Gradients of a simple function using ForwardDiff yields errorenous results? - Or am I doing something wrong?

I would like to calculate the gradient of a simple function using FowardDiff.gradient, but I have been encountering problems, where I have gotten different answers from code that should seemingly be doing the same thing.

Since what I am trying to do is rather basic (calculating a gradient of a function) and I wouldn’t expect the ForwardDiff package to mess up with this, I am expecting the problem to be on my end :slight_smile:

I have reduced my code to a MWE in the following way. I realize what the code does now doesn’t make much sense, but it illustrates the problem that I am having:

Start minimum working example:

using ForwardDiff

function f1(x)
    z = x
    gammax = x
    gammaz = z
    return sum(x.*(log.(x) .+ log.(gammax) .- log.(z) .- log.(gammaz)))

function f2(x)
    z = [0.1 0.9]
    gammax = x
    gammaz = z
    return sum(x.*(log.(x) .+ log.(gammax) .- log.(z) .- log.(gammaz)))

g1 = x -> ForwardDiff.gradient(f1,x)
g2 = x -> ForwardDiff.gradient(f2,x)
fval1 = f1([0.1 0.9])
fval2 = f2([0.1 0.9])
gval1 = g1([0.1 0.9])
gval2 = g2([0.1 0.9])

Expected answers:
In function f1 the terms in the brackets involving logarithms are expected to be zero, regardless of what x is. The same is true if I am giving [0.1 0.9] as input argument to f2. Therefore, the function values fval1 and fval2 are expected to be zero and so are the gradients.


1×2 Array{Float64,2}:
 0.0  0.0
1×2 Array{Float64,2}:
 2.0  2.0

–> fval1, fval2, gval1 are all as expected. gval2 seems wrong?

Can anyone help me in understanding this? It’s completely puzzling to me :slight_smile:

(log.(x) .+ log.(gammax) .- log.(z) .- log.(gammaz))' = (1 ./ x .+ (gammax')./gammax .- (z')./x .- (gammaz')./gammaz). When z, and gammaz are independent on x(they are constants in f2), then, their partial derivatives are 0s (z' = gammaz' = some zeros) so the derivatives are different.

1 Like

Thanks! Sorry, should have thought about this better before posting; classic math fail! :slight_smile: