# Lecture 1 Newton s method.

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1 Lecture 1 Newton s method.

2 1 Square roots 2 Newton s method. The guts of the method. A vector version. Implementation. The existence theorem. Basins of attraction.

3 The Babylonian algorithm for finding a square root. Perhaps the oldest algorithm in recorded history is the Babylonian algorithm (circa 2000BCE) for computing square roots: If we want to find the square root of a positive number a we start with some approximation, x 0 > 0 and then recursively define x n+1 = 1 ) (x n + axn. (1) 2 This is a very effective algorithm which converges extremely rapidly.

4 Example: the square root of 2. Here is an illustration. Suppose we want to find the square root of 2 and start with the really stupid approximation x 0 = 99. We get:

5

6 Analyzing the steps. For the first seven steps we are approximately dividing by two in passing from one step to the next, also (approximately) cutting the error - the deviation from the true value - in half

7 After line eight the accuracy improves dramatically: the ninth value, is correct to two decimal places. The tenth value is correct to five decimal places, and the eleventh value is correct to eleven decimal places

8 Why does this work so well? To see why this algorithm works so well (for general a), first observe that the algorithm is well defined, in that we are steadily taking the average of positive quantities, and hence, by induction, x n > 0 for all n. Introduce the relative error in the n th approximation: e n := x n a a so As x n > 0, it follows that x n = (1 + e n ) a. e n > 1.

9 so As x n > 0, it follows that e n = x n a a x n = (1 + e n ) a. e n > 1. Then x n+1 = a 1 2 (1 + e n + 1 ) = a(1 + 1 en 2 ). 1 + e n e n This gives us a recursion formula for the relative error: e n+1 = e2 n 2 + 2e n. (2)

10 e n+1 = e2 n 2 + 2e n. (2) This implies that e 1 > 0 so after the first step we are always overshooting the mark. Now 2e n < 2 + 2e n so (2) implies that e n+1 < 1 2 e n so the error is cut in half (at least) at each stage and hence, in particular, x 1 > x 2 >, the iterates are steadily decreasing.

11 e n+1 = e2 n 2 + 2e n. (2) Eventually we will reach the stage that e n < 1. From this point on, we use the inequality 2 + 2e n > 2 in (2) and we get the estimate e n+1 < 1 2 e2 n. (3)

12 Exponential rate of convergence. e n+1 < 1 2 e2 n. (3) So if we renumber our approximation so that 0 e 0 < 1 then (ignoring the 1/2 factor in (3)) we have an exponential rate of convergence. 0 e n < e 2n 0, (4)

13 Starting with a negative initial value. If we had started with an x 0 < 0 then all the iterates would be < 0 and we would get exponential convergence to a. Of course, had we been so foolish as to pick x 0 = 0 we could not get the iteration started.

14 Newton s method. This is a generalization of the above algorithm to find the zeros of a function P = P(x) and which reduces to (1) when P(x) = x 2 a. It is x n+1 = x n P(x n) P (x n ). (5) If we take P(x) = x 2 a then P (x) = 2x the expression on the right in (5) is ) 1 (x n + axn 2 so (5) reduces to (1).

15 Here is a graphic illustration of Newton s method applied to the function y = x 3 x with the initial point 2. Notice that what we are doing is taking the tangent to the curve at the point (x, y) and then taking as our next point, the intersection of this tangent with the x-axis. This makes the method easy to remember.

16 T

17 A fixed point of the iteration scheme is a solution to our problem. Also notice that if x is a fixed point of this iteration scheme, i.e. if x = x P(x) P (x) then P(x) = 0 and we have a solution to our problem. To the extent that x n+1 is close to x n we will be close to a solution (the degree of closeness depending on the size of P(x n )).

18 Caveat. In the general case we can not expect that most points will converge to a zero of P as was the case in the square root algorithm. After all, P might not have any zeros. Nevertheless, we will show in this lecture that if we are close enough to a zero - that P(x 0 ) is sufficiently small in a sense to be made precise - then (5) converges exponentially fast to a zero.

19 The guts of the method. Suppose we know that we are close to an actual zero. Before embarking on the formal proof, let us describe what is going on on the assumption that we know the existence of a zero - say by graphically plotting the function. So let z be a zero for the function f of a real variable, and let x be a point in the interval (z µ, z + µ) of radius µ about z. Then so f (x) = f (z) f (x) = f (x) (z x)f (x) = z x z x f (s)ds (f (s) f (x))ds.

20 The guts of the method. f (x) (z x)f (x) = z x (f (s) f (x))ds. Assuming f (x) 0 we may divide both sides by f (x) to obtain ( x f (x) ) f z = 1 z (x) f (f (s) f (x))ds. (6) (x) x

21 The guts of the method. ( x f (x) ) f z = 1 z (x) f (f (s) f (x))ds. (6) (x) x Assume that for all y (z µ, z + µ) we have f (y) ρ > 0 (7) f (y 1 ) f (y 2 ) δ y 1 y 2 (8) Then setting x = x old in (6) and letting in (6) we obtain x new z δ ρ µ ρ/δ. (9) x new := x f (x) f (x) z x old s x old ds = δ 2ρ x old z 2.

22 The guts of the method. z x new z δ s x old ds = δ ρ x old 2ρ x old z 2. µ ρ/δ. (9) Since x old z < µ it follows that by (9). Thus the iteration x new z 1 2 µ x x f (x) f (x) is well defined. At each stage it more than halves the distance to the zero and has the quadratic convergence property x new z δ 2ρ x old z 2. (10)

23 The guts of the method. Unless some such stringent hypotheses are satisfied, there is no guarantee that the process will converge to the nearest root, or converge at all. Furthermore, encoding a computation for f (x) may be difficult. In practice, one replaces f by an approximation, and only allows Newton s method to proceed if in fact it does not take us out of the interval. We will return to these points, but first rephrase the above argument in terms of a vector variable.

24 A vector version. Letting x be a vector variable. Now let f a function of a vector variable, with a zero at z and x a point in the ball of radius µ centered at z. Let v x := z x and consider the function t : f (x + tv x ) which takes the value f (z) when t = 1 and the value f (x) when t = 0. Differentiating with respect to t using the chain rule gives f (x + tv x )v x (where f denotes the derivative =(the Jacobian matrix) of f. Hence f (x) = f (z) f (x) = 1 0 f (x + tv x )v x dt.

25 A vector version. This gives f (x) = f (z) f (x) = 1 0 f (x + tv x )v x dt. f (x) f (x)v x = f (x) f (x)(z x) = 1 0 [f (x+tv x ) f (x)]v x dt. Applying [f (x)] 1 (which we assume to exist) gives the analogue of (6): ( x [f (x)] 1 f (x) ) 1 z = [f (x)] 1 [f (x + tv x ) f (x)]v x dt. 0

26 A vector version. ( x [f (x)] 1 f (x) ) 1 z = [f (x)] 1 [f (x + tv x ) f (x)]v x dt. Assume that [f (y)] 1 ρ 1 (11) 0 f (y 1 ) f (y 2 ) δ y 1 y 2 (12) for all y, y 1, y 2 in the ball of radius µ about z, and assume also that µ ρ/δ holds. Setting x old = x and gives x new z δ ρ x new := x old [f (x old )] 1 f (x old ) 1 0 t v x v x dt = δ 2ρ x old z 2. From here on we can argue as in the one dimensional case.

27 Implementation. Problems with implementation of Newton s method. We return to the one dimensional case. In numerical practice we have to deal with two problems: it may not be easy to encode the derivative, and we may not be able to tell in advance whether the conditions for Newton s method to work are indeed fulfilled. In case f is a polynomial, MATLAB has an efficient command polyder for computing the derivative of f. Otherwise we replace the derivative by the slope of the secant, which requires the input of two initial values, call them x and x c and replaces the derivative in Newton s method by f app(x c ) = f (x c) f (x ) x c x.

28 Implementation. f app(x c ) = f (x c) f (x ) x c x. So at each stage of the Newton iteration we carry along two values of x, the current value denoted say by xc and the old value denoted by x. We also carry along two values of f, the value of f at xc denoted by fc and the value of f at x denoted by f. So the Newton iteration will look like fpc=(fc-f )/(xc-x ); xnew=xc-fc/fpc; x -=xc; f =fc; xc=xnew; fc=feval(fname,xc);

29 Implementation. fpc=(fc-f )/(xc-x ); xnew=xc-fc/fpc; x -=xc; f =fc; xc=xnew; fc=feval(fname,xc); In the last line, the command feval is the MATLAB evaluation of a function command: if fname is a script (that is an expression enclosed in ) giving the name of a function, then feval(fname,x) evaluates the function at the point x.

30 Implementation. The second issue - that of deciding whether Newton s method should be used at all - is handled as follows: If the zero in question is a critical point, so that f (z) = 0, there is no chance of Newton s method working. So let us assume that f (z) 0, which means that f changes sign at z, a fact that we can verify by looking at the graph of f. So assume that we have found an interval [a, b] containing the zero we are looking for, and such that f takes on opposite signs at the end-points: f (a)f (b) < 0.

31 Implementation. f (a)f (b) < 0. A sure but slow method of narrowing in on a zero of f contained in this interval is the bisection method : evaluate f at the midpoint 1 2 (a + b). If this value has a sign opposite to that of f (a) replace b by 1 2 (a + b). Otherwise replace a by 1 2 (a + b). This produces an interval of half the length of [a, b] containing a zero. The idea now is to check at each stage whether Newton s method leaves us in the interval, in which case we apply it, or else we apply the bisection method. We now turn to the more difficult existence problem.

32 The existence theorem. For the purposes of the proof, in order to simplify the notation, let us assume that we have shifted our coordinates so as to take x 0 = 0. Also let B = {x : x 1}. We need to assume that P (x) is nowhere zero, and that P (x) is bounded. In fact, we assume that there is a constant K such that P (x) 1 K, P (x) K, x B. (13)

33 The existence theorem. Proposition. Let τ = 3 2 and choose the K in (13) so that K 23/4. Let c = 8 ln K. 3 Then if P(0) K 5 (14) the recursion (5) starting with x 0 = 0 satisfies x n B n (15) and x n x n 1 e cτ n. (16) In particular, the sequence {x n } converges to a zero of P.

34 The existence theorem. To prove: x n B n (15) and x n x n 1 e cτ n. (16) In fact, we will prove a somewhat more general result. So we will let τ be any real number satisfying 1 < τ < 2 and we will choose c in terms of K and τ to make the proof work. First of all we notice that (15) is a consequence of (16) if c is sufficiently large. In fact, so x j = (x j x j 1 ) + + (x 1 x 0 ) x j x j x j x 1 x 0.

35 The existence theorem. x j x j x j x 1 x 0. Using (16) for each term on the right gives x j j e cτ n < 1 e cτ n < 1 e cn(τ 1) = 1 e c(τ 1) 1 e c(τ 1). Here the third inequality follows from writing by the binomial formula τ = 1 + (τ 1) so τ n = 1 + n(τ 1) + > n(τ 1) since τ > 1. The equality is obtained by summing the geometric series.

36 The existence theorem. x j e c(τ 1) 1 e c(τ 1). So if we choose c sufficiently large that e c(τ 1) 1 (17) 1 e c(τ 1) (15) follows from (16). This choice of c is conditioned by our choice of τ. But at least we now know that if we can arrange that (16) holds, then by choosing a possibly larger value of c (so that (16) continues to hold) we can guarantee that the algorithm keeps going.

37 The existence theorem. So let us try to prove (16) by induction. If we assume it is true for n, we may write x n+1 x n = S n P(x n ) where we set S n = P (x n ) 1. (18) We use the first inequality in (13) which says that P (x) 1 K, and the definition (5) for the case n 1 (which says that x n = x n 1 S n 1 P(x n 1 )) to get S n P(x n ) K P(x n 1 S n 1 P(x n 1 )). (19)

38 The existence theorem. S n P(x n ) K P(x n 1 S n 1 P(x n 1 )). (19) Taylor s formula with remainder says that for any twice continuously differentiable function f, f (y+h) = f (y)+f (y)h+r(y, h) where R(y, h) 1 2 sup f (z) h 2 z where the supremum is taken over the interval between y and y + h. If we use Taylor s formula with remainder with f = P, y = P(x n 1 ), and h = S n 1 P(x n 1 ) = x n x n 1 and the second inequality in (13) to estimate the second derivative, we obtain P(x n 1 S n 1 P(x n 1 )) P(x n 1 ) P (x n 1 )S n 1 P(x n 1 ) + K x n x n 1 2.

39 The existence theorem. P(x n 1 S n 1 P(x n 1 )) P(x n 1 ) P (x n 1 )S n 1 P(x n 1 ) + K x n x n 1 2. Substituting this inequality into (19), we get x n+1 x n K P(x n 1 ) P (x n 1 )S n 1 P(x n 1 ) + K 2 x n x n 1 2. (20) Now since S n 1 = P (x n 1 ) 1 the first term on the right vanishes and we get x n+1 x n K 2 x n x n 1 2 K 2 e 2cτ n.

40 The existence theorem. Choosing c so that the induction works. x n+1 x n K 2 x n x n 1 2 K 2 e 2cτ n. So in order to pass from n to n + 1 in (16) we must have K 2 e 2cτ n cτ n+1 e or K 2 e c(2 τ)τ n. (21) Since 1 < τ < 2 we can arrange for this last inequality to hold for n = 1 and hence for all n if we choose c sufficiently large.

41 The existence theorem. Getting started. To get started, we must verify (16) for n = 1 This says S 0 P(0) e cτ or So we have proved: P(0) e cτ K. (22)

42 The existence theorem. Theorem P (x) 1 K, P (x) K, x B. (13) e c(τ 1) 1 (17) 1 e c(τ 1) K 2 e c(2 τ)τ. (21) P(0) e cτ K. (22) Suppose that (13) holds and we have chosen K and c so that (17) and (21) hold. Then if P(0) satisfies (22) the Newton iteration scheme converges exponentially in the sense that (16) holds. x n x n 1 e cτ n. (16)

43 The existence theorem. If we choose τ = 3 2 as in the proposition, let c be given by K 2 = e 3c/4 so that (21) just holds. This is our choice in the proposition. The inequality K 2 3/4 implies that e 3c/4 4 3/4 or This implies that so (17) holds. Then e c 4. e c/2 1 2 e cτ = e 3c/2 = K 4 so (22) becomes P(0) K 5 completing the proof of the proposition.

44 The existence theorem. Review. We have put in all the gory details, but it is worth reviewing the guts of the argument, and seeing how things differ from the special case of finding the square root. Our algorithm is x n+1 = x n S n [P(x n )] (23) where S n is chosen as (18). Taylor s formula gave (20) and with the choice (18) we get x n+1 x n K 2 x n x n 1 2. (24)

45 The existence theorem. In contrast to (4) we do not know that K 1 so, once we get going, we can t quite conclude that the error vanishes as with τ = 2. But we can arrange that we eventually have such exponential convergence with any τ < 2. r τ n

46 Basins of attraction. The more decisive difference has to do with the basins of attraction of the solutions. For the square root, starting with any positive number ends us up with the positive square root. This was the effect of the e n+1 < 1 2 e n argument which eventually gets us to the region where the exponential convergence takes over. Every negative number leads us to the negative square root. So the basin of attraction of the positive square root is the entire positive half axis, and the basin of attraction of the negative square root is the entire negative half axis. The only bad point belonging to no basin of attraction is the point 0.

47 Basins of attraction. Even for cubic polynomials the global behavior of Newton s method is extraordinarily complicated. For example, consider the polynomial P(x) = x 3 x, with roots at 0 and ±1. We have x P(x) P (x) = x x 3 x 3x 2 1 = 2x 3 3x 2 1 so Newton s method in this case says to set x n+1 = 2x 3 n 3x 2 n 1. (25) There are obvious bad points where we can t get started, due to the vanishing of the denominator, P (x). These are the points x = ± 1/3. These two points are the analogues of the point 0 in the square root algorithm.

48 Basins of attraction. We know from the general theory, that any point sufficiently close to 1 will converge to 1 under Newton s method and similarly for the other two roots, 0 and -1.

49 Basins of attraction. If x > 1, then 2x 3 > 3x 2 1 since both sides agree at x = 1 and the left side is increasing faster, as its derivative is 6x 2 while the derivative of the right hand side is only 6x. This implies that if we start to the right of x = 1 we will stay to the right. The same argument shows that 2x 3 < 3x 3 x for x > 1. This is the same as 2x 3 3x 2 1 < x, which implies that if we start with x 0 > 1 we have x 0 > x 1 > x 2 > and eventually we will reach the region where the exponential convergence takes over. So every point to the right of x = 1 is in the basin of attraction of the root x = 1. By symmetry, every point to the left of x = 1 will converge to 1.

50 Basins of attraction. But let us examine what happens in the interval 1 < x 0 < 1. For example, suppose we start with x 0 = 1 2. Then one application of Newton s method gives x 1 = = 1. In other words, one application of Newton s method lands us on the root x = 1, right on the nose. Notice that although.5 is halfway between the roots 1 and 0, we land on the farther root x = 1.

51 Basins of attraction. In fact, by continuity, if we start with x 0 close to.5, then x 1 must be close to 1. So all points, x 0, sufficiently close to.5 will have x 1 in the region where exponential convergence to x = 1 takes over. In other words, the basin of attraction of x = 1 will include points to the immediate left of.5, even though 1 is the closest root.

52 Basins of attraction. Here are the results of applying Newton s method to the three close points , and with ten iterations:

53 Basins of attraction. Suppose we have a point x which satisfies 2x 3 3x 2 1 = x. So one application of Newton s method lands us at x, and a second lands us back at x. The above equation is the same as 0 = 5x 3 x = x(5x 2 1) which has roots, x = 0, ± 1/5. So the points ± 1/5 form a cycle of order two: Newton s method cycles between these two points and hence does not converge to any root.

54 Basins of attraction. In fact, in the interval ( 1, 1) there are infinitely many points that don t converge to any root. We will return to a description of this complicated type of phenomenon later. If we apply Newton s method to cubic or higher degree polynomials and to complex numbers instead of real numbers, the results are even more spectacular. This phenomenon was first discovered by Cayley, and was published in a short article which appeared in the second issue of the American Journal of Mathematics in 1879.

55 Basins of attraction. After describing Newton s method, Cayley writes, concerning a polynomial with roots A,B,C... in the complex plane: The problem is to determine the regions of the plane such that P, taken at pleasure anywhere within one region, we arrive ultimately at the point A, anywhere within another region we arrive at the point B, and so for the several points representing the root of the equation. The solution is easy and elegant for the case of a quadric equation; but the next succeeding case of a cubic equation appears to present considerable difficulty. This paper of Cayley s was the starting point for many future investigations.

56 Basins of attraction. With the advent of computers, we can see how complicated the problem really is. The next slide shows, via color coding, the regions corresponding to the three roots of 1, i.e. the results of applying Newton s method to the polynomial x 3 1. The roots themselves are indicated by the + signs.

57 Basins of attraction.

58 Basins of attraction. Arthur Cayley (August 16, January 26, 1895)

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