How to manually create a discipline interfacing an external executable?

Presentation of the problem

Let’s consider a binary software computing the float output \(c = a^2 + b^2\) from two float inputs : 'a' and 'b'.

The inputs are read in the inputs.txt file which looks like: a=1 b=2 and the output is written to: outputs.txt which looks like c=5.

Then, the executable can be run using the shell command ./run.ksh:

set -i

echo "Parsed inputs.txt file"
source "inputs.txt"
echo "a="$a
echo "b="$b

echo "executing simulation..."
c=$(perl -e "print $a*$a+$b*$b")

echo "Done."
echo "Computed output : c = a**2+b**2 = "$c
echo "c="$c>"outputs.txt"

echo "Wrote output file 'outputs.txt'"

Let’s make a discipline out of this from an initial 'inputs.txt'.

Implementation of the discipline

The construction of an MDODiscipline consists in three steps:

  1. Instantiate the MDODiscipline using the super constructor,

  2. Initialize the grammars using the JSONGrammar.initialize_from_data_names() method,

  3. Set the default inputs from the initial inputs.txt.

The MDODiscipline._run method consists in three steps:

  1. Get the input data from MDODiscipline.local_data and write the inputs.txt file,

  2. Run the executable using the os.system() command (see more),

  3. Get the output values and store them to MDODiscipline.local_data.

Now you can implement the discipline in the following way:

import os
from gemseo.core.discipline import MDODiscipline

class ShellExecutableDiscipline(MDODiscipline):

    def __init__(self):
        super(ShellExecutableDiscipline, self).__init__("ShellDisc")
        # Initialize the grammars
        # Initialize the default inputs

    def _run(self):
        # Write inputs.txt file
        write_file(self.local_data, 'inputs.txt')

        # Run the executable from the inputs

        # Parse the outputs.txt file
        outputs = parse_file('outputs.txt')

        # Store the outputs

where parse_file() and write_file() functions are defined by:

from numpy import array

def parse_file(file_path):
    with open(file_path) as inf:
        for line in inf.readlines():
            if len(line)==0:

    return data

def write_file(data, file_path):
    with open(file_path, "w") as outf:
        for name,value in data.iteritems():

Execution of the discipline

Now we can run it with default input values:

shell_disc = ShellExecutableDiscipline()

which results in:

Inputs =  {'a': array([ 1.]), 'b': array([ 2.])}
Running executable
Outputs =  {'c': array([ 5.])}
{'a': array([ 1.]), 'c': array([ 5.]), 'b': array([ 2.])}

or run it with new input values:

print(shell_disc.execute({'a': array([2.]), 'b': array([3.])}))

which results in:

Inputs =  {'a': array([ 2.]), 'b': array([ 3.])}
Running executable
Outputs =  {'c': array([ 13.])}
{'a': array([ 2.]), 'c': array([ 13.]), 'b': array([ 3.])}