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Using NIntegrate in a function

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg130052] Using NIntegrate in a function
  • From: michele.castellana at gmail.com
  • Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 03:58:36 -0500 (EST)
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Dear all,
I am struggling with the following problem, I will explain the problem to you with this simple toy example: I define a function f of a variable a through a numerical integration

f[a_] := NIntegrate[Exp[-((a - 1/3)^2 + 1)*x^4], {x, -1, 1}]

I want to find numerically the maximum of f with respect to a. If I use FindMaximum,

FindMaximum[{f[y], -1 <= y <= 1}, {y, 1/2}]

Then I have some error messages:

NIntegrate::inumr: The integrand E^(x^4 (-1-(-(1/3)+y)^2)) has evaluated to non-numerical values for all sampling points in the region with boundaries {{0,1}}. >>

NIntegrate::inumr: The integrand E^(x^4 (-1-(-(1/3)+y)^2)) has evaluated to non-numerical values for all sampling points in the region with boundaries {{0,1}}. >>

NIntegrate::inumr: The integrand E^(x^4 (-1-(-(1/3)+y)^2)) has evaluated to non-numerical values for all sampling points in the region with boundaries {{0,1}}. >>

General::stop: Further output of NIntegrate::inumr will be suppressed during this calculation. >>

Still, in the end I have got the correct result {1.68968, {y -> 0.333333}}. NMaximize gives the same error messages.

I have a more complicated example where I have a numerical routine (NDSolve) that needs some parameter q as an input and that is incorporated into a function g[q], just like in the toy example the numerical routine NIntegrate needs the parameter a, and NIntegrate is incorporated into the function f[a]. In this more complicated example, I have got the same kind of complaints, NDSolve::ndnl: "Endpoint q in {x,q,qp} is not a real number.", but in the end when I call NMaximize of FindMaximum to maximize g with respect to q, it crashes and I have got no useful output. Still, the function g[q] is well-defined, and when I call it for any numerical value of q I obtain a number and everything is fine.

Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?

Thanks!
Best
Michele





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