Estimates on trajectories in a closed set with corners for $(t,x)$ dependent data
Piernicola Bettiol Richard Vinter
Estimates on the distance of a given process from the set of processes that satisfy a specified state constraint in terms of the state constraint violation are important analytical tools in state constrained optimal control theory; they have been employed to ensure the validity of the Maximum Principle in normal form, to establish regularity properties of the value function, to justify interpreting the value function as a unique solution of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, and for other purposes. A range of estimates are required, which differ according the metrics used to measure the `distance' and the modulus $\theta(h)$ of state constraint violation $h$ in terms of which the estimates are expressed. Recent research has shown that simple linear estimates are valid when the state constraint set $A$ has smooth boundary, but do not generalize to a setting in which the boundary of $A$ has corners. Indeed, for a velocity set $F$ which does not depend on $(t,x)$ and for state constraints taking the form of the intersection of two closed spaces (the simplest case of a boundary with corners), the best distance estimates we can hope for, involving the $W^{1,1,}$ metric on state trajectories, is a super-linear estimate expressed in terms of the $h|\log(h)|$ modulus. But, distance estimates involving the $h|\log (h)|$ modulus are not in general valid when the velocity set $F(.,x)$ is required merely to be continuous, while not even distance estimates involving the weaker, Hölder modulus $h^{\alpha}$ (with $\alpha$ arbitrarily small) are in general valid, when $F(.,x)$ is allowed to be discontinuous. This paper concerns the validity of distance estimates when the velocity set $F(t,x)$ is $(t,x)$-dependent and satisfy standard hypotheses on the velocity set (linear growth, Lipschitz $x$-dependence and an inward pointing condition). Hypotheses are identified for the validity of distance estimates, involving both the $h|\log(h)|$ and linear moduli, within the framework of control systems described by a controlled differential equation and state constraint sets having a functional inequality representation.
keywords: Control systems optimal control. state constraints
Regularity of minimizers for second order variational problems in one independent variable
Christos Gavriel Richard Vinter
We consider autonomous, second order problems in the calculus of variations in one independent variable. For analogous first order problems it is known that, under standard hypotheses of existence theory and a local boundedness condition on the Lagrangian, minimizers over $W^{1,1}$ have bounded first derivatives ($W^{1,\infty}$ regularity prevails). For second order problems one might expect, by analogy, that minimizers would have bounded second derivatives ($W^{2,\infty}$ regularity) under the standard existence hypotheses $(HE)$ for second order problems, supplemented by a local boundedness condition. A counter-example, however, indicates that this is not the case. In earlier work, $W^{2, \infty}$ regularity has been established for these problems under $(HE)$ and additional 'integrability' hypotheses on derivatives of the Lagrangian, evaluated along the minimizer. We show that these additional hypotheses can be significantly reduced. The proof techniques employed depend on a combination of the application of a change of independent variable and of extensions to Tonelli regularity theory proved by Clarke and Vinter.
keywords: Autonomous Problems. Calculus of Variations Minimizer Regularity
When are minimizing controls also minimizing relaxed controls?
Michele Palladino Richard B. Vinter
Relaxation refers to the procedure of enlarging the domain of a variational problem or the search space for the solution of a set of equations, to guarantee the existence of solutions. In optimal control theory relaxation involves replacing the set of permissible velocities in the dynamic constraint by its convex hull. Usually the infimum cost is the same for the original optimal control problem and its relaxation. But it is possible that the relaxed infimum cost is strictly less than the infimum cost. It is important to identify such situations, because then we can no longer study the infimum cost by solving the relaxed problem and evaluating the cost of the relaxed minimizer. Following on from earlier work by Warga, we explore the relation between the existence of an infimum gap and abnormality of necessary conditions (i.e. they are valid with the cost multiplier set to zero). Two kinds of theorems are proved. One asserts that a local minimizer, which is not also a relaxed minimizer, satisfies an abnormal form of the Pontryagin Maximum Principle. The other asserts that a local relaxed minimizer that is not also a minimizer satisfies an abnormal form of the relaxed Pontryagin Maximum Principle.
keywords: optimal control Necessary conditions state constraints. ordinary differential equations

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