WIAS Preprint No. 2576, (2019)

Regularization for optimal control problems associated to nonlinear evolution equations


  • Meinlschmidt, Hannes
    ORCID: 0000-0002-5874-8017
  • Meyer, Christian
  • Rehberg, Joachim

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 49K20 49J20 47J20 47J35 46E40


  • Optimal control, regularization, nonlinear evolution equations, compactness, function spaces




It is well-known that in the case of a sufficiently nonlinear general optimal control problem there is very frequently the necessity for a compactness argument in order to pass to the limit in the state equation in the standard ``calculus of variations'' proof for the existence of optimal controls. For time-dependent state equations, i.e., evolution equations, this is in particular unfortunate due to the difficult structure of compact sets in Bochner-type spaces. In this paper, we propose an abstract function space and a suitable regularization- or Tychonov term for the objective functional which allows for the usual standard reasoning in the proof of existence of optimal controls and which admits a reasonably favorable structure in the characterization of optimal solutions via first order necessary conditions in, generally, the form of a variational inequality of obstacle-type in time. We establish the necessary properties of the function space and the Tychonov term and derive the aforementioned variational inequality. The variational inequality can then be reformulated as a projection identity for the optimal control under additional assumptions. We give sufficient conditions on when these are satisfied. The considerations are complemented with a series of practical examples of possible constellations and choices in dependence on the varying control spaces required for the evolution equations at hand.

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