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Mathematics of Computation

Published by the American Mathematical Society since 1960 (published as Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation 1943-1959), Mathematics of Computation is devoted to research articles of the highest quality in computational mathematics.

ISSN 1088-6842 (online) ISSN 0025-5718 (print)

The 2020 MCQ for Mathematics of Computation is 1.78.

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Control of 2D scalar conservation laws in the presence of shocks
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by Rodrigo Lecaros and Enrique Zuazua PDF
Math. Comp. 85 (2016), 1183-1224 Request permission


We analyze a model optimal control problem for a 2D scalar conservation law—the so-called inverse design problem—with the goal being to identify the initial datum leading to a given final time configuration. The presence of shocks is an impediment for classical methods, based on linearization, to be directly applied. We develop an alternating descent method that exploits the generalized linearization that takes into account both the sensitivity of the shock location and of the smooth components of solutions. A numerical implementation is proposed using splitting and finite differences. The descent method we propose is of alternating nature and combines variations taking account of the shock location and those that take care of the smooth components of the solution. The efficiency of the method is illustrated by numerical experiments.
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Additional Information
  • Rodrigo Lecaros
  • Affiliation: BCAM - Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, Mazarredo 14, E-48009, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain — and — CMM - Centro de Modelamiento Matemático. Universidad de Chile (UMI CNRS 2807), Avenida Blanco Encalada 2120, Casilla 170-3, Correo 3, Santiago, Chile
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  • Enrique Zuazua
  • Affiliation: BCAM - Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, Mazarredo 14, E-48009, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain — and — Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for Science, Maria Diaz de Haro, 3. 48013 Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
  • MR Author ID: 187655
  • Email:
  • Received by editor(s): April 30, 2014
  • Received by editor(s) in revised form: October 3, 2014, and November 15, 2014
  • Published electronically: August 25, 2015
  • Additional Notes: The first author was partially supported by Basal-CMM project, PFB 03
    This work was done while the second author was visiting the CIMI (Centre International de Mathématiques et Informatique) of Toulouse (France) and the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg within the Humboldt Research Award program
    This work was supported by the Advanced Grants NUMERIWAVES/FP7-246775 of the European Research Council Executive Agency, FA9550-14-1-0214 of the EOARD-AFOSR, PI2010-04 and the BERC 2014-2017 program of the Basque Government, the MTM2011-29360-C02-00 and SEV-2013-0323 Grants of the MINECO
  • © Copyright 2015 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: Math. Comp. 85 (2016), 1183-1224
  • MSC (2010): Primary 35L67, 49J20, 90C31, 49M30, 35L65
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 3454362