# Lecture 3: Solving Equations Using Fixed Point Iterations

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1 cs41: introduction to numerical analysis 09/14/10 Lecture 3: Solving Equations Using Fixed Point Iterations Instructor: Professor Amos Ron Scribes: Yunpeng Li, Mark Cowlishaw, Nathanael Fillmore Our problem, to recall, is solving equations in one variable We are given a function f, and would like to find at least one solution to the equation f(x) = 0 Note that, a priori, we do not put any restrictions on the function f; we do need to be able to evaluate the function: otherwise, we cannot even check that a given solution x = r is true, ie, that f(r) = 0 In reality, the mere ability to be able to evaluate the function does not suffice We need to assume some kind of good behavior The more we assume, the more potential we have, on the one hand, to develop fast algorithms for finding the root At the same time, the more we assume, the fewer functions are going to satisfy our assumptions! This is a fundamental paradigm in Numerical Analysis Recall from last week that we wanted to solve the equation: x 3 = sinx x 3 sinx = 0 We know that 0 is a trivial solution to the equation, but we would like to find a non-trivial numeric solution r In a previous lecture, we introduced an iterative process for finding roots of quadratic equations We will now generalize this process into an algorithm for solving equations that is based on the so-called fixed point iterations, and therefore is referred to as fixed point algorithm In order to use fixed point iterations, we need the following information: 1 We need to know that there is a solution to the equation We need to know approximately where the solution is (ie an approximation to the solution) 1 Fixed Point Iterations Given an equation of one variable, f(x) = 0, we use fixed point iterations as follows: 1 Convert the equation to the form x = g(x) Start with an initial guess x 0 r, where r is the actual solution (root) of the equation 3 Iterate, using x n+1 := g(x n ) for n = 0,1,, How well does this process work? We claim that: Claim 11 Define (x n ) 0 using x n+1 := g(x n ) as described in the process above If (x n ) 0 converges to a limit r, and the function g is continuous at x = r, then the limit r is a root of f(x): f(r) = 0 or (1) Why is this true? Assume that (x n ) 0 definition of continuity implies that converges to some value r Since g is continuous, the lim x n = r lim g(x n) = g(r) n n 1

2 Using this fact, we can prove our claim: g(r) = lim n g(x n) = lim n x n+1 = r Thus, g(r) = r, and since the equation g(x) = x is equivalent to the original one f(x) = 0, we conclude that f(r) = 0 Note that, for proving this claim, we had to make some assumption on g (viz, g is a continuous function) This follows the general pattern: the more restrictions we put on a function, the better we can analyze the function numerically The real trick of fixed point iterations is in Step 1, finding a transformation of the original equation f(x) = 0 to the form x = g(x) so that (x n ) 0 converges Using our original example, x 3 = sinx, here are some possibilities: 1 x = sin x x x = 3 sin x 3 x = sin 1 (x 3 ) 4 x = sinx 1 x +x x = x x3 sin x 3x cos x sin(x) x Figure 1: Graphical Solution for x 3 = sin x We can start with x 0 = 1, since this is a pretty good approximation to the root, as shown in Figure 1 To choose the best function g(x), we need to determine how fast (and if) x n converges to a solution This is key, because different transformations of a single f(x) = 0 to x = g(x) can result in a sequence of x n that diverges, converges to the root slowly, or converges to the root quickly One good way to measure the speed of convergence is to use the ratio of the errors between successive iterations The error at iteration n can be defined as: e n := x n r ()

3 where r is the actual solution (an alternative definition, is e n := x n r ) To measure the rate of convergence, we can take the ratio µ n+1 between the error at iteration n + 1 and the error at the previous iteration: µ n+1 := e n+1 e n = x n+1 r x n r However, as you may have noticed, we are using the actual solution r, which we do not know, to calculate the error e n and the ratio µ n For as long as we do not know r, we can approximate the error e n = x n r x n x n 1, and thus we can calculate the error ratio as: µ n+1 = e n+1 e n (3) x n+1 x n x n x n 1 (4) Note that the magnitude of the error ratio is what is important, so we can safely ignore the sign 11 Order of Convergence Clearly, we would like the magnitude of the error ratio to be less than 1 We introduce now two notions concerning orders of convergence 111 Linear Convergence Linear convergence requires that the error is reduced by at least a constant factor at each iteration: e n+1 c e n (5) for some fixed constant c < 1 We will study algorithms that converge much more quickly than this, in fact, we have already seen an algorithm (the square root algorithm) that has quadratic convergence 11 Quadratic Convergence Quadratic convergence requires that the error at each iteration is proportional to the square of the error on the previous iteration: e n+1 c e n (6) for some constant c Note that, in this case, c does not have to be less than 1 for the sequence to converge For example, if e n 10 4, then e n+1 < c 10 8, so that a relatively large constant can be offset by the squaring 1 Superlinear Convergence In general, we can have e n+1 c e n α (7) for constants c and α If α = 1, we have linear convergence, while if α = we have quadratic convergence If α > 1 (but is not necessarily ), we say we have superlinear convergence 3

4 It is important to note that equations 5, 6, and 7 provide lower bounds on the convergence rate It is possible that an algorithm with quadratic convergence will converge more quickly than the bound indicates in certain circumstances, but it will never converge more slowly than the bound indicates Also note that these bounds are a better indicator of the performance of an algorithm when the errors are small (e n 1) 13 Experimental Comparison of Functions for Fixed Point Iterations We Now return to our test problem: Example 11 Solve the equation x 3 = sin x (8) How do the functions we considered for g(x) compare? Table 1 shows the results of several iterations using initial value x 0 = 1 and four different functions for g(x) Here x n is the value of x on the nth iteration and µ n is the error ratio of the nth iteration, as defined in Equation 4 g(x) = 3 sin x g(x) = sinx g(x) = x + sinx x 3 g(x) = x sinx x3 x cos x 3x x 1 : µ 1 : x : µ : x 3 : µ 3 : x 4 : µ 4 : x 6 : µ 6 : NaN x 7 : µ 7 : NaN NaN Table 1: Comparison of Functions for Fixed Point Iterations We can see from the table that when we choose g(x) = 3 sinx or g(x) = x sinx x3 cos(x) 3x (columns 1 and 4, respectively), the algorithm does converge to with the error ratio µ n far less than 1 However, when we choose g(x) = sin x, the error ratio is greater than 1 and the x iteration do not converge For g(x) = x + sinx x 3, the error ratio is very close to 1 It appears that the algorithm does converge to the correct value, but very slowly Why is there such a disparity in the rate of convergence? Error Analysis of Fixed Point Iterations In order to carry our analysis of fixed point iterations, we assume that g is differentiable Note the continued theme: the more we restrict a function, the better our tools are for analyzing the function 4

5 numerically We previously assumed g to be continuous; now we raised the bar and assume it to be differentiable We would like to see how g is behaving in the area around the solution, r For this, we will use the Taylor expansion with remainder Remember that, for any differentiable function g, and for any two values x,a, there exists c such that g(x) = g(a) + g (c) (x a) (9) x We don t know what the precise value of c is, but we know that it exists and is between a and 1 Testing for Divergence Substituting x n for x and r (the analytic solution) for a, we can use Equation 9 to provide a test for divergence: e n+1 = x n+1 r = g(x n ) g(r) = (x n r) g (c n ) c n between x n and r = e n g (c n ) As x n approaches r, c n (which is between x n and r) is getting closer to r, and, therefore g (c n ) g (r) This means that if g (r) > 1, once x n gets close enough to r, the error will get larger, and the sequence x 0,x 1,x, will never converge This suggests a straightforward test to see if a particular function g is a poor choice for fixed point iterations Simply check the numerical values of g in some interval that is known the contain the solution r If g (x) > 1 on this interval, then the sequence of x 0,x 1,x, will not converge and g is a poor choice For example, if we look at g(x) = sinx for x [9,1], we see that g (x) is greater than 1 over x the interval If we look at g(x) = 3 sin x on the same interval, its derivative is around 3 there This explains why the choice g(x) = sinx failed in our experiment and g(x) = 3 sin x produced nice x results Testing for Convergence We now have a way to test for divergence, but what about testing for convergence? We can use local analysis around the actual solution r to determine the relevant behavior of g Define the interval I = [x 0 δ,x 0 + δ] for some small constant δ with the analytic solution r I If we can guarantee that the magnitude of the derivative is less than 1 over I: c I g (c) λ < 1 for some constant λ, then we will have convergence, as long as our values x i stay in the interval I We can quantify this with the following two claims: Claim 1 If c I 1 > λ g (c) 0 then the sequence x 0,x 1,x, stays in interval I, and will converge to the root r (10) 5

6 Proof Assume that x is our present approximation of r, and assume by induction that is lies in the interval I Our next approximation is g(x) and once we show that it also lies in the interval, our inductive proof will go through (our initial x 0 lies in I by assumption!) Now, our error analysis shows that g(x) = g(r) + (x r)g (c), for some c between x and r Now, x I, by induction, and r I by assumption, hence c I, hence 0 < g (c) < 1 Also, g(r) = r Altogether, g(x) = r + (x r)g (c) = r(1 g (c)) + xg (c), so, g(x) is an average of r and x, with positive weights, hence lies between x and r hence lies in I The above induction proves that all the iterative values x 0,x 1, lie in I Our error analysis then can be applied to show that we have convergence, since everywhere in I g < λ < 1 fixed point for g 1 > g (x) > 0 y = x g(x) slope = 1 1 < g (x) < 0 y = x g(x 0 ) r r g(x ) 0 fixed point for g g(x) r x a x 1 x 0 0 x 0+ a x 1 r x 0 x 0 a x 0 a x 0+ a x 0+ a Figure : Examples of Convergence for Functions g with Positive and Negative Slope If the derivative of g is not positive on I, it is possible that the iterations do not stay inside I, and hence the fact that g is small enough on I may not suffice However, once we assume that r I (as before), while g is small enough on a slightly larger interval, convergence can be guaranteed: Claim If r I as before, and, with I := [x 0 δ,x 0 + δ], c I x 0,x 1,x, converges to r g (c) λ < 1, then Proof We need to prove that the iterations x 0,x 1, stay in I : since g is small enough on I, our previous error analysis will show that the error decreases by at least a factor of λ per iteration Now, x 0 surely lies in I Assume by induction that x 0,,x n 1 all lie in I Then, the errors e 0,e 1, e n decrease (in magnitude), hence e n < e 0 < δ This means that x n lies in (r δ,r+δ) The latter interval may not be a subset of I, but is surely a subset of I since r I So, x n I, hence e n+1 < δ, and our induction continues successfully Examples of these two situations are depicted in Figure The discussion made clear that we would like the magnitude g (r) to be small (and we need that to be true not only at r but also around r) So, what is the best value for g (r)? It makes sense to think that the best is g (r) = 0 In the next section we will show that this property leads to quadratic convergence 6

7 3 Testing for Convergence First, a small aside One might question the value of all this convergence analysis in practice For example, how can we test the derivative near the root when, by assumption - since this is what we re trying to find - we don t know where the root is? The answer is that often even when we don t know the precise location of the root (say, to 10 decimal places), we can easily get a rough estimate of where the root is For example, we may not know an exact value for 5, but we know that 5 [,3] (well, those of us that do not know this, should know that 5 [,5]) We can use this estimate to check the derivative For example, let our fixed point equation be x = x + 5 x = x/ + 5/x, (whose solution is 5) Then g (x) = 1/ 5/x Now, choose x 0 := 5, and take δ = 1/8 Then I = [,5], and if x I, then g (x) [ 15,1] Also, I = [15,375] So, it is enough to know that 5 I (indeed), to invoke our test theorem above and to conclude that the iterations will converge (fast, since g is really small on I ) So the theory does have a practical value 3 Quadratic Convergence of Fixed Point Iterations Let x = g(x) have solution r with g (r) = 0 Further, assume that g is doubly differentiable on the interval I = [x 0 δ,x 0 + δ], with r I Then, from the Taylor expansion of g we know for any x,a I, there is some c between x and a such that: g(x) = g(a) + g (a) (x a) + g (x a) (c) Using our equation for error and substituting Equation 11 yields: (11) e n+1 = x n+1 r = g(x n ) g(r) en {}}{ = g (r)(x n r) + g (c n ) ( x n r) (some c n I) = g (c n ) e n (since g (r) = 0) which is quadratic convergence! Note that, in order to obtain quadratic convergence, we need two things: 1 An improved algorithm (fixed point iterations with a special function g with g (r) = 0) Improved regularity of g (g must be twice differentiable) These are two independent issues Constructing a transformation of the original equation f(x) = 0 to x = g(x) with g (r) = 0 is dependent only on our sophistication in transforming f, and is under our control However, the regularity of g is something that we have little control over If g is twice differentiable, it will, almost surely, imply that f has the same property If f is a bad 7

8 function (ie not differentiable enough), only a miracle will produce a doubly differentiable g Without such a miracle, g will not be regular enough, and the error analysis which led to quadratic convergence will no longer be valid Moral: do not expect that good algorithms perform well on bad functions In particular, if f is not twice differentiable, do not waste your time to find g with g (r) = 0, since you are not likely to get quadratic convergence 8

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