I'm learning Mathematica and meet a problem. Here is a simple example.

x = {0, 0.5, 1}
y = {a-3,b,10}
yl= {b,a,5}

I want to find the value of a and b when it minimum of (y-x)^2+(yl-x)^2

Nminimize[(y - x)^2 + (yl - x)^2, {a,b}]

But it returns

Minimize[{(-3. + a)^2 + (0. + b)^2, (-0.5 + a)^2 + (-0.5 + b)^2, 97.}, {a, b}]

What's the right way to solve this problem? Thanks

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think I understand this at all. When a is 1, y1 - y is zero right? $\endgroup$
    – exp ikx
    Apr 9, 2020 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Mathematica.SE! I suggest the following: 1) As you receive help, try to give it too, by answering questions in your area of expertise. 2) Take the tour and check the faqs! 3) When you see good questions and answers, vote them up by clicking the gray triangles, because the credibility of the system is based on the reputation gained by users sharing their knowledge. Also, please remember to accept the answer, if any, that solves your problem, [by clicking the checkmark sign](tinyurl.com/4srwe26 $\endgroup$
    – Dunlop
    Apr 9, 2020 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ Can you give a minimal example of what you are trying to do? This is not clear enough for people to help you. $\endgroup$
    – Dunlop
    Apr 9, 2020 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ Also note that NMinimize is case sensitive and you are showing Nminimize. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Laska
    Apr 9, 2020 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ I rewrite the example, I think it is clear now, thank you guys $\endgroup$
    – YzWu
    Apr 9, 2020 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


You have a typo in NMinimize and it will require the objective function to be a scalar and not a vector. You could minimize the Norm of the vector like so.

x = {0, 0.5, 1};
y = {a - 3, b, 10};
yl = {b, a, 5};
NMinimize[(y - x)^2 + (yl - x)^2 // Norm, {a, b}]
(* {97.0272, {a -> 1.75, b -> 0.25}} *)
  • $\begingroup$ Got it. Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – YzWu
    Apr 9, 2020 at 19:34

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