Identify which method leads the Dakota study




  • Alias: method_pointer

  • Arguments: STRING

  • Default: see discussion


An optional top_method_pointer specification may be used to point to a particular method specification that will lead the Dakota analysis. The associated string must be a method identifier specified via id_method. If top_method_pointer is not used, then it will be inferred as decribed below (no top_method_pointer within an environment specification is treated the same as no environment specification).

Default Behavior

The top_method_pointer keyword is typically used in Dakota studies consisting of more than one method block to clearly indicate which is the leading method. This method provides the starting point for the iteration. The corresponding method specification may recurse with additional sub-method pointers in the case of “meta-iteration” (see method) or may specify a single method without recursion. Either case will ultimately result in identification of one or more model specifications using model_pointer, which again may or may not involve further recursion (see nested and surrogate for recursion cases). Each of the model specifications identify the variables and responses specifications (using variables_pointer and responses_pointer) that are used to build the model, and depending on the type of model, may also identify an interface specification (for example, using interface_pointer). If one of these specifications does not provide an optional pointer, then that component will be constructed using the last specification parsed.

When the environment block is omitted, the top level method will be inferred as follows: When a single method is specified, there is no ambiguity and the sole method will be the top method. When multiple methods are specified, the top level method will be deduced from the hierarchical relationships implied by method pointers. If this inference is not well defined (e.g., there are multiple method specifications without any pointer relationship), then the default behavior is to employ the last method specification parsed.


Specify that the optimization method is the outermost method in an optimization under uncertainty study

  top_method_pointer 'OPTIMIZATION_METHOD'
  id_method 'UQ_METHOD'