Parameter Sweep Tool


The parameter sweep tool systematically fixes variables or modifies mutable parameters on a flowsheet (or Pyomo ConcreteModel), optimizes the flowsheet, and reports user-specified results. The parameter sweep tool can be operated in one of two ways: sweeping a fixed set of parameters, or allowing for random samples from a distribution. While different fixed or random sampling types can be combined, in a single parameter sweep the user must use either all fixed or all random sampling types. (This implementation detail may be relaxed in future releases.)

For the “fixed” sampling type, LinearSample, the parameter sweep tool will evaluate the cross product of all the specified parameters, whereas with the “random” sampling types UniformSample and NormalSample the parameter sweep tool will evaluate a fixed number of samples specified in num_samples. With either sampling type, the values of the Pyomo objects (Vars, Expressions, etc.), that the user specifies in outputs.

For each item the user wants to change, they specify a sweep_params dictionary. The keys are “short” names, and the values are one of the included Sample objects. In all cases the Sample objects are instantiated with the Pyomo object to be changed, with additional arguements depending on the sampling type. For example, for the fixed LinearSample the user would also specify a lower limit, an upper limit, and the number of elements to be sampled for this parameter between the lower limit and upper limit. Each item should be sampled at least twice to capture the upper and lower limit. The random UniformSample requires a lower limit and upper limit, and the NormalSample requires a mean and standard deviation.

In addition to the parameters to sweep and the values to track for output, the user must provide an optimize_function, which takes the model as an attribute calls an optimization routine to solve it for the updated parameters. Should the call to optimize_function fail, and a reinitialize_function is not specified, the outputs will be reported as NaN for that parameter set.

The user can optionally specify a reinitialize_function in case any piece of the optimize_function fails – after the call to reinitialize_function the model should be in a state ready to optimize again. If the reinitialize_function or the second call to the optimize_function fail for any reason, the outputs will be reported as NaN for that parameter set.

The parameter sweep tool maintains the state of the flowsheet / Pyomo model between calls to optimize_function to take advantage of initializations provided by earlier solutions. If this behavior is undesirable, the user should re-initialize their flowsheet as part of their optimize_function.

Finally, the user can specify a csv_results_file_name and/or an h5_results_file_name, which will write the outputs to disk in a CSV and/or H5 format, respectively. In the CSV results file, each column specifies a fixed parameter or the associated output, and each row is a single run with the specified parameters and resulting outputs. The H5 file contains the parameter sweep inputs and the outputs stored in a dictionary-like format. Additionally, when an H5 file is written, a companion text file is created with the name h5_results_file_name + “.txt”. This text file contains the metadata of the H5 results file.

Parallel Usage

The parameter sweep tool can optionally utilize mpi4py to split the parameter sweep over multiple processors. If mpi4py is installed in the user’s conda environment, a script utilizing the parameter sweep tool can be run in parallel, in this example using two threads.

mpiexec -n 2 python

For advanced users, the parameter sweep tool can optionally take a MPI communicator as an argument.

Module Documentation