Solving two-point boundary value problems?

  • jsalvati

    jsalvati - 2008-11-04

    I do not know if this is the appropriate place to ask these, but I have two questions.

    First, I am curious whether PyDsTool implements any methods for solving two-point boundary value problems (shooting method, etc.).

    I am a chemical engineering student, and I want to model counter-current heat and mass transfer unit operations. This of course means that I have to solve two-point boundary value problems for systems of coupled ODEs, since I will usually know the inlet conditions for two counter-current streams. As I am sure you are aware, SciPy is great for solving initial value problems for ODEs, but not so great at solving two-point boundary value problems. So I would like to learn a more robust tool, and this looks like a good candidate.

    Second, what is the best way to learn PyDsTool? The tutorial did not seem to get me very far (by the way, I think the MathML script on the tutorial is badly formatted; I am running firefox which should render any MathML, but I get just text).

    Thank you,
    John Salvatier

    • Rob Clewley

      Rob Clewley - 2008-11-06

      Hi John,

      There are no BVP solvers at this time. I started laying out some classes to do this a while ago but didn't get too far. I would really like some help from someone to add this functionality. If you are comfortable working with Python and numerical methods in general maybe you could volunteer?

      As for tutorials, we have just added it as a first step. It assumes you already know about the theory behind the methods involved in solving a particular problem, you'll need to look elsewhere for that. But if you are familiar with the techniques the demos in the \tests\ directory of the PyDSTool installation have all kinds of worked examples.

      You are also free to email me personally with questions, especially if something is not clear from the wiki pages. That would help me improve them for others. Unfortunately I have a limited amount of time.

      We recently moved the wiki to a new server that no longer supports the MathML so that will now stay broken for a while.


    • jsalvati

      jsalvati - 2008-11-06

      I am comfortable with python (though I am relatively new at it), and I am comfortable with numerical methods. I would be willing to write help write a BVP solver, but I I should say I am not experienced with writing high performance numerical methods (Fortran etc.). I will contact you about this.


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