Nonlinear and linearised primal and dual initial boundary value problems: When are they bounded? How are they connected?

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Linearisation is often used as a first step in the analysis of nonlinear initial boundary value problems. The linearisation procedure frequently results in a confusing contradiction where the nonlinear problem conserves energy and has an energy bound but the linearised version does not (or vice versa). In this paper we attempt to resolve that contradiction and relate nonlinear energy conserving and bounded initial boundary value problems to their linearised versions and the related dual problems. We start by showing that a specific skew-symmetric form of the primal nonlinear problem leads to energy conservation and a bound. Next, we show that this specific form together with a non-standard linearisation procedure preserves these properties for the new slightly modified linearised problem. We proceed to show that the corresponding linear and nonlinear dual (or self-adjoint) problems also have bounds and conserve energy due to this specific formulation. Next, the implication of the new formulation on the choice of boundary conditions is discussed. A straightforward nonlinear and linear analysis may lead to a different number and type of boundary conditions required for an energy bound. We show that the new formulation sheds some light on this contradiction. We conclude by illustrating that the new continuous formulation automatically leads to energy stable and energy conserving numerical approximations for both linear and nonlinear primal and dual problems if the approximations are formulated on summation-by-parts form.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111001
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022


  • Dual problems
  • Energy stability
  • Linearisation procedure
  • Nonlinear initial boundary value problems
  • Skew-symmetric formulation
  • Summation-by-parts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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