Nonlinear Constraint Solving and Optimization
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This is a Julia wrapper for the dReal SMT solver. dReal allows you to answer satisfiability problems. That is, you can ask questions of the form: is there some assignment to my variables x1,x2,x3,..., that makes my formula over these variables true?.

dReal also allows you to do non-linear, constrained, optimisation.


  • Linux or OSX: DReal does not support Windows

  • libstdc++6: In Ubuntu, please do the following install to install it.

    sudo add-apt-repository --yes ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test # needed for 12.04
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libstdc++6


You can easily install DReal from a Julia repl with


DReal can then be loaded with:

using DReal

Getting Started

To ask is there some Integer x and some Integer y such that x > 2 and y < 10 and x + 2*y ==7, y ou could write:

using DReal
x = Var(Int, "x")
y = Var(Int)
add!((x > 2) & (y < 10) & (x + 2*y == 7))

The function Var(Int,"x") creates an integer variable named x. You can ommit the name and it will be automatically generated for you; for the most part you won't need to see the name. x will have type Ex{Int}, and when we apply functions to variables we also get back typed Ex{T} values. For instance x+2y will also have type Ex{Int}, but the main constraint (x > 2) & (y < 10) & (x + 2*y == 7) will have type Ex{Bool}, i.e. it is a proposition.

Use add! to assert that any proposition Ex{Bool} value must be true. We then use is_satisfiable to solve the system to determine whether there is any assignment to our variables x and y that can makes the expression x > 2 & y < 10 & x + 2*y == 7 true.

Real Valued Arithmetic

Similarly to the previous example, we can use create models using Real (Float64) variables:

x = Var(Float64,-100.0,100.0)
y = Var(Float64,-100.0,100.0)
add!((x^2 + y^2 > 4) & (x^3 + y < 5))
x,y = model(x,y)

This example also shows how to extract a model. A model is an assignment of values to variables that makes the model satisfiable. Use model, and any variable used in the system to extract relevant variables in a model. Note: model only makes sense when the system is satisfiable, otherwise it will throw an error.

Nonlinear Arithmetic

The feature which distinguishes dReal in comparison to other SMT solvers is its powerful support for nonlinear real arithmetic.

Consider an example which slighly modifies a formula from the Flyspeck project benchmarks, taken from the dReal homepage.


x1 = Var(Float64, 3.0, 3.14)
x2 = Var(Float64, -7.0, 5.0)
c = (2π - 2*x1*asin(cos(0.797) * sin/x1))) <= (-0.591 - 0.0331 *x2 + 0.506 + 1.0)
is_satisfiable() # false

Boolean Logic

dReal supports boolean operators: And (&), Or (|), Not (!), implies (implies or → (\rightarrow)) and if-then-else (ifelse). Bi­implications are represented using equality ==. The following example shows how to solve a simple set of Boolean constraints.

a = Var(Bool)
b = Var(Bool)
add!(a → b) # \rightarrow - equivalent to implies(a,b)
a,b =  model(a,b)


DReal.jl has tools for constrained optimisation. One strength of optimisation in dReal is that the constraints and the objective function can be non-linear or discontinous. The function minimize(obj::Ex,vars::Ex...) takes as input a value obj to to be minimised, and any variables vars whose optimal values you would like to get. It returns a Tuple (a pair) of the optimal cost and corresponding values of the vars you specified.

As an example we can minimize the rastrigins function, which takes vector x of reals, each between -5.12 and 5.12 as input, and has a global minimum at x = 0, of 0.

rastrigin(x::Array) = 10 * length(x) + sum([xi*xi - 10*cos(2pi*xi) for xi in x])

x = Var(Float64, -5.12,5.12)
y = Var(Float64, -5.12,5.12)
f = Var(Float64, -10.,10.)
add!(f == rastrigin([x,y]))
cost, assignment =  minimize(f,x,y; lb=-10.,ub = 10.)
println("the assignment of x=$(assignment[1]) and y=$(assignment[2]) minimises rastrigin to $cost")


> the assignment of x=[0.0 0.0] and y=[0.0 0.0] minimises rastrigin to [0.0 -0.0]

caution: the value of the cost function must be a declared variable. The following code may produce wrong or erratic results

x = Var(Float64,"x",-5.12,5.12)
y = Var(Float64,"y",-5.12,5.12)

# we did not declare a value for the cost
cost, assignment =  minimize(rastrigin([x,y]),x,y; lb=-10.,ub = 10.)


DReal has an (experimental) implementation of MathProgBase interface, and hence can be used with JuMP and other modelling languages of JuliaOpt. In general MathProgBase is less general than normal DReal. Example:

using JuMP
using NLopt
using DReal

m = Model(solver=DReal.DRealSolver(precision = 0.001))
@defVar(m, -10 <= x1 <= 10.0 )        # Lower bound only (note: 'lb <= x' is not valid)
@defVar(m, -10 <= x2 <= 10.0 )        # Lower bound only (note: 'lb <= x' is not valid)

@setNLObjective(m, :Min, -1 * ((cos(x1)*cos(x2)*exp(sqrt(1 - (sqrt(x1^2 + x2^2)) / 3.141592)))^2) / 30)

status = solve(m)

println("Objective value: ", getObjectiveValue(m))
println("x1 = ", getValue(x1))
println("x2 = ", getValue(x2))