MathGroup Archive 2005

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: FindFit with conditionals

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg57366] Re: [mg57307] FindFit with conditionals
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <andrzej at>
  • Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 06:03:19 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <> <> <20050524181807.GA23723@venus>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On 25 May 2005, at 03:18, Edward Peschko wrote:

> On Tue, May 24, 2005 at 09:24:38PM +0900, Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
>> First , FindInstance does not hold its arguments (look at Attributes
>> [FindInstance]) so of course it tries to evaluate NIntegrate[...] and
>> you get he message complaining that the integrand is not numerical.
>> Secondly, FindInstance uses similar methods to Reduce, which means it
>> is esentially an "algebraic" function which uses exact methods. You
>> can use it with non-exact inputs but I believe it will still use
>> exact methods to find the answer, and it will not, I think,
>> internaly perform any non-exact computations of the kind that you are
>> trying to use. (Of course it will evaluate "non-exact" functions
>> suplied as argumetns and it may use some "exact numerical methods"
>> but still the main point is, I think, valid, and that it that like
>> Reduce, it attempts to give exact answers and is not suitable for
>> solving numerical (approximate) questions.
> Fair enough -
> but that still leaves me with the question - what's the best way to  
> do this then?
> IMO there should be (IMO) an easy way to say:
>     <built-in-function> [ f[x_,y_,z_], {x,y,z}, Integers ]
> where
>     <built-in-function>
> is a mathematica function,
>     f[x_,y_,z_...]
> is an expression or series of chained expressions, and
>     {x,y,z}
> is a list of arguments to pass to function, and which vary from  
> evaluation
> to evaluation via global optimization tools, and
>     Integers
> which is the domain over which {x,y,z} can vary.
> I'm agnostic on the algorithm being deterministic, algebraic, or  
> approximative,
> but IMO this would be a very expressive way of solving problems  
> that otherwise
> would be very messy.
> Just my 2 cents.
Many functions that  use exact methods, such as Integrate, Limit,  
Reduce already accept Assumptions and/or domains, although you should  
realize that  there are rather few general algorithms for dealing  
with problems over the integers.
For non-exact inputs, like your original problem, the thing to do is  
to use NMinimize or NMaximize.
Let me quickly illustrate how to do this for a trivial problem; you  
can try to adapt this method to your original one.
Suppose for example we need to find an integer a such that

NIntegrate[x^3, {x, -1, a}] == 3.75
(the answer is a==-2 or a ==2 ).

We have to formulate this as an optimization problem. For this  
purpose we define a function

f[a_?NumericQ] := Abs[NIntegrate[x^3, {x, -1, a}] - 3.75]

Note the use of pattern a_?NumericQ in the definition of NIntegrate,  
it is meant to prevent NIntegrate trying to evaluate before it  
receives a numerical value for a form NMinimize, since NMinimize does  
not hold its arguments. Now we try to solve an optimization problem:

NMinimize[{f[a], a â?? Integers}, {a}]

{4.440892098500626*^-16, {a -> -2}}

If we wan tot find the posiitve solution we can impose an additional  

NMinimize[{f[a], a â?? Integers && a > Plus[0]}, {a}]

{1.3322676295501878*^-15, {a -> 2}}

I think this is the best you can hope for for the kind of problems  
you seem to have in mind.

Andrzej Kozlowski

  • Prev by Date: Re: Re: plot hyperbola (OT)
  • Next by Date: Re: Re: Mapping Data
  • Previous by thread: Re: FindFit with conditionals
  • Next by thread: Re: manipulating powers