The numerical integration of ordinary differential equations

C. W. Gear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Multistep methods for initial value problems are expressed in a matrix form. The application of such methods to higher-order equations is studied with the result that new techniques for both first- and higher-order equations are found. The direct approach to higher-order equations is believed to offer speed and accuracy advantages; some numerical evidence is presented. The new technique applied to first-order equations is a slight extension of the conventional multistep method and avoids the Dahlquist [2] stability theorem, that is, these new k-step methods are of order 2k and yet convergent. The matrix formalism introduced provides an easy mechanism for examining the equivalence of methods as introduced by Descloux [3]. It is pointed out that the new first-order method on k- steps, Adams’ method on (2k - 1)-steps and Nordsieck’s [7] method with 2k components are equivalent to each other. In fact, all methods discussed can be placed in equivalence classes so that theorems need only be proved for one member of each class. The choice between the members of a class can be made on the basis of round-off errors and amount of computation only. Arguments are given in favor of the extension of Nordsieck’s method for general use because of its speed and applicability to higher order problems directly. The theorems ensuring convergence and giving the asymptotic form of the error are stated. The proofs can be found in a cited report.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-156
Number of pages11
JournalMathematics of Computation
Issue number98
StatePublished - 1967

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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