Numerical optimal control of parabolic PDEs using DASOPT. This paper gives a preliminary description of DASOPT, a software system for the optimal control of processes described by time-dependent partial differential equations (PDEs). DASOPT combines the use of efficient numerical methods for solving differential-algebraic equations (DAEs) with a package for large scale optimization based on sequential quadratic programming (SQP). DASOPT is intended for the computation of the optimal control of time-dependent nonlinear systems of PDEs in two (and eventually three) spatial dimensions, including possible inequality constraints on the state variables.par By the use of either finite difference or finite element approximations to the spatial derivatives, the PDEs are converted into a large system of ordinary differential equations or DAEs. Special techniques are needed in order to solve this very large optimal control problem. The use of DASOPT is illustrated by its application to a nonlinear parabolic PDE boundary control problem in two spatial dimensions. Computational results with and without bounds on the state variables are presented.

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