An approach to variable metric algorithms has been investigated in which the linear search sub-problem no longer becomes necessary. The property of quadratic termination has been replaced by one of monotonic convergence of the eigenvalues of the approximating matrix to the inverse hessian. A convex class of updating formulae which possess this property has been established, and a strategy has been indicated for choosing a member of the class so as to keep the approximation away from both singularity and unboundedness. A FORTRAN program has been tested extensively with encouraging results.

Received October 1969. 

Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, Didcot, Berkshire