Utilizing sparsity in time-varying optimal control of aquifer cleanup

Christopher M. Mansfield*, Christine A. Shoemaker, Lizhi LIAO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


A method for exploiting the sparsity structure of a finite-element simulation model in a linked dynamic optimal control model is developed. The linked optimization/simulation model has been used for the computation of time-varying optimal pumping rates for the pump-and-treat remediation of contaminated ground water. The methodology presented reduces the computational effort involved in the determination of time-varying optimal pumping rates by an order of n, from n3 to n2, where n is the number of non-Dirichlet nodes used in the simulation of the aquifer. The method presented uses the characteristic banded structure of finite element model matrices in derivative computations used by the optimal control algorithm, and also within the algorithmic computations of the optimization method itself. Timing results demonstrating the improvement of this method for problems having n = 100 to n = 1,575 (state dimension 2n = 200 to 2n = 3,150) are presented. It is shown that the efficiency of the sparse algorithm is highest when the length of management periods equals the length of simulation time periods. The results indicate that for a problem with 2n = 1,000, the sparse algorithm is as much as 98% faster than an algorithm neglecting sparsity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management - ASCE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilizing sparsity in time-varying optimal control of aquifer cleanup'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this