With Manopt, you can solve optimization problems on manifolds using stateoftheart algorithms, with minimal effort. The toolbox targets great flexibility in the problem description and comes with advanced features, such as caching.
The toolbox architecture is based on a separation of the manifolds, the solvers and the problem descriptions. For basic use, one only needs to pick a manifold from the library, describe the cost function (and possible derivatives) on this manifold and pass it on to a solver. Accompanying tools help the user in common tasks such as numerically checking whether the cost function agrees with its derivatives up to the appropriate order etc.
This is a prototyping toolbox, designed based on the idea that the costly part of solving an optimization problem is querying the cost function, and not the inner machinery of the solver. It is also work in progress: feedback and contributions are welcome!
A short blog post gives an informal overview of optimization on manifolds. It may be a good start to get a general feeling. There is also a 5 minute video giving an overview of the general concept.
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Download The current version is 4.0 and was packaged on Sep. 9, 2017. The file is about 400 Kb.
 Unzip and copy the whole manopt directory you just downloaded in a location of your choice on disk, say, in /my/directory/.
 Go to /my/directory/manopt/ at the command prompt and execute
importmanopt
. You may save this path for your next Matlab sessions: either executesavepath
, or follow the menu File » Set Path... and save.
Go to /my/directory/manopt/checkinstall/ and run the script basicexample.m. If there are no errors, you are done! Otherwise, feel free to contact us.
In this first example, we will compute a dominant eigenvector of a symmetric matrix $A \in \mathbb{R}^{n\times n}$. Let $\lambda_1 \geq \cdots \geq \lambda_n$ be its eigenvalues. The largest eigenvalue, $\lambda_1$, is known to be the optimal value for the following optimization problem:
$$\max\limits_{x\in\mathbb{R}^n, x \neq 0} \frac{x^T A x}{x^T x}.$$
This can be rewritten as follows:
$$\min\limits_{x\in\mathbb{R}^n, \x\ = 1} x^T A x.$$
The cost function and its gradient in $\mathbb{R}^n$ read:
$$
\begin{align}
f(x) & = x^T A x,\\
\nabla f(x) & = 2Ax.
\end{align}
$$
The constraint on the vector $x$ requires that $x$ be of unit 2norm, that is, $x$ is a point on the sphere (one of the nicest manifolds):
$$\mathbb{S}^{n1} = \{x \in \mathbb{R}^n : x^Tx = 1\}.$$
This is all the information we need to apply Manopt to our problem.
Users interested in how optimization on manifolds works will be interested in the following too: the cost function is smooth on $\mathbb{S}^{n1}$. Its Riemannian gradient on $\mathbb{S}^{n1}$ at $x$ is a tangent vector to the sphere at $x$. It can be computed as the projection from the usual gradient $\nabla f(x)$ to that tangent space using the orthogonal projector $\mathrm{Proj}_x u = (Ixx^T)u$:
$$\mathrm{grad}\,f(x) = \mathrm{Proj}_x \nabla f(x) = 2(Ixx^T)Ax.$$
This is an example of a mathematical relationship between the
Euclidean gradient $\nabla f$, which we often already know how to
compute from calculus courses, and the Riemannian gradient
$\mathrm{grad}\,f$, which is needed for the optimization.
Fortunately, for most manifolds in Manopt the conversion happens
behind the scenes via a function called egrad2rgrad
and we only need to compute $\nabla f$.
We will solve this simple optimization problem using Manopt to illustrate the most basic usage of the toolbox. For additional theory, see [AMS08], section 4.6.
[AMS08] P.A. Absil, R. Mahony and R. Sepulchre, Optimization Algorithms on Matrix Manifolds (open access), Princeton University Press, 2008.
Solving this optimization problem using Manopt requires little code:
% Generate random problem data. n = 1000; A = randn(n); A = .5*(A+A.'); % Create the problem structure. manifold = spherefactory(n); problem.M = manifold; % Define the problem cost function and its Euclidean gradient. problem.cost = @(x) x'*(A*x); problem.egrad = @(x) 2*A*x; % Numerically check gradient consistency (optional). checkgradient(problem); % Solve. [x, xcost, info, options] = trustregions(problem); % Display some statistics. figure; semilogy([info.iter], [info.gradnorm], '.');
xlabel('Iteration number');
ylabel('Norm of the gradient of f');
Let us look at the code bit by bit. First, we generate some data for our problem and execute these two lines:
manifold = spherefactory(n); problem.M = manifold;
The call to spherefactory
returns a structure describing the manifold $\mathbb{S}^{n1}$,
i.e., the sphere. This manifold corresponds to the constraint
appearing in our optimization problem. For other constraints, take
a look at the various supported manifolds.
The second instruction creates a structure named problem
and sets the field problem.M
to contain the manifold
structure. The problem structure will be populated with everything
a solver could need to know about the problem in order to solve
it, such as the cost function and its gradient:
problem.cost = @(x) x'*(A*x); problem.egrad = @(x) 2*A*x;
The cost function (to be minimized: Manopt always
minimizes) and its derivatives are specified as function
handles. Notice how the gradient was specified as the Euclidean
gradient of $f$, i.e., $\nabla f(x) = 2Ax$ in the function egrad
(mind the "e"). The conversion to the Riemannian gradient happens
behind the scene. This is particularly useful when one is working
with a more complicated manifold.
An alternative to the definition of the gradient is to specify
the Riemannian gradient directly, possibly calling Manopt's egrad2rgrad
conversion tool explicitly:
problem.grad = @(x) manifold.egrad2rgrad(x, 2*A*x);
This is useful if an expression for the Riemannian gradient is
known for example, and it is natural to use that explicitly. Mind
the names: problem.grad
is to specify the Riemannian
gradient. If you want to specify the Euclidean gradient,
the correct name is problem.egrad
, with an "e". For
day to day use, egrad
is the often the preferred way
to go.
cost
egrad
The next instruction is not needed to solve the problem but often helps at the prototyping stage:
checkgradient(problem);
The checkgradient tool verifies numerically that the cost function and its gradient agree up to the appropriate order. See the tools section for more details and more helpful tools offered by Manopt. This tool generates the following figure:
The blue curve seems to have the same slope as the dashed line over a decent segment: that's what we want to see (also check the textual output). We now call a solver for our problem:
[x, xcost, info, options] = trustregions(problem);
This instruction calls trustregions
on our problem, without initial guess and without options
structure. As a result, the solver will generate a random initial
guess automatically and resort to the default values for all
options. As a general feature in Manopt, all options are, well,
optional. The returned values are x
(usually a local
minimizer of the cost function), xcost
(the cost
value attained by x
), info
(a
structarray containing information about the successive
iterations performed by the solver) and options
(a
structure containing all options used and their values: take a
peek to find out what you can parameterize). For more details and
more solvers, see the solvers section.
warning('off', 'manopt:getHessian:approx');
.
Finally, we access the contents of the structarray info
to display the convergence plot of our solver:
semilogy([info.iter], [info.gradnorm], '.');
xlabel('Iteration number');
ylabel('Norm of the gradient of f');
This generates the following figure:
For more information on what data is stored in info
,
see the solvers section.
[info.xxx]
and not simply info.xxx
,
because info
is a Manifolds in Manopt are represented as structures and are obtained by calling a factory. Builtin factories are located in /manopt/manifolds. Picking a manifold corresponds to specifying a search space for the decision variables. For the special (but common) case of a submanifold, the manifold represents a constraint on the decision variables (such as the sphere, which constrains vectors to have unit norm). In the case of a quotient manifold, the manifold captures an invariance in the cost function (such as the Grassmann manifold). Typically, points on the manifold as well as tangent vectors are represented by matrices, but they could be represented by structures, cells, etc.
Manopt comes with a number of implementations for generically useful manifolds. Of course, manifolds can also be userdefined. The best way to build your own is probably to read the code of some of the standard factories and to adapt what needs to be changed. If you develop an interesting manifold factory and would like to share it, be sure to let us know: we would love to add it to Manopt if it can be of interest to other users!
Name  Set  Factory 
Euclidean space (complex)  $\mathbb{R}^{m\times n}$, $\mathbb{C}^{m\times n}$  euclideanfactory(m, n) euclideancomplexfactory(m, n) 
Symmetric matrices  $\{ X \in \mathbb{R}^{n\times n} : X = X^T\}^k$  symmetricfactory(n, k) 
Skewsymmetric matrices  $\{ X \in \mathbb{R}^{n\times n} : X + X^T = 0\}^k$  skewsymmetricfactory(n, k) 
Centered matrices  $\{ X \in \mathbb{R}^{m\times n} : X\mathbf{1}_n = 0_m \}$  centeredmatrixfactory(m, n) 
Sphere  $\{X\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times m} : \X\_\mathrm{F} = 1\}$  spherefactory(n, m) 
Symmetric sphere  $\{X\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times n} : \X\_\mathrm{F} = 1, X = X^T\}$  spheresymmetricfactory(n) 
Complex sphere  $\{X\in\mathbb{C}^{n\times m} : \X\_\mathrm{F} = 1\}$  spherecomplexfactory(n, m) 
Oblique manifold  $\{X\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times m} : \X_{:1}\ = \cdots = \X_{:m}\ = 1\}$  obliquefactory(n, m) 
Complex oblique manifold  $\{X\in\mathbb{C}^{n\times m} : \X_{:1}\ = \cdots = \X_{:m}\ = 1\}$  obliquecomplexfactory(n, m) 
Complex circle  $\{z\in\mathbb{C}^n : z_1 = \cdots = z_n = 1\}$  complexcirclefactory(n) 
Phases of real DFT  $\{z\in\mathbb{C}^n : z_k = 1, z_{1+\operatorname{mod}(k, n)} = \bar{z}_{1+\operatorname{mod}(nk, n)} \ \forall k\}$  realphasefactory(n) 
Stiefel manifold  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times p} : X^TX = I_p\}^k$  stiefelfactory(n, p, k) 
Complex Stiefel manifold  $\{X \in \mathbb{C}^{n \times p} : X^*X = I_p\}^k$  stiefelcomplexfactory(n, p, k) 
Generalized Stiefel manifold  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times p} : X^TBX = I_p\}$ for some $B \succ 0$  stiefelgeneralizedfactory(n, p, B) 
Stiefel manifold, stacked  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{md \times k} : (XX^T)_{ii} = I_d\}$  stiefelstackedfactory(m, d, k) 
Grassmann manifold  $\{\operatorname{span}(X) : X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times p}, X^TX = I_p\}^k$  grassmannfactory(n, p, k) 
Complex Grassmann manifold  $\{\operatorname{span}(X) : X \in \mathbb{C}^{n \times p}, X^TX = I_p\}^k$  grassmanncomplexfactory(n, p, k) 
Generalized Grassmann manifold  $\{\operatorname{span}(X) : X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times p}, X^TBX = I_p\}$ for some $B \succ 0$  grassmannfactory(n, p, B) 
Rotation group  $\{R \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n} : R^TR = I_n, \det(R) = 1\}^k$  rotationsfactory(n, k) 
Special Euclidean group  $\{ (R, t) \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n} \times \mathbb{R}^n : R^TR = I_n, \det(R) = 1 \}^k$  specialeuclideanfactory(n, k) 
Essential manifold  Epipolar constraint between projected points in two perspective views, see Roberto Tron's page  essentialfactory(k, '(un)signed') 
Fixedrank  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n} : \operatorname{rank}(X) = k\}$  fixedrankembeddedfactory(m, n, k) (ref)fixedrankfactory_2factors(m, n, k) (doc)fixedrankfactory_2factors_preconditioned(m, n, k)
(ref)fixedrankfactory_2factors_subspace_projection(m, n, k)
(ref)fixedrankfactory_3factors(m, n, k) (ref)fixedrankMNquotientfactory(m, n, k) (ref) 
Fixedrank tensor  Tensors of fixed multilinear rank in Tucker format  fixedrankfactory_tucker_preconditioned 
Symmetric, positive definite matrices  $\{ X \in \mathbb{R}^{n\times n} : X = X^T, X \succ 0\}^k$  sympositivedefinitefactory(n) 
Symmetric positive semidefinite, fixedrank (complex)  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n} : X = X^T \succeq 0, \operatorname{rank}(X) = k\}$  symfixedrankYYfactory(n, k) symfixedrankYYcomplexfactory(n, k) 
Symmetric positive semidefinite, fixedrank with unit diagonal  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n} : X = X^T \succeq 0, \operatorname{rank}(X) = k, \operatorname{diag}(X) = 1\}$  elliptopefactory(n, k) 
Symmetric positive semidefinite, fixedrank with unit trace  $\{X \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n} : X = X^T \succeq 0, \operatorname{rank}(X) = k, \operatorname{trace}(X) = 1\}$  spectrahedronfactory(n, k) 
Multinomial manifold (strict simplex elements)  $\{ X \in \mathbb{R}^{n\times m} : M_{ij} > 0 \forall i,j \textrm{ and } M^T \mathbf{1}_m = \mathbf{1}_n \}$  multinomialfactory(n, m) 
Bear in mind that a set can often be turned into a Riemannian manifold in many different ways, by choosing one or another metric. Which metric is best for a specific application may vary. This is particularly true for the geometries of the fixedrank matrices. The latter is a hot research topic right now and there is no better method yet than experimenting with various geometries.
productmanifold
and powermanifold
in the tools
section. A manifold structure has a number of fields, most of which
contain function handles. Here is a list of things you might find
in a structure M
returned by a manifold factory:
Name  Field usage  Functionality 
Name  M.name() 
Returns a name for the manifold as a string. 
Dimension  M.dim() 
Returns the dimension of the manifold. 
Metric  M.inner(x, u, v) 
Computes $\langle u, v \rangle_x$. 
Norm  M.norm(x, u) 
Computes $\u\_x = \sqrt{\langle u, u \rangle_x}$ 
Distance  M.dist(x, y) 
Computes $\operatorname{dist}(x, y)$, the Riemannian distance. 
Typical distance  M.typicaldist() 
Returns the "scale" of the manifold. This is used by the trustregions solver for example, to determine default initial and maximal trustregion radii. 
Tangent space projector  M.proj(x, u) 
Computes $\operatorname{Proj}_x u$, the orthogonal projection of the vector $u$ from the ambient or total space to the tangent space at $x$ or to the horizontal space at $x$. 
Euclidean to Riemannian gradient  M.egrad2rgrad(x, egrad) 
For manifolds embedded in a Euclidean space, converts the gradient of $f$ at $x$ seen as a function in that Euclidean space to the Riemannian gradient of $f$ on the manifold. 
Euclidean to Riemannian Hessian  M.ehess2rhess(x, egrad, ehess, u) 
Similarly to egrad2rgrad , converts the
Euclidean gradient and Hessian of $f$ at $x$ along a tangent
vector $u$ to the Riemannian Hessian of $f$ at $x$ along $u$
on the manifold. 
Tangentialize  M.tangent(x, u) 
Retangentializes a vector. The input is a vector in the
tangent vector representation, which possibly (for example
because of error accumulations) is not tangent anymore. The
output will be the "closest" tangent vector to the input. If
tangent vectors are represented in the ambient space, this
is equivalent to proj . 
Tangent to ambient representation  M.tangent2ambient(x, u) 
Tangent vectors are sometimes described differently from their counterpart in the ambient space. This will return the ambient space representation of a tangent vector $u$. Useful when defining the Euclidean Hessian for example. 
Exponential map  M.exp(x, u, t) 
Computes $\operatorname{Exp}_x(tu)$, the point you reach by following the vector $tu$ starting at $x$. 
Retraction  M.retr(x, u, t) 
Computes $\operatorname{Retr}_x(tu)$, where $\operatorname{Retr}$ is a retraction: a cheaper proxy for the exponential map. 
Logarithmic map  M.log(x, y) 
Computes $\operatorname{Log}_x(y)$, a tangent vector at $x$ pointing toward $y$. 
Random point  M.rand() 
Computes a random point on the manifold. 
Random vector  M.randvec(x) 
Computes a random, unitnorm tangent vector in the tangent space at $x$. 
Zero vector  M.zerovec(x) 
Returns the zero tangent vector at $x$. 
Linear combination  M.lincomb(x, a1, u1, a2, u2) 
Computes the tangent vector at $x$: $v = a_1 u_1 + a_2 u_2$, where $a_1, a_2$ are scalars and $u_1, u_2$ are tangent vectors at $x$. The inputs $a_2, u_2$ are optional. 
Vector transport  M.transp(x, y, u) 
Computes a tangent vector at $y$ that "looks like" the tangent vector $u$ at $x$. 
Isometric transport  M.isotransp(x, y, u)  Isometric vector transport 
Pair mean  M.pairmean(x, y) 
Computes the intrinsic mean of $x$ and $y$, that is, a point that lies midway between $x$ and $y$ on the geodesic arc joining them. 
Hashing function  M.hash(x) 
Computes a string that (almost) uniquely identifies the point $x$ and that can serve as a field name for a structure. (Scarcely used since version 2.0) 
Vector representation  M.vec(x, u) 
Returns a real columnvector representation of
the tangent vector $u$. The length of the output is always
the same and at least M.dim() . This function
is linear and invertible on the tangent space at $x$. 
Normal representation  M.mat(x, u_vec) 
The inverse of the vec function: will return
a tangent vector representation from a column vector such
that M.mat(x, M.vec(x, u)) = u . 
vec and mat isometry check  M.vecmatareisometries() 
Returns true if M.vec is a linear isometry,
i.e., if for all tangent vectors $u,v$, M.inner(x, u,
v) == M.vec(x, u).'*M.vec(x, v) . Then, M.mat
is both the adjoint and the inverse of M.vec
(on the tangent space). 
Not all manifold factories populate all of these fields, but that's okay: for many purposes, only a subset of these functions are necessary. Notice that it is also very easy to add or replace fields in a manifold structure returned by a factory, which can be desirable to experiment with various retractions, vector transports, etc. If you find ways to improve the builtin geometries, let us know.
Solvers, or optimization algorithms, are functions in Manopt.
Builtin solvers are located in /manopt/solvers.
In principle, all solvers admit the basic call format x =
mysolver(problem)
. The returned value x
will be a point on the manifold problem.M
. Depending
on the properties of your problem and on the guarantees of the
solver, x
will be more or less close to a good
minimizer of the cost function described in the problem
structure. Bear in mind that we are dealing with usually
nonconvex, and possibly nonsmooth or derivativefree optimization,
so that it is in general not guaranteed that x
will
be a global minimizer of the cost. For smooth problems with
gradient information though, most decent algorithms guarantee that
x
will be a critical point (typically a local
minimizer, but even that is usually not guaranteed in all cases:
this is a fundamental limitation of nonlinear optimization).
In principle, all solvers also admit a more complete call format:
[x, xcost, info, options] = mysolver(problem, x0, options)
.
The output xcost
is the value of the cost function
at the returned point x
. The info
structarray is described below, and contains information
collected at each iteration of the solver's progress. The options
structure is returned too, so you can see what default values the
solver used on top of the options you (possibly) specified. The
input x0
is an initial guess, or initial iterate,
for the solver. It is typically a point on the manifold problem.M
,
but may be something else depending on the solver. It can be
omitted by passing the empty matrix []
instead. The
options
structure is used to fine tune the behavior
of the optimization algorithm. On top of hosting the algorithmic
parameters, it manages the stopping criteria as well as what
information needs to be displayed and / or logged during
execution.
The toolbox comes with a handful of solvers. The most trustworthy is the trustregions algorithm. It is a modification of the code of GenRTR. The toolbox was designed to accommodate many more solvers though, and we expect to propose BFGSstyle solvers, stochastic gradient descents and many more in the future. In particular, we look forward to proposing algorithms for nonsmooth cost functions (which notably arise when L1 penalties are at play).
Name  Requires (benefits of)  Comment  Call 
Trustregions  Cost, gradient (Hessian, approximate Hessian, preconditioner)  #1 choice for smooth optimization; uses FD of the gradient in the absence of Hessian.  trustregions(...) 
Steepestdescent  Cost, gradient  Simple implementation of GD ; the builtin linesearch is backtracking based.  steepestdescent(...) 
Conjugategradient  Cost, gradient (preconditioner)  Often performs better than steepestdescent.  conjugategradient(...) 
BarzilaiBorwein  Cost, gradient  Gradient descent with BB step size heuristic  barzilaiborwein(...) 
BFGS  Cost, gradient  Limitedmemory version of BFGS  rlbfgs(...) 
SGD  Partial gradient (no cost)  Stochastic gradient algorithm for optimization of large sums  stochasticgradient(...) 
Particle swarm (PSO)  Cost  DFO based on a population of points.  pso(...) 
NelderMead  Cost  DFO
based on a simplex; requires M.pairmean ;
limited to (very) lowdimensional problems. 
neldermead(...) 
In Manopt, all options are optional. Standard options are assigned a default value at the toolbox level in /manopt/core/getGlobalDefaults.m (it's a core tool, best not to edit it). Solvers then overwrite and complement these options with solverspecific fields. These options are in turn overwritten by the userspecified options, if any. Here is a list of commonly used options (see each solver's documentation for specific information):
Field name (options."..." ) 
Value type  Description 
Output and information logging  
verbosity 
integer  Controls how much information a solver outputs during execution ; 0: no output; 1 : output at init and at exit; 2: light output at each iteration; more: all you can read. 
debug 
integer  If larger than 0, the solver may perform additional computations for debugging purposes. 
statsfun 
fun. handle 
If you
specify a function handle with prototype Example: options.statsfun = @mystatsfun; function stats = mystatsfun(problem, x, stats) stats.x = x; end This will log all the points visited during the
optimization process in the You may also provide a function handle with this calling
pattern: An alternative is to use the options.statsfun = statsfunhelper('x', @(x) x); The helper can also be used to log more than one metric,
by passing it a structure. In the example below, metrics.x = @(x) x; 
Stopping criteria  
maxiter 
integer  Limits the number of iterations of the solver. 
maxtime 
double  Limits the execution time of the solver, in seconds. 
maxcostevals 
integer  Limits the number of evaluations of the cost function. 
tolcost 
double  Stop as soon as the cost drops below this tolerance. 
tolgradnorm 
double  Stop as soon as the norm of the gradient drops below this tolerance. 
stopfun 
fun. handle 
If you specify a function handle with prototype Example: options.stopfun = @mystopfun; function stopnow = mystopfun(problem, x, info, last) stopnow = (last >= 3 && info(last2).cost  info(last).cost < 1e3); end This will tell the solver to exit as soon as two successive iterations combined have decreased the cost by less than 10^{3}. 
Linesearch  
linesearch 
fun. handle 
Some solvers, such as Manopt includes certain generic
purpose linesearch algorithms. To force the use of
one of them or of your own, specify this in the options
structure (not in the problem structure) as follows: For certain problems, you may want to implement your own
linesearch, typically in order to exploit structure
specific to the problem at hand. To this end, it is best
to start from an existing linesearch function and to
adapt it. Alternatively (and perhaps more easily), you may
specify a 
Miscellaneous  
storedepth 
integer  Maximum number of store structures that may
be kept in memory (see the cost
description section). 
Keep in mind that a specific solver may not use all of these options and may use additional options, which would then be described on the solver's documentation page.
stopfun
in your options
structure. The various solvers will log information at each iteration about
their progress. This information is returned in the output info
,
a structarray, that is, an array of structures. Read this MathWorks blog post for help on dealing with
this data container in Matlab. For example, to extract a vector containing the cost value at each iteration, call [info.cost]
with the brackets. Here are the typical indicators
that might be present in the info
output:
Field name ([info."..."] ) 
Value type  Description 
iter 
integer  Iteration number (0 corresponds to the initial guess). 
time 
double  Elapsed execution time until completion of the iterate, in seconds. 
cost 
double  Attained value of the cost function. 
gradnorm 
double  Attained value for the norm of the gradient. 
A specific solver may not populate all of these fields and may provide additional fields, which would then be described in the solver's documentation.
statsfun
in your options
structure.statsfun
, as it usually performs
computations that are not needed to solve the optimization
problem. If, however, you use information logged by statsfun
for your stopfun
criterion, and if this is important
for your method (i.e., it is not just for convenience during
prototyping), you should time the execution time of statsfun
and add it to the stats.time
field. An optimization problem in Manopt is represented as a problem
structure. The latter must include a field problem.M
which contains a structure describing a manifold, as obtained from
a factory. On top of this, the problem
structure must include some fields that describe the cost function
$f$ to be minimized and, possibly, its derivatives.
The solvers will not query these function handles
directly. Instead, they call core (internal) tools such as getCost
,
getGradient
, getHessian
, etc. These
tools will consider the available fields in the problem structure
and "do their best" to return the required object.
As a result, we gain great flexibility in the cost function
description. Indeed, as the needs grow during the lifecycle of
the toolbox and new ways of describing the cost function become
necessary, it suffices to update the core get*
tools
to take these new ways into account. We seldom have to modify the
solvers.
You may specify as many of the following fields as you wish in
the problem
structure. If you specify some function
more than once (for example, if you define diff
and
grad
, both of which could be used to compute
directional derivatives), the toolbox does not specify which will
be called (hence, it is better not to, or to be really sure about
consistency). Probably, the toolbox would assume the code for diff
is more efficient than the code for grad
when only a
directional derivative is needed, but there is no guarantee.
Bottom line: they should be consistent (profile if need be).
In the table below, each function admits three different calling patterns. The first one is the simplest and is perfectly fine for prototyping. The other calling patterns give explicit access to Manopt's caching system, which is documented below.
Field name (problem."..." ) 
Prototype  Description 
cost 
f = cost(x) [f, store] = cost(x, store) f = cost(x, storedb, key) 
$f = f(x)$ 
grad 
g = grad(x) [g, store] = grad(x, store) g = grad(x, storedb, key) 
$g = \operatorname{grad} f(x)$ 
costgrad 
[f, g] = costgrad(x) [f, g, store] = costgrad(x, store) [f, g] = costgrad(x, storedb, key) 
Computes both $f = f(x)$ and $g = \operatorname{grad} f(x)$. 
egrad 
eg = egrad(x) [eg, store] = egrad(x, store) eg = egrad(x, storedb, key) 
For submanifolds of a Euclidean space or quotient spaces
with a Euclidean total space, computes $eg = \nabla f(x)$,
the gradient of $f$ "as if" it were defined in that
Euclidean space. This will be passed to Function 
partialgrad 
pg = partialgrad(x, I) [pg, store] = partialgrad(x, I, store) pg = partialgrad(x, I, storedb, key) 
Assume the cost function 
partialegrad 
peg = partialegrad(x, I) [peg, store] = partialegrad(x, I, store) peg = partialegrad(x, I, storedb, key) 
Same as 
approxgrad 
g = approxgrad(x) [g, store] = approxgrad(x, store) g = approxgrad(x, storedb, key) 
Approximation for the gradient of the cost at $x$. Solvers asking for the gradient when one is not provided will automatically fall back to this approximation. If it is not provided either, a standard finitedifference approximation of the gradient based on the cost is builtin. This is slow because it involves generatin an orthonormal basis of the tangent space at $x$ and computing a finite difference of the cost along each basis vector. This is useful almost exclusively for prototyping. Because of the limited accuracy, it may be necessary to increase 
subgrad  g = subgrad(x, tol) [g, store] = subgrad(x, tol, store) g = subgrad(x, tol, storedb, key)  Returns a Riemannian subgradient of the cost function at $x$, with a tolerance tol which is a nonnegative real number. If you wish to return the minimal norm subgradient (which may help solvers), see the smallestinconvexhull tool. 
diff 
d = diff(x, u) [d, store] = diff(x, u, store) d = diff(x, u, storedb, key) 
$d = \operatorname{D}\! f(x)[u]$ defines directional derivatives. If the gradient exists, it can be computed from this (slowly.) 
hess 
h = hess(x, u) [h, store] = hess(x, u, store) h = hess(x, u, storedb, key) 
$h = \operatorname{Hess} f(x)[u]$ 
ehess 
eh = ehess(x, u) [eh, store] = ehess(x, u, store) eh = ehess(x, u, storedb, key) 
For submanifolds of a Euclidean space or quotient spaces
with a Euclidean total space, computes $eh = \nabla^2
f(x)[u]$, the Hessian of $f$ along $u$ "as if" it were
defined in that Euclidean space. This will be passed to Function 
approxhess 
h = approxhess(x, u) [h, store] = approxhess(x, u, store) h = approxhess(x, u, storedb, key) 
This can be any mapping from the tangent space at $x$ to itself. Often, one would like for it to be a linear, symmetric operator. Solvers asking for the Hessian when one is not provided will automatically fall back to this approximate Hessian. If it is not provided either, a standard finitedifference approximation of the Hessian based on the gradient is builtin. 
precon 
v = precon(x, u) [v, store] = precon(x, u, store) v = precon(x, u, storedb, key) 
$v = \operatorname{Prec}(x)[u]$, where $\operatorname{Prec}(x)$ is a preconditioner for the Hessian $\operatorname{Hess} f(x)$, that is, $\operatorname{Prec}(x)$ is a symmetric, positivedefinite linear operator (w.r.t. the Riemannian metric) on the tangent space at $x$. Ideally, it is cheap to compute and such that solving a linear system in $\operatorname{Prec}^{1/2}(x) \circ \operatorname{Hess} f(x) \circ \operatorname{Prec}^{1/2}(x)$ is easier than without the preconditioner, i.e., it should approximate the inverse of the Hessian. 
sqrtprecon 
v = sqrtprecon(x, u) [v, store] = sqrtprecon(x, u, store) v = sqrtprecon(x, u, storedb, key) 
$v = \operatorname{Prec}^{1/2}(x)[u]$, where
$\operatorname{Prec}^{1/2}(x)$ is an (operator) square root
of a preconditioner for the Hessian $\operatorname{Hess}
f(x)$, that is, $\operatorname{Prec}^{1/2}(x)$ is a
symmetric, positivedefinite linear operator (w.r.t. the
Riemannian metric) on the tangent space at $x$, and applying
it twice should amount to applying $\operatorname{Prec}(x)$
once. Solvers typically use precon rather than
sqrtprecon , but some tools (such as hessianspectrum)
can use sqrtprecon to speed up computations. 
linesearch 
t = linesearch(x, u) [t, store] = linesearch(x, u, store) t = linesearch(x, u, storedb, key) 
Given a point $x$ and a tangent vector $u$ at $x$, assume
$u$ is a descent direction. This means there exists $t
> 0$ such that $\phi(t) < \phi(0)$ with There are builtin, generic ways of doing this. If you
have additional structure in your problem that enables you
to take a good guess at what $t$ should be, than you can
specify it here, in this function handle. This (very much
optional) function should return a positive $t > 0$
such that $t$ is a good guess of where to look for a
minimizer of $\phi$. The linesearch algorithm (if it
decides to use this information) will start by looking at
the step $td$, and decide to accept it or not based on its
internal rules. See the 
Here is one way to address the redundant computation of $Ax$ that appeared in the first example. Replace the cost and gradient description (code lines 1112) with the following code (we chose to spell out the gradient projection, but that is not necessary):
problem.costgrad = @(x) mycostgrad(A, x); function [f, g] = mycostgrad(A, x) Ax = A*x; f = x'*Ax; if nargout == 2 g = 2*(Ax + f*x); end end
Solvers that call subsequently for the cost and the gradient at
the same point will be able to escape most redundant computations
(e.g., steepestdescent
and conjugategradient
are good at this). This is not perfect though: when the Hessian is
requested for example, we can't access our hard work (trustregions
would not gain much for example). In the next section, we cover a
more sophisticated way of sharing data between components of the
cost description.
As demonstrated in the first example, it is often the case that computing $f(x)$ produces intermediate results (such as the product $Ax$) that can be reused in order to compute $\operatorname{grad} f(x)$. More generally, computing anything at a point $x$ may produce intermediate results that could be reused for other computations at $x$. Furthermore, it may happen that a solver will call costrelated functions more than once at the same point $x$. For those cases, it may be beneficial to cache (to store) some of the previously computed objects, or intermediate calculations.
For that purpose, Manopt manages a database of store
structures, with a class called StoreDB. For each
visited point $x$, a store
structure is stored in
the database. Only the structures pertaining to the most recently
used points are kept in memory (see the options.storedepth
option). StoreDB manages a counter, to
number visited points on the manifold. In principle, each point
$x$ receives a key
. This key can be used to interact
with the store associated to $x$.
Whenever a solver calls, say, the cost
function at
some point $x$, the toolbox will search for a store
structure pertaining to that $x$ in the database. If there is one
and if the cost
function admits store
as an input and as an output, the store
is passed to
the cost
function. The cost
function
then performs its duty and gets to modify the store
structure at will: it is your structure, do whatever
you fancy with it. Next time a function is called at the same
point $x$ (say, the grad
function), the same
store
structure will be passed along, modified, and
stored again. As soon as the solver goes on to explore a new point
$x'$, a different store
structure is
created and maintained in the same way. If the solver then decides
to return to the previous $x$ and options.storedepth
is larger than 2, we will still benefit from the previously stored
work as the previous store
structure will still be
available.
As of Manopt 1.0.8, the store structure also includes a field at
store.shared
. The contents of that field are shared
among all visited points $x$. This makes a number of things
possible that were not manageable before. One particular
application is to use the shared memory to count certain
operations (for example, to count how many times a certain matrix
is applied to vectors, across all points and across all
cost/grad/hess/precon/... capacities). Note that this memory is
also readable from statsfun
(see statsfun
documentation and the maxcut
example).
When given access to storedb
and a key
associated to $x$ rather than to a specific store, the store of
$x$ can be obtained as store = storedb.getStore(key)
.
Put the modified store back in the database with storedb.set(store,
key)
. Access the shared memory directly as storedb.shared
,
not via store.shared
. This is important: store
might have a store.shared
field, but when storedb
and key
are explicitly used, store.shared
will not be populated or read on get/set. Each point $x$ should be
associated to a key, which is obtained by calling storedb.getNewKey()
.
From time to time, call storedb.purge()
to reduce
memory usage.
Here is an example of how we can modify the first example to avoid redundant computations, using the caching mechanism:
problem.cost = @mycost; function [f, store] = mycost(x, store) if ~isfield(store, 'Ax') store.Ax = A*x; % The store memory is associated to a specific x end Ax = store.Ax; if ~isfield(store, 'f') store.f = x'*Ax; end f = store.f; end problem.grad = @mygrad; function [g, store] = mygrad(x, store) % This could be placed in a separate function % to avoid code duplication. if ~isfield(store, 'Ax') [~, store] = mycost(x, store); end Ax = store.Ax; if ~isfield(store, 'g') store.g = manifold.egrad2rgrad(x, 2*Ax); end g = store.g; end
It is instructive to execute such code with the profiler activated and to look at how many times each instruction gets executed. You should find that line 5 in the code, which is where all the work happens, is executed exactly as often as it should be, and not more.
store
structure are populated; and if they are
not, call the appropriate functions to make up for it, as in the
example above. A number of generically useful tools in the context of using
Manopt are available in /manopt/tools.
The multitransp
/ multiprod
pair is
code by Paolo
de Leva ; multitrace
is a wrapper around diagsum
,
which is code by Wynton
Moore.

Call  Description 

Diagnostics tools  
checkdiff(problem, x, u) 
Numerical check of the directional derivatives of the cost
function. From a truncated Taylor expansion, we know that the
following holds: $$f(\operatorname{Exp}_x(tu))  \left[f(x) +
t\cdot\operatorname{D}\!f(x)[u]\right] = \mathcal{O}(t^2).$$
Hence, in a loglog plot with $\log(t)$ on the abscissa, the
error should behave as $\log(t^2) = 2\log(t)$, i.e., we should
observe a slope of 2. This tool produces such a plot and tries
to compute the slope of it (tries to, because numerical
errors prevent the curve to have a slope of 2 everywhere even if
directional derivatives are correct; so you should really just
inspect the plot visually). If x and u
are omitted, they are picked at random. 

checkgradient(problem, x, u) 
Numerical check of the gradient of the cost function. Based on
the statement that if the gradient exists, than it is the only
tangent vector field that satisfies $$\langle
\operatorname{grad} f(x), u\rangle_x =
\operatorname{D}\!f(x)[u],$$ this tool calls checkdiff
first, and it also verifies that the gradient is indeed a
tangent vector, by computing the norm of the difference between
the gradient and its projection to the tangent space (if a
projector is available). Of course, this should be zero. 

checkhessian(problem, x, u) 
Numerical check of the Hessian of the cost function. From a
truncated Taylor expansion, we know that the following holds:
$$f(\operatorname{Exp}_x(tu))  \left[f(x) +
t\cdot\operatorname{D}\!f(x)[u] + \frac{t^2}{2} \cdot \langle
\operatorname{Hess} f(x)[u], u \rangle_x\right] =
\mathcal{O}(t^3).$$ Hence, in a loglog plot with $\log(t)$ on
the abscissa, the error should behave as $\log(t^3) =
3\log(t)$, i.e., we should observe a slope of 3. This tool
produces such a plot and tries to compute the slope of it (tries
to, because numerical errors prevent the curve to have a slope
of 3 everywhere even if the derivatives are correct; so you
should really just inspect the plot visually). If The Hessian is a linear, symmetric operator from the tangent space at $x$ to itself. To verify symmetry, this tool generates two random tangent vectors $u_1$ and $u_2$ and computes the difference $$\langle \operatorname{Hess} f(x)[u_1], u_2 \rangle_x  \langle u_1, \operatorname{Hess} f(x)[u_2]\rangle_x,$$ which should be zero. 

checkretraction(M, x, v) 
For manifolds M which have a correct exponential map M.exp implemented, this tool allows to check the order of agreement of the retraction M.retr with the exponential. A slope of 2 indicates the retraction is a firstorder approximation of the exponential (which is necessary for most (all?) convergence theorems to hold.) A slope of 3 indicates the retraction is secondorder, which may be necessary theoretically to prove convergence to secondorder KKT points. In practice, this may have little impact. The check is conducted at point x along direction v ; these are generated at random if omitted. 

plotprofile(problem, x, d, t) 
Plots the cost function along a geodesic or a retraction path starting at $x$, along direction $d$. See help plotprofile for more information.  
surfprofile(problem, x, d1, d2, t1, t2) 
Plots the cost function, lifted and restricted to a 2dimensional subspace of the tangent space at $x$. See help surfprofile for more information.  

Cost analysis  
lambdas = hessianspectrum(problem, x, useprecon, storedb,
key) 
Computes the eigenvalues of the Hessian $H$ at $x$. If a
preconditioner $P$ is specified in the problem structure and This function relies on If a preconditioner is used, the symmetry of the eigenvalue
problem is lost: $H$ and $P$ are symmetric, but $HP$ is not. If


[u, lambda] = hessianextreme(problem, x, side, u0,
options, storedb, key) 
Computes either an eigenvector / eigenvalue pair associated to
a largest or to a smallest eigenvalue of the Hessian of the cost
at


[H, basis] = hessianmatrix(problem, x, basis) 
Given a 

cp_problem = criticalpointfinder(problem)  Given a problem structure for a twice continuously differentiable cost function $f(x)$, returns a new problem structure for the cost function $g(x) = \frac{1}{2} \ \operatorname{grad} f(x) \^2_x$, whose optima are all the critical points of the original problem. Thus, running solvers on the new problem from various initial points can help understand the critical points of the original problem. The gradient of $g$ is computed via $\operatorname{grad} g(x) = \operatorname{Hess} f(x)[\operatorname{grad} f(x)]$, and an approximate Hessian can also be generated.  

Matrix utilities  
B = multiscale(scale, A) 
For a 3D matrix A of size nxmxN and a
vector scale of length N, returns B ,
a 3D matrix of the same size as A such that B(:,
:, k) = scale(k) * A(:, :, k) k .


tr = multitrace(A) 
For a 3D matrix A of size nxnxN, returns a
column vector tr of length N such that tr(k)
= trace(A(:, :, k)) k . 

sq = multisqnorm(A) 
For a 3D matrix A of size nxmxN, returns a
column vector sq of length N such that sq(k)
= norm(A(:, :, k), 'fro')^2 k .


B = multitransp(A) 
For a 3D matrix A of size nxmxN, returns B ,
a 3D matrix of size mxnxN such that B(:, :,
k) = A(:, :, k).' k . 

B = multihconj(A) 
For a complex 3D matrix A of size nxmxN,
returns B , a complex 3D matrix of size mxnxN
such that B(:, :, k) = A(:, :, k)' k . 

C = multiprod(A, B) 
For 3D matrices A of size nxpxN and B of
size pxmxN, returns C , a 3D matrix of size nxmxN
such that C(:, :, k) = A(:, :, k) * B(:, :, k) k . 

B = multiskew(A) 
For a 3D matrix A of size nxnxN, returns a
3D matrix B the same size as A such that
each slice B(:, :, i) is the skewsymmetric part of
the slice A(:, :, i) , that is, (A(:, :, i)A(:,
:, i)')/2 . 

B = multisym(A) 
For a 3D matrix A of size nxnxN, returns a
3D matrix B the same size as A such that
each slice B(:, :, i) is the symmetric part of the
slice A(:, :, i) , that is, (A(:, :, i)+A(:, :,
i).')/2 . 

B = multiherm(A) 
For a complex 3D matrix A of size nxnxN,
returns a complex 3D matrix B the same size as A
such that each slice B(:, :, i) is the Hermitian part
of the slice A(:, :, i) , that is, (A(:, :,
i)+A(:, :, i)')/2 . 

dfunm , dlogm , dexpm , dsqrtm 
Fréchet derivatives of the (builtin) matrix functions logm ,
expm and sqrtm . 


Manifold utilities  
Mn = powermanifold(M, n) 
Given M , a structure representing a manifold
$\mathcal{M}$, and n , an integer, returns Mn ,
a structure representing the manifold $\mathcal{M}^n$. The geometry is
obtained by elementwise extension. Points and vectors on Mn
are represented as cells of length n . 

M = productmanifold(elements) 
Given elements , a structure with fields A, B,
C... containing structures Ma, Mb, Mc... such
that Ma is a structure representing a manifold
$\mathcal{M}_A$ etc., returns M , a structure
representing the manifold $\mathcal{M}_A \times \mathcal{M}_B \times
\mathcal{M}_C \times \cdots$. The geometry is obtained by elementwise
extension. Points and vectors are represented as structures with the
same field names as elements . 

N = tangentspherefactory(M, x) 
Given a manifold structure M and a point on that
manifold x , returns a manifold structure N
representing the unit sphere on the tangent space to M
at x . This is notably used by the hessianextreme tool. 

N = tangentspacefactory(M, x) 
Given a manifold structure M and a point on that
manifold x , returns a manifold structure N
representing the tangent space to M at x .
This is notably used by the preconhessiansolve
preconditioner. 

vec = lincomb(M, x, vecs, coeffs) 
Given a cell vecs of $n$ tangent vectors to the manifold M at x and a vector coeffs of $n$ real coefficients, returns the linear combination of the given vectors with the given coefficients. The empty linear combination is the zero vector at x . 

vec = tangent2vec(M, x, B, u)  Given a tangent vector u and an orthogonal basis B on the corresponding tangent space, returns the coordinates vec of the vector in that basis. The inverse operation is lincomb , see above.  
G = grammatrix(M, x, vectors) 
Given $n$ tangent vectors $v_1, \ldots, v_n$ in a cell vectors to the manifold M at point x , returns a symmetric, positive semidefinite matrix G of size $n\times n$ such that $G_{ij} = \langle v_i, v_j \rangle_x$. 

[orthobasis, L] = orthogonalize(M, x, basis) 
Given a cell basis which contains linearly independent tangent vectors to the manifold M at x , returns an orthogonal basis of the subspace spanned by the give basis. L is an upper triangular matrix containing the coefficients of the linear combinations needed to transform basis into orthobasis . 

obasis = tangentorthobasis(M, x, n) 
Given a point x on the manifold M , generates n unitnorm, pairwise orthogonal vectors in the tangent space at x to M , in a cell. 

[u_norm, coeffs, u] = smallestinconvexhull(M, x, U) 
Computes u , a tangent vector to M at x contained in the convex hull spanned by the $n$ vectors in the cell U , with minimal norm (according to the Riemannian metric on M ). This is obtained by solving a convex quadratic program involving the Gram matrix of the given tangent vectors. The quadratic program is solved using Matlab's builtin quadprog , which requires the optimization toolbox. 


Solver utilities  
[x, cost, info, options] = manoptsolve(problem, x0, options) 
Gateway function to call a Manopt solver. You may specify which solver
to call by setting options.solver to a function handle
corresponding to a solver. Otherwise, a solver will be picked
automatically. This is mainly useful when programming meta algorithms
which need to solve a Manopt problem at some point, but one wants to
leave the decision of which solver to use up to the final user. 

statsfun = statsfunhelper(name, fun) statsfun = statsfunhelper(S) 
Helper function to place a function handle in the field options.statsfun .
See the help about the statsfun option earlier
in this tutorial, and/or the help for statsfunhelper
from the command line. 
checkhessian
tool, it is important to obtain both a slope of 3 and to
pass the symmetry test. Indeed, the slope test ignores the skewsymmetric part
of the Hessian, since $x^T A x = x^T \frac{A+A^T}{2} x$. As a result, if your
code for the Hessian has a spurious skewsymmetric part, the slope test will
be oblivious to it. Internally, Manopt uses a number of tools to manipulate problem structures,
solvers and manifolds. These tools are listed here. One central tool was
already documented in the caching system
description: the StoreDB
class. Because the toolbox targets flexibility in the problem
description, the cost, gradient, Hessian etc. can be specified in a number
of different ways in a problem structure. Thus, to evaluate costrelated
quantities, it is best to use the functions below, rather than to
immediately use fields in the problem structure. For example, call getCost rather than problem.cost
.
These tools are specifically useful for solver developers.
The inputs storedb
and key
are usually
optional. It is a good idea to pass them if they are available, as this
allows for caching to be used.
Functions called canGet***
return true if the problem
structure provides sufficient information for Manopt to compute ***
exactly; they return false otherwise. If false is returned, that does not imply a call to get***
will fail. For example, if the problem structure specifies the gradient via problem.grad
but it does not provide the Hessian, there is not enough information to compute the exact Hessian. Hence, canGetHessian
will return false. Yet, a call to getHessian
will return something; namely, a finite difference approximation of the Hessian for the provided inputs. Typically, solver and tool developers will call canGet***
functions to assess what can be done with the given problem structure, and issue appropriate warnings as needed; then proceed to call the get***
functions anyway. The general philosophy is that Manopt will try to do its best to answer the question asked (with the caveat that it might be slow or inaccurate.)
A reference is available here, to help navigate the source code of the toolbox. It was generated with m2html.