A Collage-Based Approach to Inverse Problems for Nonlinear Systems of Partial Differential Equations

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A Collage-Based Approach to Inverse Problems for Nonlinear Systems of Partial Differential Equations

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Title: A Collage-Based Approach to Inverse Problems for Nonlinear Systems of Partial Differential Equations
Author: Levere, Kimberly Mary
Department: Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Program: Mathematics and Statistics
Advisor: Kunze, HerbLa Torre, Davide
Abstract: Inverse problems occur in a wide variety of applications and are an active area of research in many disciplines. We consider inverse problems for a broad class of nonlinear systems of partial differential equations (PDEs). We develop collage-based approaches for solving inverse problems for nonlinear PDEs of elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic type. The original collage method for solving inverse problems was developed in [29] with broad application, in particular to ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Using a consequence of Banach’s fixed point theorem, the collage theorem, one can bound the approximation error above by the so-called collage distance, which is more readily minimizable. By minimizing the collage distance the approximation error can be controlled. In the case of nonlinear PDEs we consider the weak formulation of the PDE and make use of the nonlinear Lax-Milgram representation theorem and Galerkin approximation theory in order to develop a similar upper-bound on the approximation error. Supporting background theory, including weak solution theory,is presented and example problems are solved for each type of PDE to showcase the methods in practice. Numerical techniques and considerations are discussed and results are presented. To demonstrate the practical applicability of this work, we study two real-world applications. First, we investigate a model for the migration of three fish species through floodplain waters. A development of the mathematical model is presented and a collage-based method is applied to this model to recover the diffusion parameters. Theoretical and numerical particulars are discussed and results are presented. Finally, we investigate a model for the “Gao beam”, a nonlinear beam model that incorporates the possibility of buckling. The mathematical model is developed and the weak formulation is discussed. An inverse problem that seeks the flexural rigidity of the beam is solved and results are presented. Finally, we discuss avenues of future research arising from this work.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3475
Date: 2012-03-30


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