ADMB Changes

Describe changes and features for each release.

Release Goals

  • Continually improve algorithms
  • Add new requested features
  • Correct defects (bugs)
  • Continually streamline installation and build process
  • Continually improve and update documentation


Released December 21, 2017

New Supported Compilers

  • GNU C++ 7
  • Intel C++ Compiler 2018
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2017

    Note Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 is no longer supported.

New Feature

  • Dr. Cole Monnahan has developed a new MCMC functionality into ADMB. The current Metropolis algorithm was updated to have more meaningful console output and not require an sdreport object. The old method remains, and the new one is accessible with argument ‘-rwm’. A new algorithm, the no-U-turn sampler (a self-tuning extension of the existing ‘hybrid’ method was also added, and available with ‘-nuts’. The functionality matches the software platform Stan closely. The user can specify whether to use the MLE covariance, an arbitrary matrix, or adapt one during the warmup phase (recommended). Both these additions work much with the R package adnuts, which streamlines workflow, including parallel chains, diagnostic checking, and inference. See adnuts package vignette for more information.

Changes and Improvements

There were approximately 900 commits to improve ADMB. Below are some of the changes.

  • Fixed many signed and unsigned conversion warnings.
  • Reverted change to gradcalc wrapper which caused incorrect outputs in profiler (see
  • Fixed 2gb limitation for file i/o using MSVC compiler.
  • Improved and simplified DF_FILE functions.
  • Added and updated function documentation.
  • Increased testing code coverage.
  • Updated tiny_ad.
  • Fixed issue #86. Increased max initial parameters from 250 to 4000.


New Supported Compilers

  • GNU C++ 6.2 and 5.3
  • Rtools 3.4
  • Oracle Developer Studio 12.5
  • Intel C++ Compiler 2017

Changes and Improvements

  • Added floating point checking into tpl2cpp and tpl2rem.

    To check for floating point errors, build executable with -g option.

    $ admb -g “model.tpl”

    Run executable with debugger (such as gdb) to locate file and line number where error occured.

    $ gdb ./model

  • Configured and automated builds for ADMB-IDE.
  • Merged Kasper Kristensen and Anders Nielsen bug fixes.
  • Added new features such as tiny_ad.hpp and vectorize developed by DTU. See the report Extending TMB and ADMB functionality jointly.
  • Able to use Rtools\bin\make to build admb from source.
  • Replaced rgamma function.
  • Fixed numerous bugs and added various improvements.
  • Compilers should support C++11 standard to build ADMB.
  • Added experimental Hybrid Monte Carlo function by Cole Monnahan.
  • Added experimental JSON data structure for data input.
  • Added support for C++11 standard into admb script and build files.
  • Added support for C++14 standard into admb script and build files if supported by compiler.
  • Added release version into admb scripts -h option to help troubleshooting installation conflicts.

    The new output include Release Version info.

    $ admb -h

    Builds AD Model Builder executable or library.

    Usage: admb [-c] [-d] [-g] [-r] [-f] model [src(s)]

    Release Version: 11.6

    Options: -c Build only object file(s) (.obj). -d Build a shared library (.so). -g Build with debug symbols. -r Build with Random effects library (ADMB-RE). -f Build with Fast optimized mode library (no bounds checking). By default, admb script builds with bounds checking. model TPL file (ie ‘simple.tpl’ or the filename ‘simple’ with no .tpl extension) src(s) C/C++ Source file(s) containing classes, methods and variables that are used in model.

  • MinGW-w64 Windows installers now include GNU GCC 6.2 compiler.
  • Other bug fixes and improvements

Developers changes

Website changes


New Supported Compilers

  • Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0
  • Intel C++ 2016
  • GNU C++ 5.1

Compilers no longer supported

  • Microsoft Visual C++ 11.0

Changes and Improvements

  • Change to Dave Fournier’s version of cspline.cpp.
  • Added Dave Fournier’s memory leak patches.
  • Fixed memory leaks reported by Valgrind and XCode.
  • Added more api documentation.
  • mfexp will call ad_exit if computed result is not in range.
  • Added more unit tests for better code coverage.
  • Fixed MacOS ADMBTerminal from opening two terminals.
  • Other bug fixes and improvements


Changes and Improvements

  • Fixed unix shared builds.
  • Other bug fixes and improvements


Changes and Improvements

  • Steve Martell’s changes to gamma function.
  • Other bug fixes and improvements


Changes and Improvements

  • Default safe libs include overflows checks.
  • Changes to derivative checker prompts.
  • Added description documentation to the programming interface.
  • Improvements to admb scripts (see New Features).
  • Added more unit tests for improved code coverage.
  • Fixed reported and found bugs.
  • Fixed compilers warnings.
  • Add more checks in admb scripts to test for errors.
  • Added Quickstart*.txt markup documentation for building and using ADMB.
  • User interface: Windows admb bash script has a .sh extension to avoid conflict with batch file. So in MinGW or Cygwin shell, user will need to use

      [~/admb/examples/admb/simple/]$ ~/admb/ simple
  • Fixed ‘admb -d’ for unix, mingw and cygwin shells.
  • Able to use Rtools for building, but will need to use the utilities\make.exe for building.
  • Improved the build by restructuring and reworking the GNUmakefiles file.
  • Able to use parallel build option (-j) with verify and contrib targets for faster builds.
  • To build with optimized libraries use fast option (-f) instead of (-o).

      $ admb -f model.tpl
  • Fix shared ( and dynamic (admb.dll) builds.

      [~/admb/]$ make shared
      C:\admb\> utilities\make shared

    Note — This is great for testing linker errors.

  • Added contributed method to save gradient values to a file. Contributed by Jiashen Tang and David Fournier.

  • Added back the MacOS binary ADMBTerminal app.
  • Packaged mingw compilers (32 and 64 bit) with windows installers.
  • admb scripts can determine which parser (tpl2cpp or tpl2rem) to use.

      [~/admb/examples/admb-re/union/]$ ~/admb/admb union

    Note: Option *-r* is no longer needed to build the random effects model.

  • Separate build/dist and build/debug for easily switching between the both.
  • Allow > 2GB buffers for MinGW-w64 builds.

New Supported Compilers

  • GNU C++ 4.8 compiler
  • Apple XCode 6
  • MinGW 64 Bit
  • Microsoft C++ 2013

Note: Borland 5.5 compiler is no longer supported.

New Features

  • Add debug target to build files.

      $ make debug
  • Add shared target to build files (Unix only).

      $ make shared
  • admb scripts can be called directly and do not require setting enviromental variables ADMB_HOME and PATH.

    For Unix,

      [~/admb/example/admb/simple/]$ ~/admb/admb simple

    For Windows,

      C:\admb\example\admb\simple\> C:\admb\admb simple
  • admb scripts can build C++ source files and link.

    For Unix,

      [~/admb/example/admb/simple/]$ ~/admb/admb simple.tpl mysource.cpp

    For Windows,

      C:\admb\example\admb\simple\> C:\admb\admb simple.tpl mysource.cpp
  • admb scripts have a new option -f for optimized library “OPT_LIB”.

    For Unix,

      [~/admb/example/admb/simple/]$ ~/admb/admb -f simple.tpl mysource.cpp

    For Windows,

      C:\admb\example\admb\simple\> C:\admb\admb -f simple.tpl mysource.cpp
  • admb scripts have a new option -c for only building object files.

    Both commands below will only build simple.o and mysource.o compiled object files.
    The model application will not be built.

    For Unix,

      [~/admb/example/admb/simple/]$ ~/admb/admb -c simple.tpl mysource.cpp

    For Windows,

      C:\admb\example\admb\simple\> C:\admb\admb -c simple.tpl mysource.cpp

    Note: This is the almost the same as using ‘adcomp mysource’.

Priorities: Next Release

The following are planned or requested features for the next release.

  • Add Threading Support (High)
  • Write Design Documentation (High)
  • Write Developer Documentation (High)
  • Atan2


Released May 10, 2013


  • Updated Visual Studio nmake build files.

  • Improved Unix build files.

    • Only outdated files are rebuilt.
    • Fast parallel building with source distribution

      [~/admb/]$ make -j
    • Building from source will create distribution folder in ‘build/dist’ instead of ‘build/os-compiler-arch’.
  • Combined mulitple libraries to a single library ‘libadmb.a’.

  • Reverted some algorithms to previous version-9 code.

  • The compilation scripts (adcomp, adlink, admb) compile in “safe” mode by default.

  • added ‘s’ option with the Ctrl^C

  • contributed libraries are built with the main libraries.

  • flex is not needed to build ADMB, but it is needed to develop the tpl2cpp.lex and tpl2rem.lex files.

  • Improved documentation.

New Features

  • admb script can now build tpl models without the need to set ADMB_HOME or PATH. For example,

      [~/admb-11.1/examples/admb/simple/]$ ~/admb-11.1/admb simple
  • Functions from user-contributed packages can be loaded from directory ‘contrib’. Read ‘contrib/README.txt’.

  • New class ‘init_table’ to read input data into a matrix.

  • New function sumsq() to calculate sum of squared values, equivalent to norm2().

  • New constant PI for 3.141593… Makes models more portable than using M_PI or other compiler-specific constants.

  • New shell command ‘ad2csv’ to write binary files to screen or to a file.

  • admb is now able to handle .obj, .cpp and .tpl files on the commandline.

    For example,

      $ admb model.tpl supportcode.cpp anotherfile.cpp

    Output is executable ‘model’.

Bug Fixes

  • Catch exit errors for adlink and adcomp.
  • Watch out for spaces in admb scripts
  • Fix memory leaks.

Changes 9.2 to 11.0

  • Fixed gammln functions
  • Fixed configure script
  • Fixed atan2 functions
  • Documentation changes
  • Script changes
  • Various bug fixes

For help and support, email

ADMB Foundation © 2007–2021