# DiffEq tolerances on ContinuousCallbacks?

I’m troubleshooting some friction models and trying to understand what I’m seeing. I’ve made a MWE by taking the bouncing ball model from the DiffEq docs and changing the coefficient of restitution to 0.1 instead of 1.0 so that the bounces quickly get progressively smaller.

After the 5th bounce (with velocity down to 3e-4) the callback misses a zero cross and the ball falls through the earth. I know that if I want to handle a model that predicts an infinite series of smaller and smaller bounces, I will have to implement a heuristic to stop it before it fails due to numerical issues but I don’t know how to predict when this will fail, and it seems to be giving up earlier than necessary.

Is there a tolerance setting that controls the accuracy of the zero-cross finding process for the continuous callbacks?

MWE:

``````### A Pluto.jl notebook ###
# v0.12.18

using Markdown
using InteractiveUtils

# ╔═╡ 2d729750-5455-11eb-323b-85261dc4f76a
begin # define independent package environment
import Pkg
Pkg.activate(mktempdir())
end

# ╔═╡ 59df1e80-5455-11eb-2323-1b07750a4d6b
function f(du,u,p,t)
du[1] = u[2]
du[2] = -p
end

function condition(u,t,integrator) # Event when event_f(u,t) == 0
u[1]
end

function affect!(integrator)
println("Bounce at t = ",integrator.t)
integrator.u[2] = -0.1*integrator.u[2]
end

# ╔═╡ 7401cb00-5455-11eb-0b6d-973b7ed34eee
cb = ContinuousCallback(condition,affect!)

# ╔═╡ 7cdd3fc0-5455-11eb-15a2-07bf5923d0f7
function sim()
u0 = [50.0,0.0]
tspan = (0.0,5.0)
p = 9.8
prob = ODEProblem(f,u0,tspan,p)
solve(prob,Tsit5(),callback=cb)
end

# ╔═╡ 2e6ff0ce-545a-11eb-3537-251e4eff7339
sol = sim()

function plotsol(tspan, title)
p1 = plot(sol, vars=[1], tspan=tspan,
framestyle=:zerolines, ylabel="position", title=title)
p2 = plot(sol, vars=[2], tspan=tspan,
framestyle=:zerolines, ylabel="velocity")
end

# ╔═╡ 63237f80-545b-11eb-37a5-830fefdc5c96
plotsol((0, 5), "can see first and second bounces clearly")

# ╔═╡ a830ce20-545b-11eb-3e3c-694bb6408666
plotsol((3.83,3.91), "last four bounce are in here")

# ╔═╡ bb97b18e-545b-11eb-0e1f-ebf59b70e16f
plotsol((3.895, 3.905), "last three bounces")

# ╔═╡ 596d1ea0-545c-11eb-07e3-3fcef590c7bd
plotsol((3.903, 3.905), "last two bounces")

# ╔═╡ cb3366c0-545c-11eb-2345-571ee3526ba5
plotsol((3.90415, 3.9043), "last bounce")

# ╔═╡ Cell order:
# ╠═59df1e80-5455-11eb-2323-1b07750a4d6b
# ╠═7401cb00-5455-11eb-0b6d-973b7ed34eee
# ╠═7cdd3fc0-5455-11eb-15a2-07bf5923d0f7
# ╠═63237f80-545b-11eb-37a5-830fefdc5c96
# ╠═a830ce20-545b-11eb-3e3c-694bb6408666
# ╠═bb97b18e-545b-11eb-0e1f-ebf59b70e16f
# ╠═596d1ea0-545c-11eb-07e3-3fcef590c7bd
# ╠═cb3366c0-545c-11eb-2345-571ee3526ba5
# ╠═2e6ff0ce-545a-11eb-3537-251e4eff7339
# ╠═2d729750-5455-11eb-323b-85261dc4f76a
``````
2 Likes

Which version of DiffEqBase?

`DiffEqBase v6.53.4`

``````Julia Version 1.6.0-beta1.0
Commit b84990e1ac (2021-01-08 12:42 UTC)
Platform Info:
OS: Windows (x86_64-w64-mingw32)
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz
WORD_SIZE: 64
LIBM: libopenlibm
LLVM: libLLVM-11.0.0 (ORCJIT, skylake)
Environment:
JULIA_REVISE_WORKER_ONLY = 1

Status `C:\Users\klaffedk\AppData\Local\Temp\jl_4bVRB6\Manifest.toml`
[c3fe647b] AbstractAlgebra v0.12.0
[ec485272] ArnoldiMethod v0.0.4
[4fba245c] ArrayInterface v2.14.13
[4c555306] ArrayLayouts v0.4.12
[aae01518] BandedMatrices v0.16.0
[764a87c0] BoundaryValueDiffEq v2.7.0
[fa961155] CEnum v0.4.1
[d360d2e6] ChainRulesCore v0.9.24
[35d6a980] ColorSchemes v3.10.2
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``````

I found the `abstol` argument for the callback but even setting it ridiculously small (like 1e-40) doesn’t change the behavior. Also, I found this language interesting:

• `abstol=1e-14` & `reltol=0`: These are used to specify a tolerance from zero for the rootfinder:
if the starting condition is less than the tolerance from zero, then no root will be detected.
This is to stop repeat events happening just after a previously rootfound event. =#

Immediately after the callback, the position value is very close to zero (ideally it would be zero and the values around each of the bounces are reasonably close to `eps()`, but because the velocity is upwards, that position grows before falling back to zero. Here’s the plot of the last detected bounce and the next bounce which is not.

So if “starting condition” is the value of the condition expression immediately after callback execution, its value is irrelevant to how long it will be before the crossing will occur. Anyway I’ll look through the code in callbacks.jl a bit and see if anything jumps out at me.

Thanks.

Seems like a particularly hard case because of the very small time change associated with it. The typical issue here is the following. After an event, we want to make sure than manifold constraints are satisfied, i.e. if you want to inside of a zone you should stay inside. So we take the left side of a branching nonlinear solve, so it’s either exactly the zero or one floating point before. Given that, there’s no abstol anymore, and it should be right next to it.

But the hard part is then the next detection. If you didn’t get the zero exactly, are you positive or negative at the start point? Because you want to look for a sign change, you want a sign there. Normally we split the interval into 10 parts and the interval isn’t right at the start, but in this case, it’s right at the start. So you need a side on that start point. In the bouncing ball case, you want it to be positive. In something like a Poincure section, the user is just making a save at the zero and continuing, so there is no “bounce”, so right after the event, even if you pull to before the event, you want that to count as slightly negative (). So what we have to do is use the derivative at that starting point as our approximation for whether the condition is going up or down as our proxy for whether we should be treating it as slightly positive or slightly negative at the start.

It turns out that dt was too large in this case, using a point from where it has already gone negative, and boom. The fix is the following PR:

There’s a more interesting fix I was playing with, but I think it would need more playing to make it a reality:

Hopefully that’s enlightening as to why it’s such a complicated calculation though.

If you could contribute an event detection test DiffEqBase.jl/event_detection_tests.jl at master · SciML/DiffEqBase.jl · GitHub that would be great.

I was just reading through `determine_event_occurance` and coming to grips with the issues. Also that line with the semi-hardcoded “slightly in future” caught my eye and I was about to do some calculations on my solve points so I was pleased to learn I was on the right track when I saw your response.

Yes, I’ll add an event detection test.

This is easy enough to work around with a speed threshold which is practically a good idea anyway because real systems (at least the macroscopic ones I work with) don’t really keep bouncing but I’m struggling to think of a general way to pick that threshold. It’s essentially the same problem you have in trying to set a default absolute tolerance for general problems. It’ll be clearer in the morning.

Thanks again.

Real systems also aren’t such simple ODEs that `dt` keeps growing because the integrator can solve them without error (so adaptivity keeps going “oh hey, this is easy” while the events keep getting harder).

1 Like