### Abstract

Sparsity plays a central role in recent developments in signal processing, linear algebra, statistics, optimization, and other fields. In these developments, sparsity is promoted through the addition of an L^{1} norm (or related quantity) as a constraint or penalty in a variational principle. We apply this approach to partial differential equations that come from a variational quantity, either by minimization (to obtain an elliptic PDE) or by gradient flow (to obtain a parabolic PDE). Also, we show that some PDEs can be rewritten in an L^{1} form, such as the divisible sandpile problem and signum-Gordon. Addition of an L^{1} term in the variational principle leads to a modified PDE where a subgradient term appears. It is known that modified PDEs of this form will often have solutions with compact support, which corresponds to the discrete solution being sparse. We show that this is advantageous numerically through the use of efficient algorithms for solving L^{1} based problems.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 2155-2176 |

Number of pages | 22 |

Journal | Communications in Mathematical Sciences |

Volume | 13 |

Issue number | 8 |

State | Published - 2015 |

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### Keywords

- Compressive sensing
- Free boundary
- PDE
- Sparsity

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Mathematics(all)
- Applied Mathematics

### Cite this

*Communications in Mathematical Sciences*,

*13*(8), 2155-2176.