Multiresolution strategies for the numerical solution of optimal control problems

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Jain, Sachin
Tsiotras, Panagiotis
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Optimal control problems are often characterized by discontinuities or switchings in the control variables. One way of accurately capturing the irregularities in the solution is to use a high resolution (dense) uniform grid. This requires a large amount of computational resources both in terms of CPU time and memory. Hence, in order to accurately capture any irregularities in the solution using a few computational resources, one can refine the mesh locally in the region close to an irregularity instead of refining the mesh uniformly over the whole domain. Therefore, a novel multiresolution scheme for data compression has been designed which is shown to outperform similar data compression schemes. Specifically, we have shown that the proposed approach results in fewer grid points in the grid compared to a common multiresolution data compression scheme. The validity of the proposed mesh refinement algorithm has been verified by solving several challenging initial-boundary value problems for evolution equations in 1D. The examples have demonstrated the stability and robustness of the proposed algorithm. Next, a direct multiresolution-based approach for solving trajectory optimization problems is developed. The original optimal control problem is transcribed into a nonlinear programming (NLP) problem that is solved using standard NLP codes. The novelty of the proposed approach hinges on the automatic calculation of a suitable, nonuniform grid over which the NLP problem is solved, which tends to increase numerical efficiency and robustness. Control and/or state constraints are handled with ease, and without any additional computational complexity. The proposed algorithm is based on a simple and intuitive method to balance several conflicting objectives, such as accuracy of the solution, convergence, and speed of the computations. The benefits of the proposed algorithm over uniform grid implementations are demonstrated with the help of several nontrivial examples. Furthermore, two sequential multiresolution trajectory optimization algorithms for solving problems with moving targets and/or dynamically changing environments have been developed.
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