Parallel computation of two-point boundary-value problems via particular solutions
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Nonlinear two-point boundary-value problems (TPBVP) can be reduced to the iterative solution of a sequence of linear problems by means of quasilinearization techniques. Therefore, the efficient solution of linear problems is the key to the efficient solution of nonlinear problems.
Among the techniques available for solving linear two-point boundary-value problems, the method of particular solutions (MPS) is particularly attractive in that it employs only one differential system, the original nonhomogeneous system, albeit with different initial conditions. This feature of MPS makes it ideally suitable for implementation on parallel computers in that the following requirements are met: the computational effort is subdivided into separate tasks (particular solutions) assigned to the different processors; the tasks have nearly the same size; there is little intercommunication between the tasks.
For the TPBVP, the speedup achievable is ofO(n), wheren is the dimension of the state vector, hence relatively modest for the differential systems of interest in trajectory optimization and guidance. This being the case, we transform the TPBVP into a multi-point boundary-value problem (MPBVP) involvingm time subintervals, withm−1 continuity conditions imposed at the interface of contiguous subintervals. For the MPBVP, the speedup achievable is ofO(mn), hence substantially higher than that achievable for the TPBVP. It reduces toO(m) if the parallelism is implemented only in the time domain and not in the state domain.
A drawback of the multi-point approach is that it requires the solution of a large linear algebraic system for the constants of the particular solutions. This drawback can be offset by exploiting the particular nature of the interface conditions: if the vector of constants for the first subinterval is known, the vector of constants for the subsequent subintervals can be obtained with linear transformations. Using decomposition techniques together with the discrete version of MPS, the size of the linear algebraic system for the multi-point case becomes the same as that for the two-point case.
Numerical tests on the Intel iPSC/860 computer show that substantial speedup can be achieved via parallel algorithms vis-a-vis sequential algorithms. Therefore, the present technique has considerable interest for real-time trajectory optimization and guidance.
Key WordsTwo-point boundary-value problems multi-point boundary-value problems modified quasilinearization algorithm method of particular solutions sequential algorithms parallel algorithms parallel computation trajectory optimization trajectory guidance
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