[R] nls.lm

Mike meyer 1101011 at gmx.net
Sun Oct 23 09:56:19 CEST 2016

Please accept my apologies as I was in fact wrong.

It was not my intention to attack minpack.lm or criticize the maintainer.
I like minpack.lm and am fully aware of the effort involved in rewriting the
code. Next time I'll use more careful wording.

Thanks also to Professor Nash for his efforts. I look forward to the results.

Best regards,


> Gesendet: Freitag, 21. Oktober 2016 um 09:39 Uhr
> Von: "Berend Hasselman" <bhh at xs4all.nl>
> An: "Mike meyer" <1101011 at gmx.net>
> Cc: ProfJCNash <profjcnash at gmail.com>, "r-help at r-project.org" <r-help at r-project.org>
> Betreff: Re: [R] nls.lm
> > On 21 Oct 2016, at 06:00, Mike meyer <1101011 at gmx.net> wrote:
> > 
> > Let's take a different view of the problem.
> > Given f=(f_1,...,f_m):R^n -> R^m we want to minimize ||f(x)||.
> > 
> > What distinguishes this from a general minimization problem is that you know the structure of the
> > objective function F(x)=||f(x)||² and have the individual constituents f_j.
> > Make use of that information as appropriate.
> > 
> > This is more general than trying to solve the system f(x)=0 or fitting a model to data.
> > In this more general setting notions such as underdetermined/overdetermined system do not apply.
> > 
> > The restricted view of model fitting serves only to confuse the issue.
> > For that reason it is (in my view) a bad idea to force the user to set up his problem in 
> > R-model notation.
> > 
> I assume that you have been referring to the R package minpack.lm.
> I've had a look at the underlying Fortran code (from Minpack and developed by More et.al.  made in a distant past) as used by the package.
> That underlying code returns an error when the condition:  number of functions (m)  >=  the number of independent variables (n)
> is not satisfied i.e. when m < n.
> Making that more general would entail a lot of thinking and reworking of the code. As far as I can see it is not possible to just remove the condition m>=n from the underlying Fortran. More (possibly many) changes would be required. Blaming R and/or the package author/maintainer is unfair.
> If you require a more general version of the algorithm or if you want something else you will have to roll your own package/code.
> If you don't feel that minpack.lm is appropriate for your application and you want changes you'll have to discuss matters with Moré (http://www.mcs.anl.gov/~more/) if I got the correct link.
> Berend

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