Stata 15 help for minbound


[R] minbound -- Minimize a scalar function on a range


minbound progname, range(#1 #2) [ from(#) arguments(str) tolerance(#) iterate(#) missing trace ]


minbound minimizes a smooth scalar function on a range using function values only (Brent 1973). The function progname should be implemented as an rclass program; it should accept as the first argument the value x with respect to which the function is to be evaluated, as well as optional other arguments transferred with the option arguments(); and it should return the function value in r(fx).


range(#1 #2) is not optional; it specifies the range over which the function is to be minimized. #1 and #2 may be literals or expressions and should be separated by a comma or space.

from(#) specifies an initial value. It should satisfy the range conditions.

arguments(str) specifies optional arguments for progname. Multiple arguments are separated by spaces.

tolerance(#) specifies the tolerance for the minimizer x. The default is 1e-5.

iterate(#) specifies the maximum number of iterations. The default is 100.

missing specifies that missing values returned by progname be treated as ordinary values (that is, larger than any nonmissing values). The default behavior is that missing function values are an error.

trace displays an iteration trace.


We want to minimize the quadratic function f(x) = x^2.

. program quadratic, rclass return scalar fx = (`1')^2 end

. minbound quadratic, range(0 2) . minbound quadratic, range(-4 4) from(2) trace

Note: We suggest that you code the program quadratic somewhat less concisely as

. program quadratic, rclass version 9 args x return scalar fx = (`x')^2 end

We can also write a more general function that minimizes a general quadratic function ax^2+bx+c with respect to x.

. program quadratic2, rclass version 9 args x a b c return scalar fx = `a'*(`x')^2 + `b'*`x' + `c' end

To minimize 2x^2-3x+1 with respect to x on [-100,100], you type

. minbound quadratic2, range(-100 100) arg(2 -3 1)

We can also minimize the inverted U-shaped parabola -2x^2+3x+1 with respect to x on [-1,1] -- the minimizer is at the boundary of the range,

. minbound quadratic2, range(-1 1) arg(-2 3 1)

Stored results

minbound stores the following in r():

r(x) minimizer r(fx) function value in x r(gx) first-order derivative of f with respect to x r(hx) second-order derivative of f with respect to x


Brent, R. P. 1973. Algorithms for Minimization without Derivatives. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. (Reprinted in paperback by Dover Publications, Mineola, NY, January 2002.)

Press, W. H., B. P. Flannery, S. A. Teukolsky, and W. T. Vetterling. 1989. Numerical Recipes in Pascal: The Art of Scientific Computing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

© Copyright 1996–2018 StataCorp LLC   |   Terms of use   |   Privacy   |   Contact us   |   What's new   |   Site index