On microscopic origins of generalized gradient structures

M. Liero, A. Mielke, M.A. Peletier, D.R.M. Renger

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Classical gradient systems have a linear relation between rates and driving forces. In generalized gradient systems we allow for arbitrary relations derived from general non-quadratic dissipation potentials. This paper describes two natural origins for these structures. A first microscopic origin of generalized gradient structures is given by the theory of large-deviation principles. While Markovian diffusion processes lead to classical gradient structures, Poissonian jump processes give rise to cosh-type dissipation potentials. A second origin arises via a new form of convergence, that we call EDP-convergence. Even when starting with classical gradient systems, where the dissipation potential is a quadratic functional of the rate, we may obtain a generalized gradient system in the evolutionary $\Gamma$-limit. As examples we treat (i) the limit of a diffusion equation having a thin layer of low diffusivity, which leads to a membrane model, and (ii) the limit of diffusion over a high barrier, which gives a reaction-diffusion system. Keywords: Generalized gradient structure, gradient system, evolutionary \Gamma-convergence, energy-dissipation principle, variational evolution, relative entropy, large-deviation principle
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publications.l.
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

Volume1507.06322 [math.AP]


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