- Research Article
- Open Access

- Qingrong Zou
^{1}and - Peixuan Weng
^{1}Email author

**2009**:730484

https://doi.org/10.1155/2009/730484

© Q.Zou and P.Weng. 2009

**Received:**7 July 2009**Accepted:**15 October 2009**Published:**20 October 2009

## Abstract

The variational method and critical point theory are employed to investigate the existence of solutions for 2 th-order difference equation for with boundary value condition by constructing a functional, which transforms the existence of solutions of the boundary value problem (BVP) to the existence of critical points for the functional. Some criteria for the existence of at least one solution and two solutions are established which is the generalization for BVP of the even-order difference equations.

## Keywords

- Banach Space
- Difference Equation
- Point Theorem
- Real Banach Space
- Equivalent Norm

## 1. Introduction

Difference equations have been applied as models in vast areas such as finance insurance, biological populations, disease control, genetic study, physical field, and computer application technology. Because of their importance, many literature deals with its existence and uniqueness problems. For example, see [1–10].

We notice that the existing results are usually obtained by various analytical techniques, for example, the conical shell fixed point theorem [1, 6], Banach contraction map method [7], Leray-Schauder fixed point theorem [2, 10], and the upper and lower solution method [3]. It seems that the variational technique combining with the critical point theory [11] developed in the recent decades is one of the effective ways to study the boundary value problems of difference equations. However because the variational method requires a "symmetrical'' functional, it is hard for the odd-order difference equations to create a functional satisfying the "symmetrical'' property. Therefore, the even-order difference equations have been investigated in most references.

Let , be integers, and , be a discrete interval in . Inspired by [5, 8], in this paper, we try to investigate the following th-order boundary value problem (BVP) of difference equation via variational method combining with some traditional analytical skills:

where is the forward difference operator; for and A variational functional for BVP (1.1)-(1.2) is constructed which transforms the existence of solutions of the boundary value problem (BVP) to the existence of critical points of this functional. In order to prove the existence criteria of critical points of the functional, some lemmas are given in Section 2. Two criteria for the existence of at least one solution and two solutions for BVP (1.1)-(1.2) are established in Section 3 which is the generalization for BVP of the even-order difference equations. The existence results obtained in this paper are not found in the references, to the best of our knowledge.

For convenience, we will use the following notations in the following sections:

## 2. Variational Structure and Preliminaries

We need two lemmas from [12] or [11].

Lemma 2.1.

Furthermore, if has bounded linear Gâteaux derivative, then

Lemma 2.2 (mountain-pass lemma).

This means that there exists , s.t. ,

The following lemma will be used in the proof of Lemma 2.4.

Lemma 2.3.

If is a symmetric and positive-defined real matrix, is a real matrix, is the transposed matrix of Then is positive defined if and only if

Proof.

Let be a Hilbert space defined by

with the norm

Hence is an -dimensional Hilbert space. For any , let then one can show that there exist constants s.t. ; that is, is an equivalent norm of (see [9, page 68]).

Lemma 2.4.

Proof.

and by Lemma 2.3 with , we know that is positive defined. Hence all eigenvalues of are real and positive. Let be the minimal eigenvalue of these eigenvalues, then Therefore that is,

However, how to find the in Lemma 2.4 is a skillful and challenging task. The following lemma from [13] offers some help for the estimation of .

Lemma 2.5 (Brualdi [13]).

In Lemma 2.5, is the complex number set, and the denotations , , , can be found in [13]. Since is positive defined, all eigenvalues are positive real numbers. Therefore, by Lemma 2.5, let

where . is a subset of and can be calculated directly from Define If , we can use this as in Lemma 2.4. If , then one needs to calculate the eigenvalues directly.

where and is the inner product in . In fact, we have

The continuity of and the right-hand side of the inequality in Lemma 2.4 lead to (2.15).

Furthermore, for any we have , By using the following formula (e.g., see [14, page 28]):

we have

Repeating the above process, we obtain

Since is arbitrary, we know that the solution of BVP (1.1)-(1.2) corresponds to the critical point of

## 3. Main Results

Now we present our main results of this paper.

Theorem 3.1.

then BVP (1.1)-(1.2) has at least one solution.

Proof.

Noticing that we have From Lemma 2.1, the conclusion of this lemma follows.

Corollary 3.2.

where , satisfy either , or , then BVP (1.1)-(1.2) has at least one solution.

Proof.

which implies and by Lemma 2.1, the conclusion of this lemma follows.

Let , then we have for Therefore, by Theorem 3.1, the conclusion of this lemma follows.

Theorem 3.3.

Then BVP (1.1)-(1.2) has at least two solutions.

Proof.

We first show that satisfies the P-S condition. Let satisfy that is bounded and If is unbounded, it possesses a divergent subseries, say as . However from (ii), we get (3.4) or (3.8), hence as , which is contradictory to the the fact that is bounded.

We denote as its corresponding critical point.

On the other hand, by Theorem 3.1 or Corollary 3.2, we know that there exists s.t. If the theorem is proved. If on the contrary, , that is, that implies for any , Taking in with , by the continuity of there exist s.t. , Hence , are two different critical points of that is, BVP (1.1)-(1.2) has at least two different solutions.

## 4. An Example

## Declarations

### Acknowledgments

This research is partially supported by the NSF of China and NSF of Guangdong Province.

## Authors’ Affiliations

## References

- Agarwal RP, Henderson J:
**Positive solutions and nonlinear eigenvalue problems for third-order difference equations.***Computers & Mathematics with Applications*1998,**36**(10–12):347-355.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Agarwal RP, O'Regan D:
**Singular discrete****boundary value problems.***Applied Mathematics Letters*1999,**12**(8):113-119. 10.1016/S0893-9659(99)00131-7MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Agarwal RP, Wong F-H:
**Upper and lower solutions method for higher-order discrete boundary value problems.***Mathematical Inequalities & Applications*1998,**1**(4):551-557.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Agarwal RP, Perera K, O'Regan D:
**Multiple positive solutions of singular and nonsingular discrete problems via variational methods.***Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods & Applications*2004,**58**(1-2):69-73. 10.1016/j.na.2003.11.012MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Guo ZM, Yu JS:
**Existence of periodic and subharmonic solutions for two-order superlinear difference equations.***Science in China Series A*2003,**33:**226-235.Google Scholar - Jiang D, Chu J, O'Regan D, Agarwal RP:
**Positive solutions for continuous and discrete boundary value problems to the one-dimension****-Laplacian.***Mathematical Inequalities & Applications*2004,**7**(4):523-534.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Li LT, Weng PX:
**Boundary value problems of second order functional difference equation.***Journal of South China Normal University Natural Science Edition*2003, (3):20-24.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar - Liang HH, Weng PX:
**Existence and multiple solutions for a second-order difference boundary value problem via critical point theory.***Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications*2007,**326**(1):511-520. 10.1016/j.jmaa.2006.03.017MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Liang HH, Weng PX:
**Existence of solutions for a fourth-order difference boundary value problem and a critical point method.***Applied Mathematics A Journal of Chinese Universities, Series A*2008,**23**(1):67-72.MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar - Wong PJY, Agarwal RP:
**Existence theorems for a system of difference equations with****-type conditions.***Applied Mathematics and Computation*2001,**123**(3):389-407. 10.1016/S0096-3003(00)00078-3MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Rabinowitz PH:
*Minimax Methods in Critical Point Theory with Applications to Differential Equations*.*Volume 65*. American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, USA; 1986:viii+100.Google Scholar - Ambrosetti A, Rabinowitz PH:
**Dual variational methods in critical point theory and applications.***Journal of Functional Analysis*1973,**14:**349-381. 10.1016/0022-1236(73)90051-7MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Horn RA, Johnson CR:
*Matrix Analysis*. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK; 1985:xiii+561.View ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar - Bohner M, Peterson A:
*Dynamic Equations on Time Scales: An Introduction with Application*. Birkhäuser, Boston, Mass, USA; 2001:x+358.View ArticleGoogle Scholar

## Copyright

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.