A New Set of Stability Criteria Extending Lyapunov’s Direct Method

2020-01-14T07:02:33Z (GMT) by William Li
A dynamical system is a mathematical model described by a high dimensional ordinary differential equation for a wide variety of real world phenomena, which can be as simple as a clock pendulum or as complex as a chaotic Lorenz system. Stability is an important topic in the studies of the dynamical system. A major challenge is that the analytical solution of a time-varying nonlinear dynamical system is in general not known. Lyapunov's direct method is a classical approach used for many decades to study stability without explicitly solving the dynamical system, and has been successfully employed in numerous applications ranging from aerospace guidance systems, chaos theory, to traffic assignment. Roughly speaking, an equilibrium is stable if an energy function monotonically decreases along the trajectory of the dynamical system. This paper extends Lyapunov's direct method by allowing the energy function to follow a rich set of dynamics. More precisely, the paper proves two theorems, one on globally uniformly asymptotic stability and the other on stability in the sense of Lyapunov, where stability is guaranteed provided that the evolution of the energy function satisfies an inequality of a non-negative Hurwitz polynomial differential operator, which uses not only the first-order but also high-order time derivatives of the energy function. The classical Lyapunov theorems are special cases of the extended theorems. the paper provides an example in which the new theorem successfully determines stability while the classical Lyapunov's direct method fails.