What does "backsteps" mean, when you use "maxlik"?

Hi ,

Does anyone know, what backsteps exactly mean when you use "Maxlik" for optimization? Consider the following example:

iteration: 49
algorithm: BFGS             step method: STEPBT
function: 7.00563           step length: 0.00995              backsteps: 23

Does it mean the optimization procedure cannot find the path to minimum? I assume it means the procedure has tried 23 times and has not been able to find a path that reduces the maximum likelihood. So, my question is what exactly happens before each backstep? Does is select a random direction and tries to find a step length that reduces the function?


Thank you in advance.

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