bigfoot.com
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

OK, but it's a very simple polynomial system; if Solve and NSolve give wildly wrong answers without notifying us, it's difficult to justify ever using them at all (with machine-precision coefficients).

I think I'm forced to use FindRoot virtually every time, already; I just hadn't thought about it.

Bobby

On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:40:57 -0600, Daniel Lichtblau <danl at wolfram.com> wrote:

> DrBob wrote:
>> By the way, it gets even worse if I use NSolve:
>>
>> solution = NSolve[{c1, c5}]
>> {c1, c5} /. solution
>> Apply[Subtract, {c1, c5}, {1}] /. solution
>>
>> {{x -> -4.27759132*^8,
>>    y -> 43.74999927054117},
>>   {x -> 4.2775924*^8,
>>    y -> 43.75000072945884}}
>> {{False, False}, {False, False}}
>> {{1.82977917785309*^17,
>>    1.82977917785309*^17},
>>   {1.8297792462945597*^17,
>>    1.8297792462945597*^17}}
>>
>> These are simple polynomial equations, so this is really puzzling.
>>
>> Bobby
>>
>> On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 17:15:30 -0600, DrBob <drbob at bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>
>>> HELP!! Here are two very simple quadratic equations (circles):
>>>
>>> {c1, c5} = {(-50 + x)^2 + (-50 + y)^2 == 156.25,
>>>   (-50.00000000000002 + x)^2 +
>>>     (-37.49999999999999 + y)^2 == 156.25};
>>>
>>> If we rationalize before solving, we get accurate solutions:
>>>
>>> solution = Solve@Rationalize@{c1, c5}
>>> solution // N
>>> {c1, c5} /. solution
>>> Subtract @@@ {c1, c5} /. solution
>>>
>>> {{x -> (25/4)*(8 - Sqrt[3]), y -> 175/4},
>>>      {x -> (25/4)*(8 + Sqrt[3]), y -> 175/4}}
>>> {{x -> 39.17468245269452, y -> 43.75},
>>>    {x -> 60.82531754730548,  y -> 43.75}}
>>> {{True, True}, {True, True}}
>>> {{-4.263256414560601*^-14, 4.973799150320701*^-13},
>>>    {-4.263256414560601*^-14, -4.263256414560601*^-13}}
>>>
>>> You can check this visually with ImplicitPlot:
>>>
>>> ImplicitPlot[{c1, c5}, {x, -40, 70}]
>>>
>>> But if we solve without Rationalize, we get wildly inaccurate results:
>>>
>>> solution = Solve@{c1, c5}
>>> {c1, c5} /. solution
>>> Subtract @@@ {c1, c5} /. solution
>>>
>>> {{x -> 16., y -> 43.74999999999993},
>>>    {x -> 84., y -> 43.75000000000004}}
>>> {{False, False}, {False, False}}
>>> {{1038.812500000001, 1038.8125000000005},
>>>   {1038.8124999999995, 1038.8124999999993}}
>>>
>>> I'm using version 5.1.
>>>
>>> Bobby
>
>
> The behavior of Solve with these approximate inputs is subject to the
> vagaries of how it creates an infinite precision problem. As this one is
> poorly conditioned it is not too surprising that it does not give a good
> result. I'll point out that with VerifySolutions->True Solve will use
> significance arithmetic throughout, and this is sufficient (in this
> case) to get a viable result.
>
> The NSolve result is more troublesome. I tracked it to some difficulty
> in assessing either of two important facts.
>
> (1) The precision used in an eigen decomposition is not adequate for the
> problem at hand.
>
> (2) The result gives a large residual for the inputs when normalized in
> what I believe to be a reasonable way (obviously we can make the
> residual as large or small as we please by suitably rescaling the input).
>
> It is not too hard to fix the code for either of these but there are
> drawbacks.
>
> The second issue came about from a poor choice on my part of what to
> check: I used a numerical Groebner basis instead of the original inputs.
>   So this can (and will) be addressed. In those cases where it catches
> trouble (as in this example) the fix is to redo certain computations at
> higher precision. As the code for this is already present the only issue
> is in the detection itself. The down side is that I am not certain it
> will be adequate to assess poor solutions in general, though it works
> reasonably well for this example.
>
> For the first issue I am right now at a loss. It seems that the numeric
> EigenXXX code gives a very poor result for a particular 2x2 matrix that
> appears in the course of the NSolve code. It is not too hard to figure
> out for a given matrix that the numeric eigen decomposition might be
> troublesome. Unfortunately that involves finding numeric singular
> values, and I believe that tends to be typically more expensive than the
> EigenXXX computation itself. So the problem becomes one of efficiency:
> detection of the problem cases could make all NSolve calls slower just
> to find the rare bad apples.
>
> I'll give this some more thought.
>
> Another possible issue is in how the numeric Groebner basis gets
> computed. This is something I also need to look at more closely. It
> appears that for one variable order the result is quite tame, but not
> for the other (NSolve[polys, {y,x}] works fine). I'm not yet certain but
> I think the nuemric instability at this step is essentially unavoidable.
> I believe this to be the case because I can find "nearby" polynomial
> systems for which a problematic Groebner basis will emerge (and in fact
> that happens in this example). It is not actually incorrect, but causes
> numeric problems at low precision for the eigen decomposition on a
> matrix formed from that Groebner basis.
>
> Whatever the outcome of investigating that numeric Groebner basis part,
> EigenXXX computation needs to sort out how to handle the resulting
> matrix. So this part at least is a bug to be fixed.
>
>
> Daniel Lichtblau
> Wolfram Research
>
>
>
>



-- 
DrBob at bigfoot.com
www.eclecticdreams.net


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