Expand description

Newton based methods for rootfinding

This crate allows you to use Newton’s method for rootfinding.

It aims to implement several Newton based methods (Newton-Raphson, Broyden, …), whether the jacobian function is provided or not.

Nonlinear equation solver

Practical example

Let’s consider the following equations :

 x1 * x2 + x3 = 1
 x1 * x2 / x3 = x1 * x3
 x1 * x3 - x3 / x2 - 1 = 0

Let’s call X = (x1, x2, x3) the iterative variables

Let’s define mathematically the problem thanks to the function f :

 f(X) -> (left, right)

where the left and right 3-dimensional vectors are the left and right members of the equations :

 left = ( x1 * x2 + x3, x1 * x2 / x3, x1 * x3 - x3 / x2 - 1  )
 right = (1, x1 * x3, 0)

Let’s call the pair (left, right) the residuals (i.e the residual equations)

Solving this problem implies to find X such that the residual equations are fullfiled.

Newton based methods will achieve that by iterating on the vector X (hence the name of iteratives).

General formulation

In the previous example, the following concepts have been highlighted:

  • Iterative variables : the variables on which the algorithm will iterate
  • Residuals : the equations that must be verified, each residual is separated into two expressions, the left member and the right member of the equation.

For a well-defined problem, they must be as many iterative variables as residuals.

The solver provided in this crate aims to solve the n-dimensional problem:

 f((iterative_1, ... , iterative_n)) -> (equation_1, ... , equation_n)

In the litterature, the problem is often described as f(X) = 0, as the mathematical expressions of the residual equations can be rearranged.

This solver does not use the same description, as with floating point operation for scientific computing, the numerical accuracy does play an important role. The (left, right) equation framework allows further user parametrization in order to control numerical aspects

Resolution principle

Check the wikipedia article on Newton’s method !

You will see that it involves the computation of the jacobian matrix (i.e the n-dimensional derivative matrix). This matrix can either be provided by the user, or computed thanks to finite-difference.


Using this crate require the following steps:

  • Defining the problem (i.e have a struct implementing the model::Model trait)
  • Parametrizing the solver (iteratives, residuals and some other parameters)
  • Call the solver on the model: the solver will then mutate the model into a resolved state
use newton_rootfinder as nrf;
use nrf::model::Model; // trait import

struct UserModel {
// ...
impl Model<nalgebra::Dynamic> for UserModel {
// ...

fn main() {

    // ...
    let mut rootfinder = nrf::solver::RootFinder::new(

    let mut user_model = UserModel::new();

    rootfinder.solve(&mut user_model).unwrap();

    println!("{}", user_model.get_outputs());

User problem definition

To get improved interactions with the user problem, the user is required to provide a stuct implementing the model::Model trait. This trait allows for the solver to be integrated tightly with the user problem and optimized.

Check the documentation of the model module for more details.

Numerical methods

This crate implents several Newton based methods. The method can be choosen from the variant of the solver::ResolutionMethod enum. Check its documentation to discover the methods available.

Problem parametrization

The parametrization of the resolution is a three steps process in order to configure :

Once each of these element has been defined, the solver::RootFinder struct can be instanciated.

This struct will perform the resolution.

Error handling

If defined in the user model, the solver can react to specific errors and propage them, without any panic. Check the errors module for more details


In order to be able to debug more easily the resolution process, it is possible to generate a simulation log.

Check the solver::RootFinder::activate_debug method.

The optional feature additional_log_info allows to add in the log informations such as:

  • the time of the computation (UTC and local time)
  • user information such as plateform, id, …
  • the version of rustc used

To enable this feature, add the following line into your Cargo.toml file:

newton_rootfinder = { version = your_version, features = ["additional_log_info"] }

User interface

To ease the parametrization of the solver, it is possible to set up the parametrization through an external .xml configuration file. The parametrization will be read at runtime before launching the resolution. For more information, check the xml_parser module.

To enable this feature, add the following line into your Cargo.toml file:

newton_rootfinder = { version = your_version, features = ["xml_config_file"] }

It also possible to define the parametrization programmatically, in such case your programm will execute faster.

It is recommanded to read this module’s documentation, as it provides a clear overview of all the parameters that can be customized, even if the user intend to not use the xml configuration feature.


use newton_rootfinder as nrf;
use nrf::model::Model; // trait import

// Function to optimize: x**2 = 2
pub fn square2(x: &nalgebra::DVector<f64>) -> nalgebra::DVector<f64> {
    let mut y = x * x;
    y[0] -= 2.0;

fn main() {

    let problem_size = 1;

    // Parametrization of the iteratives variables
    let vec_iter_params = nrf::iteratives::default_vec_iteratives_fd(problem_size);
    let iter_params = nrf::iteratives::Iteratives::new(&vec_iter_params);

    // Parametrization of the residuals
    let stopping_residuals = vec![nrf::residuals::NormalizationMethod::Abs; problem_size];
    let update_methods = vec![nrf::residuals::NormalizationMethod::Abs; problem_size];
    let res_config = nrf::residuals::ResidualsConfig::new(&stopping_residuals, &update_methods);

    // Parametrization of the solver
    let init = nalgebra::DVector::from_vec(vec![1.0]);
    let resolution_method = nrf::solver::ResolutionMethod::NewtonRaphson;
    let damping = false;
    let mut rf = nrf::solver::default_with_guess(

    // Adpatation of the function to solve to the Model trait.
    let mut user_model = nrf::model::UserModelFromFunction::new(problem_size, square2);

    rf.solve(&mut user_model).unwrap();

    println!("{}", user_model.get_iteratives()[0]); // 1.4142135623747443
    println!("{}", std::f64::consts::SQRT_2);       // 1.4142135623730951

Performance tricks

newton_rootfinder provides several mecanisms to ease the use of the solver, such as :

These mecanisms use underneath rust Vec and the nalgebra type DVector (dynamic vector)

It is possible to use newton_rootfinder with statically sized type To do so, the user must not rely on the default mecanisms provided by the crate, but instead define manually in the its code each of its parameters The user must also implement directely the model::Model trait with static types.

Full example :

use std::convert::Infallible;
use newton_rootfinder as nrf;

use nrf::model::Model;

/// x**2 - 2 = 0
/// Root: x = 2.sqrt() approx 1.4142
pub fn square2(x: &nalgebra::SVector<f64, 1>) -> nalgebra::SVector<f64, 1> {
    let y = nalgebra::SVector::<f64, 1>::new(x[0] * x[0] - 2.0);

struct UserModel {
    iteratives: nalgebra::SVector<f64, 1>,
    output: nalgebra::SVector<f64, 1>,

impl UserModel {
    fn new(init: f64) -> Self {
        let iteratives = nalgebra::SVector::<f64, 1>::new(init);
        let output = square2(&iteratives);

        UserModel { iteratives, output }

impl Model<nalgebra::Const<1>> for UserModel {
    type InaccurateValuesError = Infallible;
    type UnusableValuesError = Infallible;
    fn len_problem(&self) -> usize {
    fn set_iteratives(&mut self, iteratives: &nalgebra::SVector<f64, 1>) {
        self.iteratives = *iteratives;

    fn get_iteratives(&self) -> nalgebra::SVector<f64, 1> {

    fn evaluate(&mut self) -> Result<(), nrf::model::ModelError<Self, nalgebra::Const<1>>> {
        self.output = square2(&self.iteratives);

    fn get_residuals(&self) -> nrf::residuals::ResidualsValues<nalgebra::Const<1>> {
        nrf::residuals::ResidualsValues::new(self.output, nalgebra::SVector::<f64, 1>::new(0.0))

fn main() {
    let solver_parameters = nrf::solver::SolverParameters::new(

    let iterative_param = nrf::iteratives::IterativeParamsFD::default();
    let iteratives_param = [iterative_param];
    let iteratives = nrf::iteratives::Iteratives::new(&iteratives_param);
    let residuals_config = nrf::residuals::ResidualsConfig::new(

    let mut user_model = UserModel::new(1.0);

    let mut rf = nrf::solver::RootFinder::new(

   rf.solve(&mut user_model).unwrap();

        epsilon = 1e-6

Benchmark static vs dynamic:

The use of static types provide a 30 times improvement versus dynamic type on 1D problems. For exact numbers, check : RESULT.md

Vectors and matrix representations

Linear algebra operations are performed using the crate nalgebra.

The values returned by a user model must be such vectors and matrix


Solver errors
This module defines the iteratives variables
The solver has been designed to operate on a user defined model. To define such a model, the user must adapt the problem through the implementation of the Model trait.
Definition of residuals
Solver configuration
Useful functions