Analysing diffusion and flow-driven instability using semidefinite programming

Yutaka Hori, Hiroki Miyazako

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion and flow-driven instability, or transport-driven instability, is one of the central mechanisms to generate inhomogeneous gradient of concentrations in spatially distributed chemical systems. However, verifying the transport-driven instability of reaction-diffusion-advection systems requires checking the Jacobian eigenvalues of infinitely many Fourier modes, which is computationally intractable. To overcome this limitation, this paper proposes mathematical optimization algorithms that determine the stability/instability of reaction-diffusion-advection systems by finite steps of algebraic calculations. Specifically, the stability/instability analysis of Fourier modes is formulated as a sum-of-squares optimization program, which is a class of convex optimization whose solvers are widely available as software packages. The optimization program is further extended for facile computation of the destabilizing spatial modes. This extension allows for predicting and designing the shape of the concentration gradient without simulating the governing equations. The streamlined analysis process of self-organized pattern formation is demonstrated with a simple illustrative reaction model with diffusion and advection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180586
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number150
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • Convex optimization
  • Reaction-diffusion-advection model
  • Self-organized pattern formation
  • Semidefinite programming
  • Transport-driven instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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