Past OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event

14 March 2012
10:15
Alexander Lukyanov
Abstract
<p style="text-align: justify;">In many fields of science and engineering, such as fluid or structural mechanics and electric circuit design, large scale dynamical systems need to be simulated, optimized or controlled. They are often described by discretizations of systems of nonlinear partial differential equations yielding high-dimensional discrete phase spaces. For this reason, in recent decades, research has mainly focused on the development of sophisticated analytical and numerical tools to help understand the overall system behavior. During this time meshless methods have enjoyed significant interest in the research community and in some commercial simulators (e.g., LS-DYNA). In this talk I will describe a normalized-corrected meshless method which ensures linear completeness and improved accuracy. The resulting scheme not only provides first order consistency O(h) but also alleviates the particle deficiency (kernel support incompleteness) problem at the boundary. Furthermore, a number of improvements to the kernel derivative approximation are proposed. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> To illustrate the performance of the meshless method, we present results for different problems from various fields of science and engineering (i.e. nano-tubes modelling, solid mechanics, damage mechanics, fluid mechanics, coupled interactions of solids and fluids). Special attention is paid to fluid flow in porous media. The primary attraction of the present approach is that it provides a weak formulation for Darcy's law which can be used in further development of meshless methods.</p>
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
7 March 2012
10:15
Mihai Cucuringu
Abstract
The graph realization problem has received a great deal of attention in recent years, due to its importance in applications such as wireless sensor networks and structural biology. We introduce the ASAP algorithm, for the graph realization problem in R^d, given a sparse and noisy set of distance measurements associated to the edges of a globally rigid graph. ASAP is a divide and conquer, non-incremental and non-iterative algorithm, which integrates local distance information into a global structure determination. Our approach starts with identifying, for every node, a subgraph of its 1-hop neighborhood graph, which can be accurately embedded in its own coordinate system. In the noise-free case, the computed coordinates of the sensors in each patch must agree with their global positioning up to some unknown rigid motion, that is, up to translation, rotation and possibly reflection. In other words, to every patch there corresponds an element of the Euclidean group Euc(3) of rigid transformations in R^3, and the goal is to estimate the group elements that will properly align all the patches in a globally consistent way. The reflections and rotations are estimated using a recently developed eigenvector synchronization algorithm, while the translations are estimated by solving an overdetermined linear system. Furthermore, the algorithm successfully incorporates information specific to the molecule problem in structural biology, in particular information on known substructures and their orientation. In addition, we also propose SP-ASAP, a faster version of ASAP, which uses a spectral partitioning algorithm as a preprocessing step for dividing the initial graph into smaller subgraphs. Our extensive numerical simulations show that ASAP and SP-ASAP are very robust to high levels of noise in the measured distances and to sparse connectivity in the measurement graph, and compare favorably to similar state-of-the art localization algorithms. Time permitting, we briefly discuss the analogy between the graph realization and the low-rank matrix completion problems, as well as an application of synchronization over Z_2 and its variations to bipartite multislice networks.
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
15 February 2012
10:15
Abstract
Mathematical models of chemotactic movement of bacterial populations are often written as systems of partial differential equations for the densities of bacteria and concentrations of extracellular signaling chemicals. This approach has been employed since the seminal work of Keller and Segel in the 1970s [Keller and Segel, J. Theor. Biol., 1971]. The system has been shown to permit travelling wave solutions which correspond to travelling band formation in bacterial colonies, yet only under specific criteria, such as a singularity in the chemotactic sensitivity function as the signal approaches zero. Such a singularity generates infinite macroscopic velocities that ar biologically unrealistic. Here we present a microscopic model that takes into consideration relevant details of the intracellular processes while avoiding the singularity in the chemotactic sensitivity. We show that this model permits travelling wave solutions and predicts the formation of other bacterial patterns such as radial and spiral streams. We also present connections of this microscopic model with macroscopic models of bacterial chemotaxis. This is joint work with Radek Erban, Benjamin Franz, Hyung Ju Hwang, and Kevin J. Painter.
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
25 January 2012
10:10
Abstract
Many swimming microorganisms inhabit heterogeneous environments consisting of solid particles immersed in viscous fluid. Such environments require the organisms attempting to move through them to negotiate both hydrodynamic forces and geometric constraints. Here, we study this kind of locomotion by first observing the kinematics of the small nematode and model organism Caenorhabditis elegans in fluid-filled, micro-pillar arrays. We then compare its dynamics with those given by numerical simulations of a purely mechanical worm model that accounts only for the hydrodynamic and contact interactions with the obstacles. We demonstrate that these interactions allow simple undulators to achieve speeds as much as an order of magnitude greater than their free-swimming values. More generally, what appears as behavior and sensing can sometimes be explained through simple mechanics.
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
11 January 2012
10:15
Maria Aguareles
Abstract
We will consider a simplified model for on-chip power distribution networks of array bonded integrated circuits. In this model the voltage is the solution of a Poisson equation in an infinite planar domain whose boundary is an array of circular or square pads of size $\epsilon$. We deal with the singular limit as $\epsilon\to 0$ and we are interested in deriving an explicit formula for the maximum voltage drop in the domain in terms of a power series in $\epsilon$. A procedure based on the method of matched asymptotic expansions will be presented to compute all the successive terms in the approximation, which can be interpreted as using multipole solutions of equations involving spatial derivatives of $\delta$-functions.
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
23 November 2011
10:15
Nick Hale
Abstract

Fractional differential equations are becoming increasingly used as a modelling tool for processes associated with anomalous diffusion or spatial heterogeneity. However, the presence of a fractional differential operator causes memory (time fractional) or nonlocality (space fractional) issues that impose a number of computational constraints. In this talk we discuss efficient, scalable techniques for solving fractional-in-space reaction diffusion equations combining the finite element method with robust techniques for computing the fractional power of a matrix times a vector. We shall demonstrate the methods on a number examples which show the qualitative difference in solution profiles between standard and fractional diffusion models.

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
9 November 2011
10:15
Abstract

Diffusive process with discontinuous coefficients provide significant computational challenges. We consider the solution of a diffusive process in a domain where the diffusion coefficient changes discontinuously across a curved interface. Rather than seeking to construct discretizations that match the interface, we consider the use of regularly-shaped meshes so that the interface "cuts'' through the cells (elements or volumes). Consequently, the discontinuity in the diffusion coefficients has a strong impact on the accuracy and convergence of the numerical method. We develop an adjoint based a posteriori error analysis technique to estimate the error in a given quantity of interest (functional of the solution). In order to employ this method, we first construct a systematic approach to discretizing a cut-cell problem that handles complex geometry in the interface in a natural fashion yet reduces to the well-known Ghost Fluid Method in simple cases. We test the accuracy of the estimates in a series of examples.

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
2 November 2011
10:15
Per Lotstedt
Abstract
In biological cells, molecules are transported actively or by diffusion and react with each other when they are close. The reactions occur with certain probability and there are few molecules of some chemical species. Therefore, a stochastic model is more accurate compared to a deterministic, macroscopic model for the concentrations based on partial differential equations. At the mesoscopic level, the domain is partitioned into voxels or compartments. The molecules may react with other molecules in the same voxel and move between voxels by diffusion or active transport. At a finer, microscopic level, each individual molecule is tracked, it moves by Brownian motion and reacts with other molecules according to the Smoluchowski equation. The accuracy and efficiency of the simulations are improved by coupling the two levels and only using the micro model when it is necessary for the accuracy or when a meso description is unknown. Algorithms for simulations with the mesoscopic, microscopic and meso-micro models will be described and applied to systems in molecular biology in three space dimensions.
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event

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