Distinct solutions of nonlinear systems via deflation

19 February 2015
Dr Patrick Farrell

Nonlinear systems of partial differential equations (PDEs) may permit several distinct solutions. The typical current approach to finding distinct solutions is to start Newton's method with many different initial guesses, hoping to find starting points that lie in different basins of attraction. In this talk, we present an infinite-dimensional deflation algorithm for systematically modifying the residual of a nonlinear PDE problem to eliminate known solutions from consideration. This enables the Newton--Kantorovitch iteration to converge to several different solutions, even starting from the same initial guess. The deflated Jacobian is dense, but an efficient preconditioning strategy is devised, and the number of Krylov iterations is observed not to grow as solutions are deflated. The technique is then applied to computing distinct solutions of nonlinear PDEs, tracing bifurcation diagrams, and to computing multiple local minima of PDE-constrained optimisation problems.

  • Computational Mathematics and Applications Seminar