Variational Methods for Evolution

  • Alexander Mielke

    Weierstrass Institut für Angewandte Analysis und Stochastik, Berlin, Germany
  • Mark A. Peletier

    Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Dejan Slepčev

    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA


Many evolutionary systems, as for example gradient flows or Hamiltonian systems, can be formulated in terms of variational principles or can be approximated using time-incremental minimization. Hence they can be studied using the mathematical techniques of the field of calculus of variations. This viewpoint has led to many discoveries and rapid expansion of the field over the last two decades. Relevant applications arise in mechanics of fluids and solids, in reaction-diffusion systems, in biology, in many-particle models, as well as in emerging uses in data science.

This workshop brought together a broad spectrum of researchers from calculus of variations, partial differential equations, metric geometry, and stochastics, as well as applied and computational scientists to discuss and exchange ideas. It focused on variational tools such as minimizing movement schemes, Gamma convergence, optimal transport, gradient flows, and large-deviation principles for time-continuous Markov processes.

Cite this article

Alexander Mielke, Mark A. Peletier, Dejan Slepčev, Variational Methods for Evolution. Oberwolfach Rep. 14 (2017), no. 4, pp. 3185–3261

DOI 10.4171/OWR/2017/54