An important note about the future of CVX

[Summary: we are transitioning CVX to a fully open-source model that we hope will allow it to remain available and usable for the foreseeable future.]

The first publicly available version of CVX on MATLAB was released in 2005—19 years ago. Stephen Boyd and I, Michael Grant, could not have predicted at the time how popular this tool would become, 19 years on. Despite my extended absence from academia, I still receive over 1500 citations per year according to Google Scholar. And we are particularly proud that CVX was selected to receive the Beale Orchard-Hayes Prize for Excellence in Computational Mathematical Programming in 2012. The CVX Forum continues to be an active source of support for CVX users, thanks to key contributions from volunteers.

For the last 9 years, I (Michael) have been a member of Anaconda, Inc.—a company focused on the use of the Python language and ecosystem to advance the state of data science, machine learning, and AI. It has been an ideal company for someone with my skill set, and I have served in a variety of technical, management, and leadership roles. While I joined the company with full permission to continue supporting CVX, my obligations to the company—and to provide for my family!—necessarily took precedence. It has been clear for some time that I am unable to offer the level of support that a user of CVX might reasonably expect.

For that reason, I am moving CVX to a fully open-source model. Most of CVX has always been open-source, of course; but the support for commercial solvers such as Gurobi and MOSEK utilize a closed-source license management system of my own design, enabling CVX Research, Inc. to realize a modest revenue stream from commercial use of CVX. Effective immediately, CVX is free to use for all purposes, academic or commercial, even when paired with commercial solvers.

Over the coming 2-3 months, we will be migrating the primary hosting, maintenance, and distribution of CVX to GitHub. In fact, that work has already begun. When complete:

It is our hope that once this transition to a full open-source distribution is complete, we can identify a core group of contributors who can field bug reports and implement improvements as needed. It is clear that CVX does not require significant ongoing improvements to remain useful to the convex optimization community! Nevertheless, the ability to make small corrections and improvements would undoubtedly be useful.

I hope that these changes prove to benefit the CVX community at large. To close, I’d like to offer my sincere gratitude to some key members of that community.

And of course, thank you to all of the users of CVX who have found it useful enough to them to offer their personal thanks to us, and to cite us in their published work!