Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 7 (2001), Issue 4, Pages 379-392

Aggregation of a class of large-scale, interconnected, nonlinear dynamical systems

Swaroop Darbha and K. R. Rajagopal

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX-77843-3123, USA

Received 3 January 2001; Revised 12 February 2001

Copyright © 2001 Swaroop Darbha and K. R. Rajagopal. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this paper, the authors consider the issue of the construction of a meaningful average for a collection of nonlinear dynamical systems. Such a collection of dynamical systems may or may not have well defined ensemble averages as the existence of ensemble averages is predicated on the specification of appropriate initial conditions. A meaningful “average” dynamical system can represent the macroscopic behavior of the collection of systems and allow us to infer the behavior of such systems on an average. They can also prove to be very attractive from a computational perspective. An advantage to the construction of the meaningful average is that it involves integrating a nonlinear differential equation, of the same order as that of any member in the collection. An average dynamical system can be used in the analysis and design of hierarchical systems, and will allow one to capture approximately the response of any member of the collection.