Continuation method (to a parametrized family, for non-linear operators)
A method for approximately solving non-linear operator equations. It consists of generalizing the equation to be solved, , to the form , by introducing a parameter that takes values in a finite interval, , such that the initial equation is obtained for : , while the equation can either easily be solved, or a solution of it is already known (cf. –).
The generalized equation is solved sequentially for individual values of : . For it is solved by means of some iteration method (Newton, simple iteration, variation of parameter, , etc.), starting with the solution obtained by solving for . Applying at each step in , e.g., Newton iterations, leads to the formulas
In practice, the initial problem often naturally depends on some parameter, which can then be taken as .
The continuation method is used in the solution of systems of non-linear algebraic and transcendental equations (cf. , ), as well as for more general non-linear functional equations in Banach spaces (cf. –).
The continuation method is sometimes called the direct method of variation of parameter (cf. , ), as well as the combined method of direct and iterative variation of parameter. In these methods the construction of solutions of generalized equations is reduced, by differentiation with respect to the parameter, to the solution of a differential problem with initial conditions (a Cauchy problem) by methods of numerical integration of ordinary differential equations. Applying the simplest Euler method in the direct method of variation of parameter to the Cauchy problem
the approximate values , , of the solution of can be determined from the following identities:
The element is the required approximate solution of the initial equation . A refinement of all or some values can be obtained by the iteration method of variation of parameter  (or Newton's method). The generalized equation is here usually generated in the form
on a finite interval , or, replacing in it by , on the infinite interval .
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Cf. Continuation method (to a parametrized family) for editorial comments.
Continuation method (to a parametrized family, for non-linear operators). D.F. Davidenko (originator), Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Continuation_method_(to_a_parametrized_family,_for_non-linear_operators)&oldid=13519