Solves stiff differential algebraic equations (DAE) using variable stepsize backwards finite difference formula (BDF) in the SciML scientific machine learning organization
Author SciML
27 Stars
Updated Last
2 Years Ago
Started In
April 2014


Build Status Coverage Status

This is an implementation of DASSL algorithm for solving algebraic differential equations. To install a stable version run


Common Interface Example

This package is compatible with the JuliaDiffEq common solver interface which is documented in the DifferentialEquations.jl documentation. Following the DAE Tutorial, one can use dassl() as follows:

using DASSL
u0 = [1.0, 0, 0]
du0 = [-0.04, 0.04, 0.0]
tspan = (0.0,100000.0)

function resrob(r,yp,y,p,t)
    r[1]  = -0.04*y[1] + 1.0e4*y[2]*y[3]
    r[2]  = -r[1] - 3.0e7*y[2]*y[2] - yp[2]
    r[1] -=  yp[1]
    r[3]  =  y[1] + y[2] + y[3] - 1.0

prob = DAEProblem(resrob,du0,u0,tspan)  
sol = solve(prob, dassl())

For more details on using this interface, see the ODE tutorial.


To solve a scalar equation y'(t)+y(t)=0 with initial data y(0)=0.0 up to time t=10.0 run the following code

using DASSL
F(t,y,dy) = dy+y                   # the equation solved is F(t,y,dy)=0
y0        = 1.0                    # the initial value
tspan     = [0.0,10.0]             # time span over which we integrate
(tn,yn)   = dasslSolve(F,y0,tspan) # returns (tn,yn)

You can also change the relative error tolerance rtol, absolute error tolerance atol as well as initial step size h0 as follows

(tn,yn)   = dasslSolve(F,y0,tspan)

To test the convergence and execution time for index-1 problem run convergence.jl from the test directory.

Naturally, DASSL.jl also supports multiple equations. For example the pendulum equation


with initial data u(0)=0.0 and v(0)=1.0 can be solved by defining the following residual function

function F(t,y,dy)
       dy[1]-y[2],           #  y[1]=u,   y[2]=v
       dy[2]+sin(y[1])       # dy[1]=u', dy[2]=v'

The initial data shoud now be set as a vector

y0      = [0.0,1.0]           # y0=[u(0),v(0)]

The solution can be computed by calling

tspan   = [0.0,10.0]
(tn,yn) = dasslSolve(F,y0,tspan)


Apart from producing the times tn and values yn, dasslSolve also produces the derivatives dyn (as the byproduct of BDF algorithm), e.g.

(tn,yn,dyn) = dasslSolve(F,y0,tspan)

The decision to produce these values is that it is not entirely trivial to compute y' from F(t,y,y')=0 when t and y are given.

Keyword arguments

DASSL supports a number of keyword arguments, the names of most of them are compatible with the namse used in ODE package.

  • reltol=1e-3/abstol=1e-5 set the relative/absolute local error tolerances

  • initstep=1e-4/minstep=0/maxstep=Inf set the initial/minimal/maximal step sizes (when step size drops below minimum the integration stops)

  • jacobian The most expensive step during the integration is solving the nonlinear equation F(t,y,a*y+b)=0 via Newton's method, which requires a jacobian of the form dF/dy+a*dF/dy'. By default, the solver approximates this Jacobian by a method of finite differences but you can provide your own method as a function (t,y,dy,a)->dF/dy+a*dF/dy'. For the pendulum equation we would define jacobian as

    jacobian=(t,y,dy,a)->[[a,cos(y[1])] [-1,a]]
  • maxorder=6 Apart from selecting the current step size DASSL method can also dynamically change the order of BDF method used. BDF is stable up to 6-th order, which is the defaul upper limit but for some systems of equations it may make more sense to use lower orders.

  • dy0=zero(y) When solving differential algebraic equations it is important to start with consistent initial conditions, i.e. to choose y and y' such that F(t,y,y')=0 initially. DASSL tries to guess the initial value of y', but if it fails you can set your own initial condtions for the derivative.

  • norm=dassl_norm/weights=dassl_weights DASSL computes the error roughly as err=norm(yc-y0), and accepting the step when err<1. The local error tolerances reltol and abstol are hidden in the definition of dassl_norm(v, wt)=norm(v./wt)/sqrt(length(v)), where weights wt are defined by dassl_weights(y,reltol,abstol)=reltol*abs(y).+abstol. You can supply your own weights and norms when they are more appropriate for the problem at hand.

  • factorize_jacobian=true is a Boolean option which forces the factorization of Jacobian before storing it. It dramatically increases performance for large systems, but may decrease the computation speed for small systems.

Iterator version

DASSL.jl supports an iterative version of solver (implemented via coroutines, so debugging might be a little tricky) via dasslIterator. In the following example the dasslIterator is used to stop the integration when the solution y drops below 0.1


# iterator version of dassl solver
for (t,y,dy) in dasslIterator(F,1.0,0.0)
    if y < 0.1
        @show (t,y,dy)

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