Dangers of two-point holonomic constraints for variational integrators

Elliot R. Johnson, Todd D. Murphey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Variational integrators are powerful tools for simulating constrained mechanical systems as well as computing optimal control strategies. While there are well-established methods to incorporate holonomic constraints in variational integrators, there have also been alternative suggestions that have appealing benefits in terms of computational efficiency. We compare the standard holonomic constraints method with what are called two-point constraint methods. In this paper both methods are tested on two different, relatively simple systems. The results reveal multiple problems with the twopoint constraints. They are found to be numerically unstable and to under some circumstances provide unreliable constraint force values. The conclusion is that two-point constraints are invalid and should not be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 American Control Conference, ACC 2009
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 American Control Conference, ACC 2009 - St. Louis, MO, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2009Jun 12 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2009 American Control Conference, ACC 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySt. Louis, MO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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