# Direct Adjoint Sensitivities of Differential Equations

## First Order Adjoint Sensitivities

SciMLSensitivity.adjoint_sensitivitiesFunction
adjoint_sensitivities(sol,alg;t=nothing,
dgdu_discrete = nothing, dgdp_discrete = nothing,
dgdu_continuous = nothing, dgdp_continuous = nothing,
g=nothing,
abstol=1e-6,reltol=1e-3,
checkpoints=sol.t,
corfunc_analytical=nothing,
callback = nothing,
kwargs...)

Adjoint sensitivity analysis is used to find the gradient of the solution with respect to some functional of the solution. In many cases this is used in an optimization problem to return the gradient with respect to some cost function. It is equivalent to "backpropagation" or reverse-mode automatic differentiation of a differential equation.

Using adjoint_sensitivities directly let's you do three things. One it can allow you to be more efficient, since the sensitivity calculation can be done directly on a cost function, avoiding the overhead of building the derivative of the full concretized solution. It can also allow you to be more efficient by directly controlling the forward solve that is then reversed over. Lastly, it allows one to define a continuous cost function on the continuous solution, instead of just at discrete data points.

Warning

Adjoint sensitivity analysis functionality requires being able to solve a differential equation defined by the parameter struct p. Thus while DifferentialEquations.jl can support any parameter struct type, usage with adjoint sensitivity analysis requires that p could be a valid type for being the initial condition u0 of an array. This means that many simple types, such as Tuples and NamedTuples, will work as parameters in normal contexts but will fail during adjoint differentiation. To work around this issue for complicated cases like nested structs, look into defining p using AbstractArray libraries such as RecursiveArrayTools.jl or ComponentArrays.jl so that p is an AbstractArray with a concrete element type.

Warning

Non-checkpointed InterpolatingAdjoint and QuadratureAdjoint sensealgs require that the forward solution sol(t) has an accurate dense solution unless checkpointing is used. This means that you should not use solve(prob,alg,saveat=ts) unless checkpointing. If specific saving is required, one should solve dense solve(prob,alg), use the solution in the adjoint, and then sol(ts) interpolate.

Mathematical Definition

Adjoint sensitivity analysis finds the gradient of a cost function $G$ defined by the infinitesimal cost over the whole time period $(t_{0}, T)$, given by the equation:

$$$G(u,p)=G(u(\cdot,p))=\int_{t_{0}}^{T}g(u(t,p),p,t)dt$$$

It does so by solving the adjoint problem:

$$$\frac{d\lambda^{\star}}{dt}=g_{u}(u(t,p),p)-\lambda^{\star}(t)f_{u}(t,u(t,p),p),\thinspace\thinspace\thinspace\lambda^{\star}(T)=0$$$

and obtaining the sensitivities through the integral:

$$$\frac{dG}{dp}=\int_{t_{0}}^{T}\lambda^{\star}(t)f_{p}(t)+g_{p}(t)dt+\lambda^{\star}(t_{0})u_{p}(t_{0})$$$

As defined, that cost function only has non-zero values over nontrivial intervals. However, in many cases one may want to include in the cost function loss values at discrete points, for example, matching the data at time points t. In this case, terms of g can be represented by Dirac delta functions which are then applied in the corresponding $\lambda^\star$ and $\frac{dG}{dp}$ equations.

For more information, see Sensitivity Math Details.

Positional Arguments

• sol: the solution from the forward pass of the ODE. Note that if not using a checkpointing sensitivity algorithm, then it's assumed that the (dense) interpolation of the forward solution is of sufficient accuracy for recreating the solution at any time point.
• alg: the algorithm (i.e., DiffEq solver) to use for the solution of the adjoint problem.

Keyword Arguments

• t: the time points at which the discrete cost function is to be evaluated. This argument is only required if discrete cost functions are declared.
• g: the continuous instantaneous cost $g(u,p,t)$ at a given time point represented by a Julia function g(u,p,t). This argument is only required if there is a continuous instantaneous cost contribution.
• dgdu_discrete: the partial derivative $g_u$ evaluated at the discrete (Dirac delta) times. If discrete cost values are given, then dgdu_discrete is required.
• dgdp_discrete: the partial derivative $g_p$ evaluated at the discrete (Dirac delta) times. If discrete cost values are given, then dgdp_discrete is not required and is assumed to be zero.
• dgdu_continuous: the partial derivative $g_u$ evaluated at times not corresponding to terms with an associated Dirac delta. If g is given, then this term is not required and will be approximated by numerical or (forward-mode) automatic differentiation (via the autodiff keyword argument in the sensealg) if this term is not given by the user.
• dgdp_continuous: the partial derivative $g_p$ evaluated at times not corresponding to terms with an associated Dirac delta. If g is given, then this term is not required and will be approximated by numerical or (forward-mode) automatic differentiation (via the autojacvec keyword argument in the sensealg) if this term is not given by the user.
• abstol: the absolute tolerance of the adjoint solve. Defaults to 1e-3
• reltol: the relative tolerance of the adjoint solve. Defaults to 1e-3
• checkpoints: the values to use for the checkpoints of the reverse solve, if the adjoint sensealg has checkpointing = true. Defaults to sol.t, i.e. the saved points in the sol.
• corfunc_analytical: the function corresponding to the conversion from an Ito to a Stratanovich definition of an SDE, i.e.

For sensitivity analysis of an SDE in the Ito sense $dX = a(X,t)dt + b(X,t)dW_t$ with conversion term $- 1/2 b_X b$, corfunc_analytical denotes b_X b. Only used if thesol.prob isa SDEProblem. If not given, this is computed using automatic differentiation. Note that this inside of the reverse solve SDE then implies automatic differentiation of a function being automatic differentiated, and nested higher order automatic differentiation has more restrictions on the function plus some performance disadvantages.

• callback: callback functions to be used in the adjoint solve. Defaults to nothing.
• sensealg: the choice for what adjoint method to use for the reverse solve. Defaults to InterpolatingAdjoint(). See the sensitivity algorithms page for more details.
• kwargs: any extra keyword arguments passed to the adjoint solve.

Detailed Description

For discrete adjoints where the cost functions only depend on parameters through the ODE solve itself (for example, parameter estimation with L2 loss), use:

du0,dp = adjoint_sensitivities(sol,alg;t=ts,dgdu_discrete=dg,
checkpoints=sol.t,kwargs...)

where alg is the ODE algorithm to solve the adjoint problem, dgdu_discrete is the jump function, sensealg is the sensitivity algorithm, and ts are the time points for data. dg is given by:

dg(out,u,p,t,i)

which is the in-place gradient of the cost functional g at time point ts[i] with u=u(t).

For continuous functionals, the form is:

du0,dp = adjoint_sensitivities(sol,alg;dgdu_continuous=dgdu,g=g,
dgdp_continuous = dgdp,
checkpoints=sol.t,kwargs...)

for the cost functional

g(u,p,t)

dgdu(out,u,p,t)
dgdp(out,u,p,t)

If the gradient is omitted, i.e.

du0,dp = adjoint_sensitivities(sol,alg;g=g,kwargs...)

then we assume dgdp is zero and dgdu will be computed automatically using ForwardDiff or finite differencing, depending on the autodiff setting in the AbstractSensitivityAlgorithm. Note that the keyword arguments are passed to the internal ODE solver for solving the adjoint problem.

Note

Mixing discrete and continuous terms in the cost function is allowed

Examples

Example discrete adjoints on a cost function

In this example we will show solving for the adjoint sensitivities of a discrete cost functional. First let's solve the ODE and get a high quality continuous solution:

function f(du,u,p,t)
du = dx = p*u - p*u*u
du = dy = -p*u + u*u
end

p = [1.5,1.0,3.0]
prob = ODEProblem(f,[1.0;1.0],(0.0,10.0),p)
sol = solve(prob,Vern9(),abstol=1e-10,reltol=1e-10)

Now let's calculate the sensitivity of the $\ell_2$ error against 1 at evenly spaced points in time, that is:

$$$L(u,p,t)=\sum_{i=1}^{n}\frac{\Vert1-u(t_{i},p)\Vert^{2}}{2}$$$

for $t_i = 0.5i$. This is the assumption that the data is data[i]=1.0. For this function, notice we have that:

\begin{aligned} dg_{1}&=-1+u_{1} \\ dg_{2}&=-1+u_{2} \\ & \quad \vdots \end{aligned}

and thus:

dg(out,u,p,t,i) = (out.=-1.0.+u)

Also, we can omit dgdp, because the cost function doesn't dependent on p. If we had data, we'd just replace 1.0 with data[i]. To get the adjoint sensitivities, call:

ts = 0:0.5:10
reltol=1e-14)

This is super high accuracy. As always, there's a tradeoff between accuracy and computation time. We can check this almost exactly matches the autodifferentiation and numerical differentiation results:

using ForwardDiff,Calculus,Tracker
function G(p)
tmp_prob = remake(prob,u0=convert.(eltype(p),prob.u0),p=p)
sol = solve(tmp_prob,Vern9(),abstol=1e-14,reltol=1e-14,saveat=ts,
A = convert(Array,sol)
sum(((1 .- A).^2)./2)
end
G([1.5,1.0,3.0])
res5 = ReverseDiff.gradient(G,[1.5,1.0,3.0])

and see this gives the same values.

Example controlling adjoint method choices and checkpointing

In the previous examples, all calculations were done using the interpolating method. This maximizes speed but at a cost of requiring a dense sol. If it is not possible to hold a dense forward solution in memory, then one can use checkpointing. For example:

ts = [0.0,0.2,0.5,0.7]
sol = solve(prob,Vern9(),saveat=ts)

Creates a non-dense solution with checkpoints at [0.0,0.2,0.5,0.7]. Now we can do:

res = adjoint_sensitivities(sol,Vern9();t=ts,dg_discrete=dg,
sensealg=InterpolatingAdjoint(checkpointing=true))

When grabbing a Jacobian value during the backwards solution, it will no longer interpolate to get the value. Instead, it will start a forward solution at the nearest checkpoint to build local interpolants in a way that conserves memory. By default the checkpoints are at sol.t, but we can override this:

res = adjoint_sensitivities(sol,Vern9();t=ts,dg_discrte=dg,
checkpoints = [0.0,0.5])

Example continuous adjoints on an energy functional

In this case we'd like to calculate the adjoint sensitivity of the scalar energy functional:

$$$G(u,p)=\int_{0}^{T}\frac{\sum_{i=1}^{n}u_{i}^{2}(t)}{2}dt$$$

which is:

g(u,p,t) = (sum(u).^2) ./ 2

Notice that the gradient of this function with respect to the state u is:

function dg(out,u,p,t)
out= u + u
out= u + u
end

To get the adjoint sensitivities, we call:

res = adjoint_sensitivities(sol,Vern9();dg_continuous=dg,g=g,abstol=1e-8,
reltol=1e-8,iabstol=1e-8,ireltol=1e-8)

Notice that we can check this against autodifferentiation and numerical differentiation as follows:

using QuadGK
function G(p)
tmp_prob = remake(prob,p=p)
sol = solve(tmp_prob,Vern9(),abstol=1e-14,reltol=1e-14)
res,err = quadgk((t)-> (sum(sol(t)).^2)./2,0.0,10.0,atol=1e-14,rtol=1e-10)
res
end
res3 = Calculus.gradient(G,[1.5,1.0,3.0])

## Second Order Adjoint Sensitivities

SciMLSensitivity.second_order_sensitivitiesFunction

Second order sensitivity analysis is used for the fast calculation of Hessian matrices.

Warning

Adjoint sensitivity analysis functionality requires being able to solve a differential equation defined by the parameter struct p. Thus while DifferentialEquations.jl can support any parameter struct type, usage with adjoint sensitivity analysis requires that p could be a valid type for being the initial condition u0 of an array. This means that many simple types, such as Tuples and NamedTuples, will work as parameters in normal contexts but will fail during adjoint differentiation. To work around this issue for complicated cases like nested structs, look into defining p using AbstractArray libraries such as RecursiveArrayTools.jl or ComponentArrays.jl so that p is an AbstractArray with a concrete element type.

Example second order sensitivity analysis calculation

using SciMLSensitivity, OrdinaryDiffEq, ForwardDiff
using Test

function lotka!(du,u,p,t)
du = dx = p*u - p*u*u
du = dy = -p*u + p*u*u
end

p = [1.5,1.0,3.0,1.0]; u0 = [1.0;1.0]
prob = ODEProblem(lotka!,u0,(0.0,10.0),p)
loss(sol) = sum(sol)
v = ones(4)

H  = second_order_sensitivities(loss,prob,Vern9(),saveat=0.1,abstol=1e-12,reltol=1e-12)

Arguments

The arguments for this function match adjoint_sensitivities. The only notable difference is sensealg which requires a second order sensitivity algorithm, of which currently the only choice is ForwardDiffOverAdjoint which uses forward-over-reverse to mix a forward-mode sensitivity analysis with an adjoint sensitivity analysis for a faster computation than either double forward or double reverse. ForwardDiffOverAdjoint's positional argument just accepts a first order sensitivity algorithm.

SciMLSensitivity.second_order_sensitivity_productFunction

Second order sensitivity analysis product is used for the fast calculation of Hessian-vector products $Hv$ without requiring the construction of the Hessian matrix.

Warning

Adjoint sensitivity analysis functionality requires being able to solve a differential equation defined by the parameter struct p. Thus while DifferentialEquations.jl can support any parameter struct type, usage with adjoint sensitivity analysis requires that p could be a valid type for being the initial condition u0 of an array. This means that many simple types, such as Tuples and NamedTuples, will work as parameters in normal contexts but will fail during adjoint differentiation. To work around this issue for complicated cases like nested structs, look into defining p using AbstractArray libraries such as RecursiveArrayTools.jl or ComponentArrays.jl so that p is an AbstractArray with a concrete element type.

Example second order sensitivity analysis calculation

using SciMLSensitivity, OrdinaryDiffEq, ForwardDiff
using Test

function lotka!(du,u,p,t)
du = dx = p*u - p*u*u
du = dy = -p*u + p*u*u
end

p = [1.5,1.0,3.0,1.0]; u0 = [1.0;1.0]
prob = ODEProblem(lotka!,u0,(0.0,10.0),p)
loss(sol) = sum(sol)
v = ones(4)

Hv = second_order_sensitivity_product(loss,v,prob,Vern9(),saveat=0.1,abstol=1e-12,reltol=1e-12)

Arguments

The arguments for this function match adjoint_sensitivities. The only notable difference is sensealg which requires a second order sensitivity algorithm, of which currently the only choice is ForwardDiffOverAdjoint which uses forward-over-reverse to mix a forward-mode sensitivity analysis with an adjoint sensitivity analysis for a faster computation than either double forward or double reverse. ForwardDiffOverAdjoint`'s positional argument just accepts a first order sensitivity algorithm.