Global optimality conditions for a dynamic blocking problem

Alberto Bressan, Tao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The paper is concerned with a class of optimal blocking problems in the plane. We consider a time dependent set R(t) ℝ 2, described as the reachable set for a differential inclusion. To restrict its growth, a barrier Γ can be constructed, in real time. This is a one-dimensional rectifiable set which blocks the trajectories of the differential inclusion. In this paper we introduce a definition of "regular strategy", based on a careful classification of blocking arcs. Moreover, we derive local and global necessary conditions for an optimal strategy, which minimizes the total value of the burned region plus the cost of constructing the barrier. We show that a Lagrange multiplier, corresponding to the constraint on the construction speed, can be interpreted as the "instantaneous value of time". This value, which we compute by two separate formulas, remains constant when free arcs are constructed and is monotone decreasing otherwise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-156
Number of pages33
JournalESAIM - Control, Optimisation and Calculus of Variations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Computational Mathematics


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