This paper generalizes the widely used Nelder and Mead (Comput J 7:308-313, 1965) simplex algorithm to parallel processors. Unlike most previous parallelization methods, which are based on parallelizing the tasks required to compute a specific objective function given a vector of parameters, our parallel simplex algorithm uses parallelization at the parameter level. Our parallel simplex algorithm assigns to each processor a separate vector of parameters corresponding to a point on a simplex. The processors then conduct the simplex search steps for an improved point, communicate the results, and a new simplex is formed. The advantage of this method is that our algorithm is generic and can be applied, without re-writing computer code, to any optimization problem which the non-parallel Nelder-Mead is applicable. The method is also easily scalable to any degree of parallelization up to the number of parameters. In a series of Monte Carlo experiments, we show that this parallel simplex method yields computational savings in some experiments up to three times the number of processors.
- Optimization algorithms
- Parallel computing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
- Computer Science Applications