Observing progress

Argmin offers an interface to observe the state of the solver at initialization as well as after every iteration. This includes the parameter vector, gradient, Jacobian, Hessian, iteration number, cost values and many more as well as solver-specific metrics. This interface can be used to implement loggers, send the information to a storage or to plot metrics.

The observer WriteToFile saves the parameter vector to disk and as such requires the parameter vector to be serializable. Hence this feature is only available with the serde1 feature.

The observer SlogLogger logs the progress of the optimization to screen or to disk. This requires the slog-logger feature. Writing to disk in addition requires the serde1 feature.

For each observer it can be defined how often it will observe the progress of the solver. This is indicated via the enum ObserverMode which can be either Always, Never, NewBest (whenever a new best solution is found) or Every(i) which means every ith iteration.

Custom observers can be used as well by implementing the Observe trait (see the chapter on implementing an observer for details).

The following example shows how to add an observer to an Executor which logs progress to the terminal. The observer is configured via ObserverMode::Always such that it will log every iteration to screen. Multiple observers can be added to a single Executor.

extern crate argmin;
extern crate argmin_testfunctions;
use argmin::core::{Error, Executor, CostFunction, Gradient};
use argmin::core::observers::{SlogLogger, ObserverMode};
use argmin::solver::gradientdescent::SteepestDescent;
use argmin::solver::linesearch::MoreThuenteLineSearch;
use argmin_testfunctions::{rosenbrock_2d, rosenbrock_2d_derivative};

struct Rosenbrock {
    a: f64,
    b: f64,

/// Implement `CostFunction` for `Rosenbrock`
impl CostFunction for Rosenbrock {
    /// Type of the parameter vector
    type Param = Vec<f64>;
    /// Type of the return value computed by the cost function
    type Output = f64;

    /// Apply the cost function to a parameter `p`
    fn cost(&self, p: &Self::Param) -> Result<Self::Output, Error> {
        Ok(rosenbrock_2d(p, 1.0, 100.0))

/// Implement `Gradient` for `Rosenbrock`
impl Gradient for Rosenbrock {
    /// Type of the parameter vector
    type Param = Vec<f64>;
    /// Type of the return value computed by the cost function
    type Gradient = Vec<f64>;

    /// Compute the gradient at parameter `p`.
    fn gradient(&self, p: &Self::Param) -> Result<Self::Gradient, Error> {
        Ok(rosenbrock_2d_derivative(p, 1.0, 100.0))

fn run() -> Result<(), Error> {

// Define cost function (must implement `CostFunction` and `Gradient`)
let cost = Rosenbrock { a: 1.0, b: 100.0 };
// Define initial parameter vector
let init_param: Vec<f64> = vec![-1.2, 1.0];
// Set up line search
let linesearch = MoreThuenteLineSearch::new();
// Set up solver
let solver = SteepestDescent::new(linesearch);

// [...]

let res = Executor::new(cost, solver)
    .configure(|state| state.param(init_param).max_iters(10))
    // Add an observer which will log all iterations to the terminal
    .add_observer(SlogLogger::term(), ObserverMode::Always)

println!("{}", res);

fn main() {
    if let Err(ref e) = run() {
        println!("{}", e);