A systems-based approach to multiscale computation: Equation-free detection of coarse-grained bifurcations

C. I. Siettos, R. Rico-Martinez, I. G. Kevrekidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We discuss certain basic features of the equation-free (EF) approach to modeling and computation for complex/multiscale systems. We focus on links between the equation-free approach and tools from systems and control theory (design of experiments, data analysis, estimation, identification and feedback). As our illustrative example, we choose a specific numerical task (the detection of stability boundaries in parameter space) for stochastic models of two simplified heterogeneous catalytic reaction mechanisms. In the equation-free framework the stochastic simulator is treated as an experiment (albeit a computational one). Short bursts of fine scale simulation (short computational experiments) are designed, executed, and their outputs processed and fed back to the process, in integrated protocols aimed at performing the particular coarse-grained task (the detection of a macroscopic instability). Two distinct approaches are presented; one is a direct translation of our previous protocol for adaptive detection of instabilities in laboratory experiments [Rico-Martinez, R., Krisher, K., Flatgen, G., Anderson, J. S., & Kevrekidis, I. G. (2003). Adaptive detection of instabilities: An experimental feasibility study. Physica D, 176, 1-18]; the second approach is motivated from numerical bifurcation algorithms for critical point detection. A comparison of the two approaches brings forth a key feature of equation-free computation: computational experiments can be easily initialized at will, in contrast to laboratory ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1632-1642
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Issue number10-12
StatePublished - Sep 12 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Bifurcation
  • Equation-free
  • Multiscale


Dive into the research topics of 'A systems-based approach to multiscale computation: Equation-free detection of coarse-grained bifurcations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this