Singular perturbation

Each of the examples described below shows how a naive perturbation analysis, which assumes that the problem is regular instead of singular, will fail. Some show how the problem may be solved by more sophisticated singular methods.

Differential equations that contain a small parameter that premultiplies the highest order term typically exhibit boundary layers, so that the solution evolves in two different scales. For example, consider the boundary value problem

An electrically driven robot manipulator can have slower mechanical dynamics and faster electrical dynamics, thus exhibiting two time scales. In such cases, we can divide the system into two subsystems, one corresponding to faster dynamics and other corresponding to slower dynamics, and then design controllers for each one of them separately. Through a singular perturbation technique, we can make these two subsystems independent of each other, thereby simplifying the control problem.