Multidimensional Model Runs#

You want to sweep over multiple parameters? Utopia has just the right tools for you!

In Utopia, we distinguish between universes and multiverses: a multiverse is a collection of multiple universes in which all the universes are independent of each other. So, for example if you want to sweep over N different seeds of the random number generator, you create N different universes within the run of the multiverse.

Follow these three steps to perform a multiverse run:

1. Create a run configuration file#

The run configuration should specify the parameters over which to sweep. Sweep parameters need to be indicated by a !sweep tag and supplied with a default value (which is used when no sweep is performed) as well as a parameter range or a set of values. It can look something like this:

# My run configuration for a parameter sweep
# Default values can be found in the base config: utopia/python/utopya/utopya/cfg/base_cfg.yml
# Frontend configuration parameters
# ...

# What is passed to the C++ side (_after_ the frontend prepared it)
  # Number of simulation steps
  num_steps: 1000

  # Write data every ... steps
  write_every: 1  # Default: 1
  # NOTE You can delete this if you're using the default!

  # The seed the RNG is initialized with
  # Indicate this by adding the !sweep tag
  seed: !sweep
    default: 42    # The value which is used if no sweep is done
    range: [10]    # The values over which to sweep, here: 0, 1, ... 9
                   # Other ways to specify them:
                   #   values: [1,2,3,4]  # taken as they are
                   #   range: [1, 4]      # passed to range()
                   #   linspace: [1,4,4]  # passed to np.linspace
                   #   logspace: []       # passed to np.logspace
    # optional arguments
    # as_type: int # let python make a type call. Possible values: str, int, float, bool
    # order: 42    # change the order of parameter dimensions; default: np.inf, in which case
                   # the sorting is done by position inside the alpabetically ordered dict.
    # name: foo    # give a custom name to this parameter dimension. If not given, a unique
                   # name within the parameter space is generated, in this case: seed

  # Now, load the configuration for your specific model
    # Below, you can make updates to these values
    some_parameter: 42

You can use this !sweep tag on more than one parameter. It will create a multidimensional hypercube with all possible value combinations.

Coupled sweeps#

If you want to vary one or parameters along with another (e.g. sweep over a parameter and using a different seed for each run), use the !coupled-sweep tag on the parameter(s) to be varied along with another, and add a target key; see here for an example.

Once you’re done, you can pass the run configuration file to the CLI like this:

$ utopia run MyFancyModel path/to/run_cfg.yml

See utopia run --help for a detailed description.

2. Create a plot configuration and corresponding plots#


There are a bunch of new capabilities in the plotting framework that are not reflected in the examples below!

Make sure to check out the documentation of the plotting framework.

Plotting multidimensional data can be achieved through different means depending on what you want to plot.

For the following, create a new plot configuration file and specify the desired plots you want to perform. You can pass the plot configuration file to the CLI by adding --plot-cfg path/to/plot_cfg.yml. See utopia run --help for a detailed description.

a. Plot all or specific universes#

If you have a plot function which uses only the data of a single universe, you need to write something like this:

  creator: universe   # Create plots for the universes, not the multiverse
  universes: all      # Choose all the universes.

  # Select the plot function just as for a simple simulation run, e.g.
  module: model_plots.MyFancyModel
  plot_func: state

  # Below, you can put the other plot-specific parameters.

This will call the state function in the model_plots.MyFancyModel module. With universes: all, a plot is generated for each universe that was run. However, you could also specify only certain universes to plot:

  creator: universe   # Create plots for the universes, not the multiverse
     some_sweep_parameter: [val_1, val_2, val_3] # Select the universes to plot.

b. Plot a multiverse plot#

If you need the data from mutliple universes for a single plot, you need to write a multiverse plot function. Let’s say that you want to have an average state (averaged over different model realizations i.e. random number generator seeds). The plot configuration then looks like this:

  # As you need the data of many universes, select the multiverse plot creator:
  creator: multiverse

  # The `select` key is used to select a hyperslab out of the data:
      # Choose the path in the data tree (see terminal output)
      path: data/MyFancyModel/some_state

      # Label the dimensions (optional. If not given, they are called dim_0, dim_1, ...)
      dims: [time]
  # For more syntax examples, e.g. selecting multiple fields, see here:

  # Select the plot function just as for a universe plot
  module: model_plots.MyFancyModel
  plot_func: mean_state

  # Below, you can put the other plot specific parameters.
  # ...

The data specified in select will be passed to the plotting function as mv_data parameter and as an xarray.Dataset object. Take a look at the xarray documentation to learn more. The big advantage of this package is that your array dimensions are now labelled, so you can just call .mean(dim='time') on your data and don’t have to worry that the wrong dimension might be chosen.

In the above example, you need to write a new plot function mean_state. It could look something like this:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

from utopya import DataManager, UniverseGroup

from import save_and_close

def mean_state(dm: DataManager, *,
               out_path: str,
               mv_data: xr.Dataset,     # Here, you get the actual data as an xarray DataSet object
               # Below, you can add further model specific arguments
               save_kwargs: dict=None,
    '''Plots the mean state of multiple universes'''

    # Calculate the mean state averaged over all universes.
    state = mv_data.means(dim='seed')

    # Now, you have the average state data, which you can plot.
    # NOTE: If the write_every paramter in the config is not equal to 1,
    #       you would need to adapt this plot function such that it plots the
    #       actual time step on the x axis.
    plt.plot(state['time'], state['some_state'], **plot_kwargs)

    # Save and close the figure
    save_and_close(out_path, save_kwargs=save_kwargs)

3. Perform a Multiverse Run#

The final step is running the sweep. The terminal command to “run a multiverse” i.e. to do a parameter sweep, is:

$ utopia run MyFancyModel <path_to_run_config> --sweep --plots-cfg <path_to_plot_config>

If you leave out --sweep, utopia will just do a single universe run using the default values you provided in the run configuration. Alternatively, you can add perform_sweep: true to the top level of your run configuration and omit the --sweep flag in the CLI command. Again, see utopia run --help for more information.