, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 89-104

Local convergence in Fermat's problem

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The general Fermat problem is to find the minimum of the weighted sum of distances fromm destination points in Euclideann-space. Kuhn recently proved that a classical iterative algorithm converges to the unique minimizing point , for any choice of the initial point except for a denumerable set. In this note, it is shown that although convergence is global, the rapidity of convergence depends strongly upon whether or not  is a destination.

If  is not a destination, then locally convergence is always linear with upper and lower asymptotic convergence boundsλ andλ′ (λ ≥ 1/2, whenn=2). If  is a destination, then convergence can be either linear, quadratic or sublinear. Three numerical examples which illustrate the different possibilities are given and comparisons are made with the use of Steffensen's scheme to accelerate convergence.

This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Program of University Research (Contract No. DOT-OS-30108).