Welcome to the Vehicle Dynamics and Optimization Laboratory
at the University of Florida
The Vehicle Dynamics and Optimization Laboratory at the University of Florida specializes in research in the following areas:
- Novel Computational Methods for Solving Complex Constrained Optimal Control Problems
- Supporting Computational Methods Including Advanced Nonlinear Optimization Techniques and Automatic Differentiation
- Applications of Newly Developed Methods to Space, Air, Ground, and Underwater Vehicles
- Development of State-of-the-Art Mathematical Software for Solving Optimal Control Problems
Mission Statement: The vision of the Vehicle Dynamics and Optimization Laboratory is to be the world leader in the innovation of advanced computational methods for the solution of complex constrained optimal control problems that are applicable in a wide variety of applications in engineering, economics, and medicine. Applications include mission planning, guidance, control, disease treatment, biomechanics, and finance. A current emphasis of VDOL is the development of an advanced computational framework for optimal control that is formed synergistically using orthogonal collocation discretization methods, nonlinear optimization, and automatic differentiation. The innovative research being conducted in VDOL had led to the discovery of novel pseudospectral methods for solving optimal control problems using Legendre-Gauss and Legendre-Gauss-Radau points. These contributions have also led to the first MATLAB open-source optimal control software GPOPS which is now in its second incarnation as GPOPS-II (more details about GPOPS-II can be found by clicking here). The methodologies that have been developed in VDOL are currently being used as the basis for exploring next-generation hp-adaptive approaches that enable varying the order of the polynomial approximation in each interval, thus significantly improving efficiency while simultaneously generating highly accurate solutions. We are always seeking new talent to contribute to the mission of VDOL. Please continue to explore other web pages on this website if you have interest in any of the VDOL research areas.