Boundary Value Problems

Boundary Value Problems

This tutorial will introduce you to the functionality for solving BVPs. Other introductions can be found by checking out DiffEqTutorials.jl. This tutorial assumes you have read the Ordinary Differential Equations tutorial.

In this example we will solve the ODE that satisfies the boundary condition in the form of

\[\begin{align} \frac{d}{dt} &= f(t, u) \\ g(u) &= \vec{0} \end{align}\]

Example 1: Simple Pendulum

The concrete example that we are solving is the simple pendulum $\ddot{u}+\frac{g}{L}u=0$ on the time interval $t\in[0,\frac{\pi}{2}]$. First, we need to define the ODE

using BoundaryValueDiffEq
const g = 9.81
L = 1.0
tspan = (0.0,pi/2)
function simplependulum(t,u,du)
    θ  = u[1]
    dθ = u[2]
    du[1] = dθ
    du[2] = -(g/L)*sin(θ)

Boundary Condition

And here is where the Boundary comes in. We need to write a function that calculate the residual in-place from the problem solution, such that the residual is $\vec{0}$ when the boundary condition is satisfied.

function bc1(residual, u)
    residual[1] = u[end÷2][1] + pi/2 # the solution at the middle of the time span should be -pi/2
    residual[2] = u[end][1] - pi/2 # the solution at the end of the time span should be pi/2
bvp1 = BVProblem(simplependulum, bc1, [pi/2,pi/2], tspan)
sol1 = solve(bvp1, GeneralMIRK4(), dt=0.05)

BVP Example Plot1

We need to use GeneralMIRK4 or Shooting methods to solve BVProblem. We have boundary conditions at the beginning and the ending of the time span in common cases. We can use the TwoPointBVProblem problem type for such cases.

function bc2(residual, ua, ub) # ua is the beginning of the time span, and ub is the ending
    residual[1] = ua[1] + pi/2 # the solution at the beginning of the time span should be -pi/2
    residual[2] = ub[1] - pi/2 # the solution at the end of the time span should be pi/2
bvp2 = TwoPointBVProblem(simplependulum, bc2, [pi/2,pi/2], tspan)
sol2 = solve(bvp2, MIRK4(), dt=0.05) # we need to use the MIRK4 solver for TwoPointBVProblem

BVP Example Plot2

We have used the mono-implicit Runge–Kutta (MIRK) method to solve the BVP, but we can always use reduce a BVP to an IVP and a root-finding problem, which is the Shooting method. If you can have a good initial guess, shooting method works very well.

using OrdinaryDiffEq
u₀_2 = [-1.6, -1.7] # the initial guess
function bc3(residual, sol)
    residual[1] = sol(pi/4)[1] + pi/2 # use the interpolation here, since indexing will be wrong for adaptive methods
    residual[2] = sol(pi/2)[1] - pi/2
bvp3 = BVProblem(simplependulum, bc3, u₀_2, tspan)
sol3 = solve(bvp3, Shooting(Vern7()))

We changed u to sol to emphasize the fact that in this case the boundary condition can be written on the solution object. Thus all of the features on the solution type such as interpolations are available when using the Shooting method (i.e. you can have a boundary condition saying that the maximum over the interval is 1 using an optimization function on the continuous output). Note that user has to import the IVP solver before it can be used. Any common interface ODE solver is acceptable.


BVP Example Plot3