Algorithms for unconstrained optimization

Date of Completion

January 2000






We begin by developing a line search method for unconstrained optimization which can be regarded as a combined quasi-Newton and steepest descent method. This method possesses a guaranteed global convergence on general nonconvex objective functions and has similar superlinear convergence properties to the usual quasi-Newton methods. Our numerical results on standard test problems show that the new method can outperform the corresponding quasi-Newton method, especially when the starting point is far away from the optimal point. The new method significantly improves the performance of the DFP method. ^ We continue by analyzing the widely used Nelder-Mead simplex method for unconstrained optimization. We present two examples in which the Nelder-Mead simplex method does not converge to a single point and investigate the effect of dimensionality on the Nelder-Mead method. It is shown that the Nelder-Mead simplex method becomes less efficient as the dimension increases. ^