Numerische Mathematik

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 611–636 | Cite as

Discretization of functionals involving the Monge–Ampère operator

  • Jean-David Benamou
  • Guillaume Carlier
  • Quentin Mérigot
  • Édouard Oudet


Gradient flows in the Wasserstein space have become a powerful tool in the analysis of diffusion equations, following the seminal work of Jordan, Kinderlehrer and Otto (JKO). The numerical applications of this formulation have been limited by the difficulty to compute the Wasserstein distance in dimension \(\geqslant \)2. One step of the JKO scheme is equivalent to a variational problem on the space of convex functions, which involves the Monge–Ampère operator. Convexity constraints are notably difficult to handle numerically, but in our setting the internal energy plays the role of a barrier for these constraints. This enables us to introduce a consistent discretization, which inherits convexity properties of the continuous variational problem. We show the effectiveness of our approach on nonlinear diffusion and crowd-motion models.

Mathematics Subject Classification

49M25 52B55 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the French ANR, through the projects ISOTACE (ANR-12-MONU-0013), OPTIFORM (ANR-12-BS01-0007) and TOMMI (ANR-11-BSO1-014-01).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-David Benamou
    • 1
  • Guillaume Carlier
    • 2
  • Quentin Mérigot
    • 3
  • Édouard Oudet
    • 4
  1. 1.INRIARocquencourtFrance
  2. 2.Ceremade, Université Paris-DauphineParisFrance
  3. 3.Ceremade, Université Paris-Dauphine, CNRSParisFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire Jean KuntzmannUniv. Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance

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