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of Stability

JOSEPH P. LASALLE

the oldest and strongest pillars of control theory. The centenary of Lyapunov's celebrated 1892 memoir was recently

marked with its English translation [17], while the 1907 French

translation was reprinted in 1949 by Princeton University

Press [16].

Applications of Lyapunov stability concepts to control problems began to appear in Russia in the 1930s-1940s. Significant

theoretical results from the 1950s were summarized in the books

by Chetayev [3], Lurie [15], Malkin [18], Letov [14], Zubov

[22], and Krasovskii [7]. In the post-1957 Sputnik era, English

translations of these books, and of other Russian works, further

increased the interest already stimulated by "Contributions to the

Theory of Nonlinear Oscillations," a five volume series (1950,

1952, 1956, 1958, and 1960) edited by Lefschetz, and published

by Princeton University Press. The fourth volume contained a

detailed and rigorous survey of Lyapunov stability theory by

Antosiewicz [1]. The 1960 survey by Kalman and Bertram [6]

was more accessible and had a stronger impact on engineering

audiences, as did the books by Lefschetz [12], Lefschetz and

LaSalle [13], and a paper by LaSalle [10]. This activity continued in the early 1960s when several volumes of "Contributions

to Differential Equations" were published, including the important results by Yoshizawa [20], whose 1966 book [21] presented

a collection of advanced stability results. The status of stability

theory in the pre-1965 period is summarized in the scholarly

work by Hahn [4], which is the most comprehensive source

covering that period.

Among the innovations from that period are the results which

settle the issue of existence of Lyapunov functions. Particularly

important among the results of this type are the "converse theorems" of Massera [19], Krasovskii [14] and Kurzweil [8], which

found applications in diverse areas of control theory. Radially

unbounded Lyapunov functions were introduced in 1952 by

Barbashin and Krasovskii [2] to guarantee stability in the large,

that is, global stability. The same Barbashin-Krasovskii paper

and the book by Krasovskii [14] initiated another line of research

which culminated in this paper by LaSalle, and its extended 1968

version [11].

stability theorem more information about the asymptotic behavior of the solutions x(t) E IRn of

x=

f(x, t),

(1)

With a positive definite function Vex, t), a theorem of Lyapunov establishes asymptotic stability of the equilibrium x = 0,

if V(x, t) is negative definite along the solutions x(t) of (1). If V

is only nonpositive, the same theorem guarantees stability, but

does not reveal whether x(t) converges to zero or to a set in IRn .

For autonomous systems, x = f(x), a theorem of Barbashin and

Krasovskii [2] (see also Theorem 14.1 onp. 67 of[14]) examines

the set E in which V = O. If this set does not contain any positive

semi-trajectory (solution x(t) for all t ::: 0) other than x(t) == 0,

then x (t) ---+ 0 as t ---+ 00. This result gave a practical test for

asymptotic stability when V is only nonpositive, instead of negative definite. In his 1960 paper [10], LaSalle extracted further

information on the asymptotic behavior of x(t). Using the limit

sets and the largest invariant set M of x = f (x) contained in the

set E where V is zero, he showed that x(t) converges to the set

M. This set need not be an equilibrium, but can be a compact

limit set like a limit cycle.

This result of LaSalle, which he later termed I nvariance Principle, had a significant connection with the then new concept

of observability. For the system x = Ax, a positive definite

Lyapunov function V = x' P x has the derivative V = A' P +

PA = -x'Qx. Suppose that Q is positive semi-definite, so that

it can be expressed as Q = C'C for some matrix C. It then follows that V = - y' y, where y = Cx can be treated as an output

of x = Ax. Clearly, the set E where V = 0 is y(t) == O. If the pair

(A, C) is completely observable, then y(t) == 0 implies x(t) = O.

Hence, no nonzero positive semi-trajectory x(t) is contained in

E, which proves, via Barbashin-Krasovskii [2], that x = Ax

is asymptotically stable. However, if the system is only stable

with a pair of purely imaginary eigenvalues unobservable from

y = Cx, then LaSalle's Principle shows that x(t) converges to

the periodic solution in the unobservable subspace.

The Invariance Principle was subsequently extended to periodic and almost periodic systems, but it does not hold for more

309

general nonautonomous systems (1). To obtain similar information on the asymptotic behavior of x(t), Yoshizawa [20] derived

a set of conditions under which V(x, t) .:s W (x), where W (x) is

"positive definite with respect to a set M," implies that x(t) converges to M. The main theorem in this paper by LaSalle modifies and improves this result of Yoshizawa, and provides the

strongest convergence result for nonautonomous systems. To go

beyond this result, further restrictions on f (x, t) are needed. One

of them is the so-called "persistency of excitation" condition in

adaptive identification and control. Typically, an adaptive algorithm guarantees that V .:s -e 2 , where e is the scalar tracking

error. The Yoshizawa-LaSalle theorem provides the conditions

under which e(t) converges to zero. It has thus become an indispensable tool in adaptive control design. It has also become

instrumental in deducing stability from passivity properties as

in feedback passivation and backstepping designs of nonlinear

systems.

Other settings where LaSalle's Invariance Principle has been

studied are infinite dimensional systems, as in the work of

Hale [5], and stochastic systems governed by continuous-time

Markov processes, as discussed by Kushner in [9].

REFERENCES

[1] H. ANTOSIEWICZ, "A survey of Lyapunov's second method," in Contr.

to Nonlinear Oscillations, S. Lefschetz, Ed., 4:141-166 (Princeton Univ.

Press, Princeton NJ), 1958.

[2] E.A. BARBASHIN AND N.N. KRASOVSKII, "On the stability of motion in the

large," Dokl. Akad. Nauk USSR, 86:453-456,1952.

[3] N.G. CHETAYEV, The Stability ofMotion, Pergamon Press (Oxford), 1961.

(Russian original, 1946.)

[4] W. HAHN, Stability ofMotion (Springer-Verlag, New York), 1967.

[5] J.K. HALE, "Dynamical systems and stability," J. Math. Anal. Appl., 26:3959,1969.

[6] R.E. KALMAN AND J.E. BERTRAM, "Control system analysis and design

Engineering (Trans. ASME), 82D:371-393, 1960.

[7] N.N. KRASOVSKII, Stability ofMotion, Stanford Univ. Press (Stanford, CA),

1963. (Russian original, 1959.)

[8] J. KURZWEIL, "The converse second Liapunov's theorem concerning the

stability of motion," Czechoslovak Math. 1.,6(81):217-259 & 455-473,

1956.

[9] H,J. KUSHNER, "Stochastic stability," in Stability of Stochastic Dynamical

Systems, R. Curtain, Ed., Lect. Notes in Math., Springer-Verlag (New York),

294:97-124,1972.

[10] J.P. LASALLE, "Some extensions of Liapunov 's second method," IRE Trans.

Circuit Theory, CT7:52G-527, 1960.

[11] J.P. LASALLE, "Stability theory for ordinary differential equations," 1. Differential Equations, 4:57-65,1968.

[12] S. LEFSCHETZ, Differential Equations: Geometric Theory, Interscience,

Wiley (New York), 1957.

[13] S. LEFSCHETZ AND J.P. LASALLE, Stability by Liapunov's Direct Method,

with Applications, Academic Press (New York), 1961.

[14] A.M. LETOV, Stability in Nonlinear Control Systems (English translation),

Princeton Univ. Press (Princeton, NJ), 1961. (Russian original, 1955.)

[15] A.E. LURIE, Some Non-linear Problems in the Theory ofAutomatic Control

(English translation), H.M.S.O., London, 1957. (Russian original, 1951.)

[16] A.M. LYAPUNOV, "Probleme general de la stabilite du mouvement" (in

French), Ann. Fac.Sci. Toulouse, 9:203-474, 1907. Reprinted inAnn. Math.

Study, No. 17,1949, Princeton Univ. Press (Princeton, NJ).

[17] A.M. LYAPUNOV, "The general problem of the stability of motion" (translated into English by A.T. Fuller), Int. J. Control, 55:531-773,1992.

[18] I.G. MALKIN, Theory ofStability ofMotion, AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) Translation 3352, Dept. of Commerce, United States, 1958. (Russian

original, 1952.)

[19] J.L. MASSERA, "Contributions to stability theory," Ann. Math., 64:182-206,

1956.

[20] T. YOSHIZAWA, "Asymptotic behavior of solutions of a system of differential equations," in Contributions to Differential Equations, 1:371-387,

1963.

[21] T. YOSHIZAWA, Stability Theory by Liapunov's Second Method, The Mathematical Society of Japan, Publication No.9 (Tokyo), 1966.

[22] V.1. ZUBOV, Mathematical Methods for the Study of Automatic Control

Systems, Pergamon Press (Oxford), 1962. (Russian original, 1957.)

310

JOSEPH P. LASALLEl

Center for Dynamical Systems

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

1. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to give a unified presentation of Liapunov's

theory of stability that includes the classical Liapunov theorems on stability

and instability as well as their more recent extensions. The idea being exploited here had its beginnings some time ago. It was, however, the use made

of this idea by Yoshizawa in [7J in his study of nonautonomous differential

equations and by Hale in [1] in his study of autonomous functional-differential equations that caused the author to return to this subject and to adopt

the general approach and point of view of this paper. This produces some

new results for dynamical systems defined by ordinary differential eq uations

which demonstrate the essential nature of a Liapunov function and which

may be useful in applications. Of greater importance, however, is the possibility, as already indicated by Hale's results for functional-differential equations, that these ideas can be extended to more general classes of dynamical

systems. It is hoped, for instance, that it may be possible to do this for some

special types of dynamical systems defined by partial differential equations.

In Section 2 we present some basic results for ordinary differential equations. Theorem I is a fundamental stability theorem for nonautonomous

systems and is a modified version of Yoshizawa's Theorem 6 in [7]. A simple

example shows that the conclusion of this theorem is the best possible.

However, whenever the limit sets of solutions are known to have an invar..

iance property, then sharper results can be obtained. This "invariance

principle" explains the title of this paper. It had its origin for autonomous

and periodic systems in [2] and [4],. although we present here improved versions of those results. Miller in [5] has established an invariance property

1 This research was supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Adrnini . .

stration under Grant No. NGR-40-002-015 and under Contract No. NAS8-11264, in part

by the United States Air Force through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under

Grant No. AF-AFOSR-693-65, and in part by the United States Army Research Office,

Durham, under Contract No. DA-31-124-ARO-D-270.

Reprinted with permission from Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems (New

York: Academic Press, 1967),1. Hale and 1. P. LaSalle, eds., Joseph ~ LaSalle,

"An Invariance Principle in the Theory of Stability," pp. 277-286.

311

for almost periodic systems and obtains thereby a similar stability theorem

for almost periodic systems. Since little attention has been paid to theorems

which make possible estimates of regions of attraction (regions of asymptotic stability) for nonautonomous systems results of this type are included.

Section 3 is devoted to a brief discussion of some of Hale's recent results [I]

for autonomous functional-differential equations.

Consider the system

i =f(t, x)

(1)

anyone of the conditions guaranteeing uniqueness of solutions. For each x

in Rn, we define I x I == (Xl! + ... + X n2)1I2, and for E a closed set in Rn

we define d(x, E) =: Min { I x - y I; y in E}. Since we do not wish to

confine ourselves to bounded solutions, we introduce the point at CX) and

define d(x, 00) == I X 1-1. Thus, when we write E* == E U {oo}, we shall mean

d(x, E*) = Min {d(x, E), d(x, oo)}. If x(t) is a solution of (1), we say that

x(t) approaches E as t ~ 00, if d(x(t), E) --.0 as t

00. If we can find such

a set E, we have obtained information about the asymptotic behavior of

x(t) as t -+ CXJ. The best that we could hope to do is to find the smallest

closed set !J that x(t) approaches as t ~ 00. This set Q is called the positive

limit set of x(t) and the points p in Q are called the positive limit points

of x(t). In exactly the same way, one defines x(t) -+ E as t --+- - 00, negative

limit sets, and negative limit points. This is exactly Birkhoff's concept of

limit sets. A point p is a positive limit point of x(t), if and only if there is a

sequence of times t n approaching CX) as n ~ 00 and such that x(t n ) -+ p as

n ----. CXJ. In the above, it may be that the maximal interval of definition of

x(t) is [0, r ), This causes no difficulty since, in the results to be presented

here, we need only, with respect to time t, replace 00 by T. We usually ignore

this possibility and speak as though our solutions are defined on [0, (X)) or

-)00

( - 00,

(0).

Let V(t, x) be a Cl function on [0, oo] x R" to R, and let G be any set

in R". We shall say that V is a Liapunov function on G for Eq. (1), if V(t, x)

~ 0 and V(t, x) ~ -

>

continuous on Rn to R, and

. av

"r

i: + ~

n

i-I

312

av

;lfi

ox;

(2)

{x; W(x)

== 0, x in G}.

Yoshizawa's Theorem 6 in [7].

solution x(t) of (1) that remains in G for all t > to ~ 0 approaches

E* = E u {oo} as t ~ oo, provided one of the following conditions is

satisfied:

(i) For each pinG there is a neighborhood N of p such that If(t, x)

is bounded for all t > 0 and all x in N.

(ii) W is Cl and W is bounded from above or below along each solution which remains in G for all t > to ~ o.

either approaches E or 00 as t -+ 00.

Thus this theorem explains precisely the nature of the information given

by a Liapunov function. A Liapunov function relative to a set G defines a

set E, which under the conditions of the theorem contains (locates) all the

positive limit sets of solutions which for positive time remain in G. The problem in applying the result is to find "good" Liapunov functions. For instance, the zero function V = 0 is a Liapunov function for the whole space

Rn and condition (ii) is satisfied but gives no information since E = R".

It is trivial but useful for applications to note that if VI and V2 are Liapunov

functions on G, then V = VI + V2 is also a Liapunov function and

E = 1 () 2 . If E is smaller than either 1 or 2' then V is a "better"

Liapunov function than either E. or 2 and is always at least as "good"

as either of the two.

Condition (i) of Theorem 1 is essentially the one used by Yoshizawa.

We now look at a simple example, where condition (ii) is satisfied and condition (i) is not. The example also shows that the conclusion of the theorem is

the best possible. Consider x + p(t)i' + x =--..:: 0, where p(t) ~ (j > o. Define

2V = x 2 + y2, where Y == ..i'. Then V === - p(t)y2 ~ - by 2 and V is a Liapunov function on R2. Now W === l5y2 and W == 2t5YJi === - 2c5(xy + p(t)y 2 )

~ - 2f5xy. Since all solutions are evidently bounded for all t > 0, condition (ii) is satisfied. Here E is the x-axis (y:=: 0) and for each solution x(t),

yet) = X(/) --+- 0 as t ~ 00. Noting that the equation .t -~ (2 + exp[t))

+ x == 0 has a solution x(t) = 1 .t- exp( - t), we see that this is the best

possible result without further restrictions on p.

313

which solutions remain in G. The following corollary, which is an obvious

consequence of Theorem 1, gives one way of doing this and also provides,

for nonautonomous systems, a method for estimating regions of attraction.

II(X) on Rn to R such that u(x) ~ V(t, x) ~ v(x) for all t ~ O. Define

Q,/+ = {x; u(x) < 1J} and let G+ be a component of Q'1 +. Let G denote the

component of Q'7 = {x; v(x) < 'YJ} containing G+.

If V is a Liapunov function on G for (1) and the conditions of Theorem 1

are satisfied, then each solution of (1) starting in G+ at any time to ~ 0

remains in G for all t > to and approaches E* as t -+ 00. If G is bounded and

EO = E () G C G+, then EO is an attractor and G+ is in its region of attraction.

In general we know that if x(t) is a solution of (I)-in fact, if x(t) is any

continuous function on R to Rtl-then its positive limit set is closed and

connected. If x(t) is bounded, then its positive limit set is compact. There are,

however, special classes of differential equations where the limit sets of solutions have an additional invariance property which makes possible a refinement of Theorem 1. The first of these are the autonomous systems

x =f(x).

(3)

The limit sets of solutions of (3) are invariant sets. If x(t) is defined on [0, 00)

and if p is a positive limit point of x{t), then points on the solution through p

on its maximal interval of definition are positive limit points of x(t). If x(t)

is bounded for t > 0, then it is defined on [0, 00), its positive limit set Q is

compact, nonempty and solutions through points p of Q are defined on

(- 00, 00) (i.e., (J is invariant). If the maximal domain of definition of

x(t) for t > 0 is finite, then x(t) has no finite positive limit points: That is,

if the maximal interval of definition of x(t) for t > 0 is [0, fJ), then x(t) --+ 00

as t -+ fJ. As we have said before, we will always speak as though our solutions are defined on (- 00, 00) and it should be remembered that finite

escape time is always a possibility unless there is, as for example in Corollary 2 below, some condition that rules it out. In Corollary 3 below, the

solutions might welt go to infinity in finite time.

The invariance property of the limit sets of solutions of autonomous

systems (3) now enables us to refine Theorem I. Let V be a Cl function

on R!" to R. If G is any arbitrary set in R", we say that V is a Liapunou

function on G for Eq. (3) if V =: (grad V) f does not change sign on G.

Define E = {x; V(x) = 0, x in G}, where G is the closure of G. Let M be

314

the largest invariant set in E. M will be a closed set. The fundamental stability theorem for autonomous systems is then the following:

Theorem 2. If V is a Liapunov function on G for (3), then each solution x(t) of (3) that remains in G for all I > 0 (I < 0) approaches

M* = M u {oo} as t --. 00 (I --+ - 00). If M is bounded, then either

x(t) -+ M or x(t) ~ 00 as 1---. 00 (I --+ - 00).

This one theorem contains all of the usual Liapunov like theorems on

stability and instability of autonomous systems. Here, however, there are

no conditions of definiteness for V or V, and it is often possible to obtain

stability information about a system with these more general types of LiapUDOV functions. The first corollary below is a stability result which for

applications has been quite useful, and the second illustrates how one obtains

information on instability. Cetaev's instability theorem is similarly an immediate consequence of Theorem 2 (see Section 3).

Corollary 2. Let G be a component of Q" = {x; V(x) < 1]}. Assume

that G is bounded, V;; 0 on G, and MO = M n G c: G. Then MO is an

attractor and G is in its region of attraction. If, in addition, V is constant

on the boundary of MO, then MO is a stable attractor.

Note that if MO consists of a single point p, then p is asymptotically stable

and G provides an estimate of its region of asymptotic stability.

Corollary 3. Assume that relative to (3) that V V > 0 on G and on

the boundary of G that V = O. Then each solution of (3) starting in G a pproaches 00 as t -+ 00 (or possibly in finite time).

There are also some special classes of nonautonomous systems where the

limit sets of solutions have an invariance property. The simplest of these

are periodic systems (see [2])

x = .((t,

x),

f(1

+ T, x) = .f(t)

(4)

solution of (4) to a set and the concept of a periodic limit point, let us confine ourselves to solutions x(t) of (4) which are bounded for t > O. Let!J be

the positive limit set of such a solution x(t), and let p be a point in Q.

Then there is a solution of (4) starting at p which remains in Q for all t in

(- 00, 00); that is, if one starts at p at the proper time, the solution remains

in Q for all time. This is the sense now in which Q is an invariant set. Let

V(t, x) be Cl on R x R" and periodic in t of period T. For an arbitrary set

G of RIJ. we say that V is a Liapunou function on G for the periodic system (4)

315

if V does not change sign for all t and all x in G. Define E = {(t, x); V(t, x)

= 0, x in G} and let M be the union of all solutions x(t) of (4) with the

property that (t, x(t is in E for all t. M could be called "the largest invariant set relative to E." One then obtain the following version of Theorem 2

for periodic systems:

Theorem 3. If V is a Liapunov function on G for the periodic system (4),

then each solution of (4) that is bounded and remains in G for all t > 0

(t < 0) approaches M as t --+ 00 (t -+ - 00).

In [5] Miller showed that the limit sets of solutions of almost periodic

systems have a similar invariance property and from this he obtains a result

quite like Theorem 3 for almost periodic systems. This then yields, for periodic and almost periodic systems, a whole chain of theorems on stability

and instability quite similar to that for autonomous systems. For example,

one has

Corollary 4. Let QFI + = {x; V(t, x) < 'Y}, all t in [0, T]}, and let G+

be a component of Q,,+. Let G be the component of QFI = {x; V{t, x) < TJ

for some r in [0, T]} containing G+. If G is bounded, V ~ 0 for all t and all

x in G, and if MO = M n G c G+, then MO is an attractor and G+ is an

its region of attraction. If V(t, x) = ,(t) for all t and all x on the boundary

of MO, then MO is a stable attractor.

OUf last example of an invariance principle for ordinary differential equations is that due to Yoshizawa in [7] for "asymptotically autonomous"

systems. It is a consequence of Theorem 1 and results by Markus and Opial

(see [7] for references) on the limit sets of such systems. A system of the form

x=

F(x)

+ g(t, x) + h(t,

x)

(5)

I h(t, 9'(t I dt < 00 for all

for x in an arbitrary compact set of Rn, (ii)

q; bounded and continuous on [0, 00) to R",. The combined results of Markus

and Opial then state that the positive limit sets of solutions of (5) are invariant sets of x = F(x). Using this, Yoshizawa then improved Theorem I

for asymptotically autonomous systems.

It turns out to be useful, as we shall jIlustrate in a moment on the simplest possible example, in studying systems (I) which are not necessarily

asymptotically autonomous to state the theorem in the following manner:

f:

that a solution x(t) of (1) remains in G for t > 0 and is also a solution of an

316

{oo} as t ~ 00, where M is the largest invariant set of == F(x) in E.

It can happen that the system (1) is itself asymptotically autonomous, in

which case the above theorem can be applied. However, as the following

example illustrates, the original system may not itself be asymptotically autonomous, but it still may be possible to construct for each solution of (I)

an asymptotically autonomous system (5) which it also satisfies.

Consider again the example

x==y

y ==

x - p(t)y,

o < D ~ pet) ~ m

for all t > o.

(6)

Now we have the additional assumption that pet) is bounded from above.

Let (x(t), yet~ be any solution of (6). As was argued previously below

Theorem 1, all solutions are bounded and yet) ~ 0 as t ~ 00. Now (X(/),

yet~ satisfies x == Y, rV = - X - pet) yet), and this system is asymptotically

autonomous to (*) . ~ y, y :=: - x. With the same Liapunov function as

before, E is the x . . axis and the largest invariant set of (*) in E is the origin.

Thus for (6) the origin is asymptotically stable in the large.

In this section we adopt completely the notations and assumptions introduced by Hale in his paper in these proceedings and present a few of the

stability results that he has obtained for autonomous differential equations

(7)

A more complete account with numerous examples is given in (1). For the

extension to periodic and almost periodic functional-differential equations

by Miller see [6].

We continue where Hale left off in Section 2 of his paper, except that we

shall assume that the open set Q is the whole state space C of continuous

functions. We also confine ourselves to solutions x of (7) that are bounded

and hence defined on [- r, 00). Except that we are in the state space C,

the definition of the positive limit set of a trajectory x f of (7) is essentially

the same as for ordinary differential equations, and the notion of an invariant set is modified to take into account the fact that there is no longer

uniqueness to the left. A set M c C is invariant in the sense that if qJ E M,

317

x,(fP) remains in M for all t in (- 00, 00). With these extensions of these

geometric notions to the state space C, Hale then showed that the positive

limit set of a trajectory of (7) bounded in the fu-ture is a nonempty, compact,

connected, and invariant set in C. He was then able to obtain a theory of

stability quite similar to that for autonomous ordinary differential equations.

Let V be a continuous function on C to R and define relative to (7)

1

V(tp) == lim - [V(xr(fP - V(<p)].

T~O+

(8)

1:

(7) if V(qJ) ~ 0 for all f/J in G. Define E = {<p; V(q = 0, q; E G} and let M

denote the largest invariant set of (7) in E.

Theorem 5. If V is a Liapunov function on G for (7) and x t is a trajectory

of (7) which remains in G and is bounded for t > 0, then x, -+ M as t --+ 00.

Hale has also given the following more useful version of this result.

Corollary 5. Define Q" = {cp; V(<p) < 11} and let G be Q" or a component of Q" . Assume that V is a Liapunov function on G for (7) and that

either: (i) G is bounded or (ii) I p(0) I is bounded for cp in G. Then each

trajectory starting in G approaches M as t ~ 00.

The following is an extension of Cetaev's instability theorem. This is a

somewhat simplified version of Hale's Theorem 4 in [1], which should have

stated "V(9') > 0 on U when cp :;t: 0 and V(O) = 0'" and at the end " ... intersect the boundary of C; ...". This is clear from his proof and is necessary,

since he wanted to generalize the usual statement of Cetaev's theorem to

include the possibility that the equilibrium point be inside U as well as on

its boundary.

Corollary 6. Let p

(i) V is a Liapunov function on G = U n N, (ii) M n G is either the empty

set or p, (iii) V(qJ) < 11 on G when cp =1= p, and (iv) V(P) = 'YJ and V(<<p) = 'YJ

on that part of the boundary of G 'inside N. Then p is unstable. In fact, if

No is a bounded neighborhood of p properly contained in N, then each

trajectory starting at a point of Go = G (') No other than p leaves No in

finite time.

Proof. By the conditions of the corollary and Theorem 6 each trajectory

starting inside Go at a point other than Po must either leave Go, approach

318

its boundary or approach p. Conditions (i) and (iv) imply that it cannot

reach or approach that part of the boundary of Go inside No nor can it

approach p as 1-+ 00. Now (iii) states that there are no points of M on that

part of the boundary of No inside G. Hence each such trajectory must leave

No in finite time. Since p is either in the interior or on the boundary of G,

each neighborhood of p contains such trajectories, and p is therefore un-

stable.

In .[1] it was shown that the equilibrium point q; = 0 of

X(/) = ax 3( / )

bx3(1 - r)

was unstable if a > 0 and I b I < I a I. Using the same Liapunov function

and Theorem 6 we can show a bit more. With

V(q = - q>4(O)

4a

V(x,) = --

+..!- JO

2-r

x4~) + ~

q;6(6) dO,

-r x6(8)dO,

and

,(0) and tp(- r; that is, V is a Liapunov function on C and E = {<p; tp(O)

= cp( - r) = O}. Therefore M is simply the null function ep = O. If a > 0,

the region G = {q;; V(qJ) < O} is nonempty, and no trajectory starting in G

can have lp = 0 as a positive limit point nor can it leave G. Hence by Theorem 5, each trajectory starting in G must be unbounded. Since qJ = 0 is a

boundary point of G, it is unstable. It is also easily seen [J] that if a < 0

and I b 1< I a I, then cp = 0 is asymptotically stable in the large.

In [1] Hale has also extended this theory for systems with infinite lag

(r = 00), and in that same paper gives a number of significant examples

of the application of this theory.

REFERENCES

(I) Hale, I., Sufficient conditions for stability and instability of autonomous functional

differential eauations, J. Diff. Eqs. 1, 452-482 (1965).

[2] LaSalle, J., Some extensions of Liapunov's second method, IRE Trans. Circuit Theory

CT-7, 520-527 (1960).

319

[3] LaSalle, J., Asymptotic stability criteria, Proc. Symposia Applied Mathematics, vol. 13,

"Hydrodynamic Instability." 299-307. Amer. Math. Soc., Providence, Rhode

Island, 1962.

[4] LaSalle, J., and Lefschetz, S~, "Stability by Liapunov's Direct Method with Applications." Academic Press, New York, 1961.

(5) Miller, R., On almost periodic differential equations. Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 70,

792-79S (1964).

Eqs. 3, 293-305 (1965).

[7] Yoshizawa, T., Asymptotic behavior of solutions of a system of differential equations.

Contrib. Diff. Eq. 1, 371-387 (1963).

320

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