Dakota Reference Manual

Version 5.4

Brian M. Adams, Lara E. Bauman, William J. Bohnhoff, Keith R. Dalbey, John P. Eddy, Mohamed S. Ebeida, Michael S. Eldred, Patricia D. Hough, Kenneth T. Hu, John D. Jakeman, Laura P. Swiler, J. Adam Stephens, Dena M. Vigil
Main Page Table of Contents


The Dakota (Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications) toolkit provides a flexible, extensible interface between analysis codes and iteration methods. Dakota contains algorithms for optimization with gradient and nongradient-based methods, uncertainty quantification with sampling, reliability, stochastic expansion, and interval estimation methods, parameter estimation with nonlinear least squares methods, and sensitivity/variance analysis with design of experiments and parameter study capabilities. (Solution verification and Bayesian approaches are also in development.) These capabilities may be used on their own or as components within advanced algorithms such as surrogate-based optimization, mixed integer nonlinear programming, mixed aleatory-epistemic uncertainty quantification, or optimization under uncertainty. By employing object-oriented design to implement abstractions of the key components required for iterative systems analyses, the Dakota toolkit provides a flexible problem-solving environment for design and performance analysis of computational models on high performance computers.

The Reference Manual focuses on documentation of the various input commands for Dakota. It follows closely the structure of dakota.input.summary, the master input specification summary. For information on software structure, refer to the Developers Manual, and for a tour of Dakota features and capabilities, refer to the Users Manual [Adams et al., 2010].

Input Specification Reference

In Dakota, the strategy creates and manages iterators and models. A model contains a set of variables, an interface, and a set of responses, and the iterator operates on the model to map the variables into responses using the interface. In a Dakota input file, the user specifies these components through strategy, method, model, variables, interface, and responses keyword specifications. The Reference Manual closely follows this structure, with introductory material followed by detailed documentation of the strategy, method, model, variables, interface, and responses keyword specifications:


Strategy Commands

Method Commands

Model Commands

Variables Commands

Interface Commands

Responses Commands

Additional Resources

A bibliography for the Reference Manual is provided in:


Project web pages are maintained at http://dakota.sandia.gov/ including documentation at http://dakota.sandia.gov/documentation.html and a list of publications at http://dakota.sandia.gov/publications.html

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