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Chapter Introduction
NAG Toolbox

NAG Toolbox: nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm (c05ax)


    1  Purpose
    2  Syntax
    7  Accuracy
    9  Example


nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm (c05ax) attempts to locate a zero of a continuous function using a continuation method based on a secant iteration. It uses reverse communication for evaluating the function.


[x, c, ind, ifail] = c05ax(x, fx, tol, ir, c, ind, 'scal', scal)
[x, c, ind, ifail] = nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm(x, fx, tol, ir, c, ind, 'scal', scal)


nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm (c05ax) uses a modified version of an algorithm given in Swift and Lindfield (1978) to compute a zero α of a continuous function fx . The algorithm used is based on a continuation method in which a sequence of problems
fx-θrfx0,  r=0,1,,m  
are solved, where 1 = θ0 > θ1 > > θm = 0  (the value of m is determined as the algorithm proceeds) and where x0  is your initial estimate for the zero of fx . For each θr  the current problem is solved by a robust secant iteration using the solution from earlier problems to compute an initial estimate.
You must supply an error tolerance tol. tol is used directly to control the accuracy of solution of the final problem ( θm=0 ) in the continuation method, and tol  is used to control the accuracy in the intermediate problems ( θ1 , θ2 , , θm-1 ).


Swift A and Lindfield G R (1978) Comparison of a continuation method for the numerical solution of a single nonlinear equation Comput. J. 21 359–362


Note: this function uses reverse communication. Its use involves an initial entry, intermediate exits and re-entries, and a final exit, as indicated by the argument ind. Between intermediate exits and re-entries, all arguments other than fx must remain unchanged.

Compulsory Input Parameters

1:     x – double scalar
On initial entry: an initial approximation to the zero.
2:     fx – double scalar
On initial entry: if ind=1, fx need not be set.
If ind=-1, fx must contain fx  for the initial value of x.
On intermediate re-entry: must contain fx  for the current value of x.
3:     tol – double scalar
On initial entry: a value that controls the accuracy to which the zero is determined. tol is used in determining the convergence of the secant iteration used at each stage of the continuation process. It is used directly when solving the last problem ( θm=0  in Description), and tol  is used for the problem defined by θr , r<m . Convergence to the accuracy specified by tol is not guaranteed, and so you are recommended to find the zero using at least two values for tol to check the accuracy obtained.
Constraint: tol>0.0 .
4:     ir int64int32nag_int scalar
On initial entry: indicates the type of error test required, as follows. Solving the problem defined by θr , 1rm , involves computing a sequence of secant iterates xr0,xr1, . This sequence will be considered to have converged only if:
for ir=0,
xr i+1 -xri eps×max1.0,xri ,  
for ir=1,
xr i+1 -xri eps,  
for ir=2,
xr i+1 -xri eps×xri ,  
for some i>1 ; here eps  is either tol or tol  as discussed above. Note that there are other subsidiary conditions (not given here) which must also be satisfied before the secant iteration is considered to have converged.
Constraint: ir=0, 1 or 2.
5:     c26 – double array
( c5  contains the current θr , this value may be useful in the event of an error exit.)
6:     ind int64int32nag_int scalar
On initial entry: must be set to 1 or -1 .
fx need not be set.
fx must contain fx .
Constraint: on entry ind=-1, 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Optional Input Parameters

1:     scal – double scalar
Suggested value: ε, where ε is the machine precision returned by nag_machine_precision (x02aj).
Default: machine precision
On initial entry: a factor for use in determining a significant approximation to the derivative of fx  at x=x0 , the initial value. A number of difference approximations to fx0  are calculated using
where h<scal  and h has the same sign as scal. A significance (cancellation) check is made on each difference approximation and the approximation is rejected if insignificant.
Constraint: scal  must be sufficiently large that x+scalx  on the computer.

Output Parameters

1:     x – double scalar
On intermediate exit: the point at which f must be evaluated before re-entry to the function.
On final exit: the final approximation to the zero.
2:     c26 – double array
3:     ind int64int32nag_int scalar
On intermediate exit: contains 2, 3 or 4. The calling program must evaluate f at x, storing the result in fx, and re-enter nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm (c05ax) with all other arguments unchanged.
On final exit: contains 0.
4:     ifail int64int32nag_int scalar
On final exit: ifail=0 unless the function detects an error (see Error Indicators and Warnings).

Error Indicators and Warnings

Errors or warnings detected by the function:
On entry, tol0.0 ,
orir0, 1 or 2.
The argument ind is incorrectly set on initial or intermediate entry.
scal is too small, or significant derivatives of f cannot be computed (this can happen when f is almost constant and nonzero, for any value of scal).
The current problem in the continuation sequence cannot be solved, see c5  for the value of θr . The most likely explanation is that the current problem has no solution, either because the original problem had no solution or because the continuation path passes through a set of insoluble problems. This latter reason for failure should occur rarely, and not at all if the initial approximation to the zero is sufficiently close. Other possible explanations are that tol is too small and hence the accuracy requirement is too stringent, or that tol is too large and the initial approximation too poor, leading to successively worse intermediate solutions.
Continuation away from the initial point is not possible. This error exit will usually occur if the problem has not been properly posed or the error requirement is extremely stringent.
The final problem (with θm=0 ) cannot be solved. It is likely that too much accuracy has been requested, or that the zero is at α=0  and ir=2 .
An unexpected error has been triggered by this routine. Please contact NAG.
Your licence key may have expired or may not have been installed correctly.
Dynamic memory allocation failed.


The accuracy of the approximation to the zero depends on tol and ir. In general decreasing tol will give more accurate results. Care must be exercised when using the relative error criterion ( ir=2 ).
If the zero is at x=0 , or if the initial value of x and the zero bracket the point x=0 , it is likely that an error exit with ifail=4, 5 or 6 will occur.
It is possible to request too much or too little accuracy. Since it is not possible to achieve more than machine accuracy, a value of tolmachine precision  should not be input and may lead to an error exit with ifail=4, 5 or 6. For the reasons discussed under ifail=4 in Error Indicators and Warnings, tol should not be taken too large, say no larger than tol=1.0e−3 .

Further Comments

For most problems, the time taken on each call to nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm (c05ax) will be negligible compared with the time spent evaluating fx  between calls to nag_roots_contfn_cntin_rcomm (c05ax). However, the initial value of x and the choice of tol will clearly affect the timing. The closer that x is to the root, the less evaluations of f required. The effect of the choice of tol will not be large, in general, unless tol is very small, in which case the timing will increase.


This example calculates a zero of x - e-x  with initial approximation x0=1.0 , and tol=1.0e−3  and 1.0e−4 .
function c05ax_example

fprintf('c05ax example results\n\n');

fx = 0;
c = zeros(26, 1);
for k=3:4
  x = 1;
  tol = 10^-k;
  ir = int64(0);
  ind = int64(1);

  while (ind ~= 0)
    [x, c, ind, ifail] = c05ax(x, fx, tol, ir, c, ind);
    fx = x - exp(-x);

  if ifail == 4 || ifail ==6
    fprintf('FTol = %11.4e, final value = %11.4e, theta = %10.2e\n', tol, ...
             x, c(5));
  elseif ifail == 0
    fprintf('Tol is %11.4e, Root is %11.4e\n', tol, x);

c05ax example results

Tol is  1.0000e-03, Root is  5.6715e-01
Tol is  1.0000e-04, Root is  5.6715e-01

PDF version (NAG web site, 64-bit version, 64-bit version)
Chapter Contents
Chapter Introduction
NAG Toolbox

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