A Numerical Investigation Of The Canonical Duality Method For Non-Convex Variational Problems

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Virginia Tech

This thesis represents a theoretical and numerical investigation of the canonical duality theory, which has been recently proposed as an alternative to the classic and direct methods for non-convex variational problems. These non-convex variational problems arise in a wide range of scientific and engineering applications, such as phase transitions, post-buckling of large deformed beam models, nonlinear field theory, and superconductivity. The numerical discretization of these non-convex variational problems leads to global minimization problems in a finite dimensional space.

The primary goal of this thesis is to apply the newly developed canonical duality theory to two non-convex variational problems: a modified version of Ericksen's bar and a problem of Landau-Ginzburg type. The canonical duality theory is investigated numerically and compared with classic methods of numerical nature. Both advantages and shortcomings of the canonical duality theory are discussed. A major component of this critical numerical investigation is a careful sensitivity study of the various approaches with respect to changes in parameters, boundary conditions and initial conditions.

Ericksen's Bar, Semi-linear Equations, Global Optimization, Canonical Duality Theory, Canonical Dual Finite Element Method, Landau-Ginzburg Problem, Duality, Non-convex Variational Problems