# Inverse Modeling and Parameter Search Using the fzero MATLAB function

**FEATool Multiphysics** not only features an easy to use graphical
user interface (GUI), but is also fully compatible with the MATLAB
scripting language. Models can both be saved in binary format and
MATLAB m-script files (every action in the GUI is recorded and has a
one to one corresponding FEATool MATLAB function
call). This also means that FEATool FEA simulation models can be
used with all built-in MATLAB functionality as well as external
toolboxes like the Optimization Toolbox and Simulink.

The following post illustrates how to use the built-in MATLAB function
fzero to
conduct a quick and simple inverse parameter search. The
hole in plate FEATool quickstart and benchmark model,
is used as a starting point, and instead of finding an unknown the
stress for a given thickness, *fzero* is used to find *for what
unknown thickness a given prescribed stress is found*. This could be
useful in finding a critical material limit and other design constraints.

The basic process is to define a MATLAB function that takes a one
parameter argument, in this case the plate *thickness*, and return the
difference from the sought value (here the stress in the
x-direction). The problem function is in this example defined as an
anonymous MATLAB function, but could just as well be implemented as a
regular function.

```
pfun = @(thickness) sx_target - compute_max_stressx(thickness);
```

This function is called by *fzero* with appropriate arguments

```
result_thickness = fzero( pfun, thickness_range );
```

The stress computation function can looks something like the following

```
function [ sx_max ] = compute_max_stressx( thickness )
fea = get_fea_struct( thickness ); % Finite element fea problem struct.
fea.sol.u = solvestat( fea, 'fid', [] ); % Call solver without terminal output.
% Define an expression for the stress in the x-direction.
E11 = 'E_pss/(1-nu_pss^2)';
E12 = ['nu_pss*',E11];
s_sx = [E11,'*ux + ',E12,'*vy'];
[~,sx_max] = minmaxsubd( s_sx, fea ); % Calculate the maximum stress in the x-direction.
```

where `get_fea_struct`

assembles and returns a FEATool
finite element struct, as in the example
ex_planestress1 file.

Running this script we find that *fzero* takes 11 tries in the search
to successfully narrows down the thickness to 0.001, which yields an
error of about 0.05%.

The entire MATLAB m-script model file can be downloaded from the link below

Note that *fzero* will call both the FEA struct definition function
and solver in each step which can become costly for large
simulations. It is therefore advisable to save and reuse as much data
as possible, for example with the *persistent* MATLAB argument, using
old solutions as initial guesses, or pre-assembling and caching as
much as possible.

A significantly more advanced example using the Optimization MATLAB Toolbox can be seen in the topology optimization example, and more on m-file script models can also be found in the parametric study of the deflection of a bracket and bending of a wrench model examples.

**Category:**
structural mechanics
tutorial

**Tags:**
customization
matlab
parametric
script