Error Control Policy for Initial Value Problems with Discontinuities and Delays

Khader, Abdul Hadi Alim A.

  • Received : 2007.02.14
  • Published : 2008.12.31


Runge-Kutta-Nystr$\"{o}$m (RKN) methods provide a popular way to solve the initial value problem (IVP) for a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Users of software are typically asked to specify a tolerance ${\delta}$, that indicates in somewhat vague sense, the level of accuracy required. It is clearly important to understand the precise effect of changing ${\delta}$, and to derive the strongest possible results about the behaviour of the global error that will not have regular behaviour unless an appropriate stepsize selection formula and standard error control policy are used. Faced with this situation sufficient conditions on an algorithm that guarantee such behaviour for the global error to be asympotatically linear in ${\delta}$ as ${\delta}{\rightarrow}0$, that were first derived by Stetter. Here we extend the analysis to cover a certain class of ODEs with low-order derivative discontinuities, and the class of ODEs with constant delays. We show that standard error control techniques will be successful if discontinuities are handled correctly and delay terms are calculated with sufficient accurate interpolants. It is perhaps surprising that several delay ODE algorithms that have been proposed do not use sufficiently accurate interpolants to guarantee asymptotic proportionality. Our theoretical results are illustrated numerically.


Delay ordinary differential equations;discontinuity;global error;interpolation;local error;defect;residual;tolerance proportionality;Runge-Kutta-Nystr$\"{o}$m


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