Parameter identification through mode isolation for reaction-diffusion systems on arbitrary geometries

Laura Murphy, Chandrasekhar Venkataraman, Anotida Madzvamuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We present a computational framework for isolating spatial patterns arising in the steady states of reaction-diffusion systems. Such systems have been used to model many natural phenomena in areas such as developmental and cancer biology, cell motility and material science. In many of these applications, often one is interested in identifying parameters which will lead to a particular pattern for a given reaction-diffusion model. To attempt to answer this, we compute eigenpairs of the Laplacian on a variety of domains and use linear stability analysis to determine parameter values for the system that will lead to spatially inhomogeneous steady states whose patterns correspond to particular eigenfunctions. This method has previously been used on domains and surfaces where the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions are found analytically in closed form. Our contribution to this methodology is that we numerically compute eigenpairs on arbitrary domains and surfaces. Here we present examples and demonstrate that mode isolation is straightforward especially for low eigenvalues. Additionally we see that the inhomogeneous steady state can be a linear combination of eigenfunctions. Finally we show an example suggesting that pattern formation is robust on similar surfaces in cases that the
surface either has or does not have a boundary.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1850053
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Biomathematics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2018


  • Reaction-diffusion systems
  • Finite elements
  • Parameter identification
  • Eigenvalue problem


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