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Chapter Contents
Chapter Introduction
NAG Toolbox

NAG Toolbox: nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay)


    1  Purpose
    2  Syntax
    7  Accuracy
    9  Example


nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay) locates a simple zero of a continuous function in a given interval using Brent's method, which is a combination of nonlinear interpolation, linear extrapolation and bisection.


[x, user, ifail] = c05ay(a, b, eps, eta, f, 'user', user)
[x, user, ifail] = nag_roots_contfn_brent(a, b, eps, eta, f, 'user', user)


nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay) attempts to obtain an approximation to a simple zero of the function fx  given an initial interval a,b  such that fa × fb 0 . The same core algorithm is used by nag_roots_contfn_brent_rcomm (c05az) whose specification should be consulted for details of the method used.
The approximation x to the zero α is determined so that at least one of the following criteria is satisfied:
(i) x-α eps ,
(ii) fxeta .


Brent R P (1973) Algorithms for Minimization Without Derivatives Prentice–Hall


Compulsory Input Parameters

1:     a – double scalar
a, the lower bound of the interval.
2:     b – double scalar
b, the upper bound of the interval.
Constraint: ba .
3:     eps – double scalar
The termination tolerance on x (see Description).
Constraint: eps>0.0 .
4:     eta – double scalar
A value such that if fxeta , x is accepted as the zero. eta may be specified as 0.0 (see Accuracy).
5:     f – function handle or string containing name of m-file
f must evaluate the function f whose zero is to be determined.
[result, user] = f(x, user)

Input Parameters

1:     x – double scalar
The point at which the function must be evaluated.
2:     user – Any MATLAB object
f is called from nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay) with the object supplied to nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay).

Output Parameters

1:     result – double scalar
The value of f evaluated at x.
2:     user – Any MATLAB object

Optional Input Parameters

1:     user – Any MATLAB object
user is not used by nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay), but is passed to f. Note that for large objects it may be more efficient to use a global variable which is accessible from the m-files than to use user.

Output Parameters

1:     x – double scalar
If ifail=0 or 2, x is the final approximation to the zero. If ifail=3, x is likely to be a pole of fx. Otherwise, x contains no useful information.
2:     user – Any MATLAB object
3:     ifail int64int32nag_int scalar
ifail=0 unless the function detects an error (see Error Indicators and Warnings).

Error Indicators and Warnings

Errors or warnings detected by the function:

Cases prefixed with W are classified as warnings and do not generate an error of type NAG:error_n. See nag_issue_warnings.

Constraint: ab.
Constraint: eps>0.0.
On entry, fa and fb have the same sign with neither equalling 0.0.
W  ifail=2
No further improvement in the solution is possible.
W  ifail=3
The function values in the interval a,b  might contain a pole rather than a zero. Reducing eps may help in distinguishing between a pole and a zero.
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 levels of accuracy depend on the values of eps and eta. If full machine accuracy is required, they may be set very small, resulting in an exit with ifail=2, although this may involve many more iterations than a lesser accuracy. You are recommended to set eta=0.0  and to use eps to control the accuracy, unless you have considerable knowledge of the size of fx  for values of x near the zero.

Further Comments

The time taken by nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay) depends primarily on the time spent evaluating f (see Arguments).
If it is important to determine an interval of relative length less than 2×eps containing the zero, or if f is expensive to evaluate and the number of calls to f is to be restricted, then use of nag_roots_contfn_brent_rcomm (c05az) is recommended. Use of nag_roots_contfn_brent_rcomm (c05az) is also recommended when the structure of the problem to be solved does not permit a simple f to be written: the reverse communication facilities of nag_roots_contfn_brent_rcomm (c05az) are more flexible than the direct communication of f required by nag_roots_contfn_brent (c05ay).


This example calculates an approximation to the zero of e-x - x  within the interval 0,1  using a tolerance of eps=1.0e−5.
function c05ay_example

fprintf('c05ay example results\n\n');

a = 0;
b = 1;
eps = 1e-5;
eta = 0;
[x, user, ifail] = c05ay(a, b, eps, eta, @f);
switch ifail
  case {0}
    fprintf('With eps = %10.2e, root = %14.5f\n', eps, x);
  case {2, 3}
    fprintf('With eps = %10.2e, final value = %14.5f\n', eps, x);

function [result, user] = f(x, user)
  result = x - exp(-x);
c05ay example results

With eps =   1.00e-05, root =        0.56714

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Chapter Contents
Chapter Introduction
NAG Toolbox

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