Skip to content


  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Exponential Stability of Two Coupled Second-Order Evolution Equations

Advances in Difference Equations20102011:879649

  • Received: 30 October 2010
  • Accepted: 21 November 2010
  • Published:


By using the multiplier technique, we prove that the energy of a system of two coupled second order evolution equations (one is an integro-differential equation) decays exponentially if the convolution kernel decays exponentially. An example is give to illustrate that the result obtained can be applied to concrete partial differential equations.


  • Couple System
  • Exponential Stability
  • Timoshenko Beam
  • Mild Solution
  • Memory Term

1. Introduction

Of concern is the exponential stability of two coupled second-order evolution equations (one is an integro-differential equation) in Hilbert space
with initial data

Here is a positive self-adjoint linear operator, , , is a nonnegative function on . Moreover, the fractional power is defined as in the well known operator theory (cf, e.g., [1, 2]).

An interesting and difficult point for it is to stabilize the whole system via the damping effect given by only one equation (1.1). We remark that there is very few work concerning the situation when the damping mechanism is given by memory terms; see [3], where a coupled Timoshenko beam system is investigated.

On the other hand, the stability of the single integro-differential equation has been studied extensively; see, for instance, [4, 5].

In this paper, through suitably choosing multipliers for the energy together with other techniques, we obtain the desired exponential decay result for the system (1.1)–(1.3). Nonlinear coupled systems with general decay rates will be discussed in a forthcoming paper.

In Section 2, we present our exponential decay theorem and its proof. An application is given in Section 3.

2. Exponential Decay Result

We start with stating our assumptions:

(1) is a self-adjoint linear operator in , satisfying

where .

(2) , are constants. is locally absolutely continuous, satisfying
and there exists a positive constant , such that
We define the energy of a mild solution of (1.1)–(1.3) as

The following is our exponential decay theorem.

Theorem 2.1.

Let the assumptions be satisfied. Then,

(i)for any and , problem (1.1)–(1.3) admits a unique mild solution on . The solution is a classical one, if and ,

(ii)there exists a constant such that the energy

for any mild solution of (1.1)–(1.3).


We denote
Then, (1.1)–(1.3) becomes

in . From the assumptions, one sees that— is the generator of a strongly continuous cosine function on , and is bounded from into . Therefore, we justify the assertion (i) (cf., e.g. [6]).

Suppose now that is a classical solution of (1.1)–(1.3). We observe
by Assumption (2) and so
and take . We have

Furthermore, we need the following lemmas.

Lemma 2.2.

For any and for any , there exist positive numbers , such that

for some positive constants which only depend on , , , and .


At first, let us take the inner product of both sides of (1.1) with and integrate over . Then, noticing (1.2), we obtain
For the first item, integrating by parts, we have
The second and the fifth items can be treated similarly. Therefore,
Then, taking the inner product of both sides of (1.1) with and integrating over , we obtain
Equation (2.15)   ×   + (2.16) yields that
Next, we will estimate all the terms on the right side of (2.17). From (2.11), we have the following estimate:

where is a positive constant. Those terms of the form can be similarly treated. Denote by the sum of the other terms on the right of (2.17).

Using Young's inequality and noting (2.8), we get, for ,
The treatment of the other terms of is similar, giving
Thus, we obtain
where . Make use of the estimate

where is a positive constant, small enough to satisfy . We thus verify our conclusion.

Lemma 2.3.

For any and for any , there exist positive numbers , , such that


We denote and take the inner product of both sides of (1.2) with , and integrate over . It follows that
Plugging this equation into (2.16), we find
where , and for

The other items on the right of (2.25) can be dealt with as in the proof of Lemma 2.2. Hence, we get the conclusion.

Lemma 2.4.

For any , there exist positive numbers , such that


Taking the inner product of both sides of (1.2) with and integrating over , we see
Combining this equation and (2.16) gives

This yields the estimate as desired.

Lemma 2.5.

Let be fixed. For any and for any , there exist positive numbers , such that


Take the inner product of both sides of (1.1) with and integrate over . This leads to
Just as in the proofs of the above lemmas, using Young's inequality and noting that

we prove the conclusion.

Proof of Theorem 2.1 (continued).

From Assumption (2) and (2.8), we have
Now, fix . Thanks to Lemmas 2.2 and 2.3, we know that for any and for ,
Moreover, by the use of Lemmas 2.4 and 2.5, we have
Taking small enough gives
Therefore, there is a constant such that
by (2.36). Using Lemma 2.4 and (2.34), we deduce that for some ,
Next, define
It is easy to see that there exist such that . Therefore,
On the other hand, when ,
that is,

By a standard approximation argument, we see that (2.45) is also true for mild solutions. From this integral inequality, we complete the proof (cf., e.g., [7, Theorem 8.1]).

3. An Example

Example 3.1.

Consider a coupled system of Petrovsky equations with a memory term
where is a bounded open domain in , with sufficiently smooth boundary and as in Assumption (2). Let with the usual inner product and norm. Here, we denote by the time derivative of and by the Laplacian of with respect to space variable . Define by

Then, Assumption (1) is satisfied. Therefore, we claim in view of Theorem 2.1 that the energy of the system decays exponentially at infinity.



The authors would like to thank the referees for their comments and suggestions. This work was supported partially by the NSF of China (10771202, 11071042), the Research Fund for Shanghai Key Laboratory for Contemporary Applied Mathematics (08DZ2271900) and the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (2007035805).

Authors’ Affiliations

Shanghai Key Laboratory for Contemporary Applied Mathematics, School of Mathematical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China


  1. Xiao T-J, Liang J: The Cauchy Problem for Higher-Order Abstract Differential Equations, Lecture Notes in Mathematics. Volume 1701. Springer, Berlin, Germany; 1998:xii+301.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Yosida K: Functional Analysis, Classics in Mathematics. Springer, Berlin, Germany; 1995:xii+501.Google Scholar
  3. Ammar-Khodja F, Benabdallah A, Muñoz Rivera JE, Racke R: Energy decay for Timoshenko systems of memory type. Journal of Differential Equations 2003,194(1):82-115. 10.1016/S0022-0396(03)00185-2MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Alabau-Boussouira F, Cannarsa P: A general method for proving sharp energy decay rates for memory-dissipative evolution equations. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences—Series I. Paris 2009,347(15-16):867-872.MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Alabau-Boussouira F, Cannarsa P, Sforza D: Decay estimates for second order evolution equations with memory. Journal of Functional Analysis 2008,254(5):1342-1372. 10.1016/j.jfa.2007.09.012MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. Dafermos CM: An abstract Volterra equation with applications to linear viscoelasticity. Journal of Differential Equations 1970, 7: 554-569. 10.1016/0022-0396(70)90101-4MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. Komornik V: Exact Controllability and Stabilization. The Multiplier Method, RAM: Research in Applied Mathematics. Masson, Paris, France; 1994:viii+156.MATHGoogle Scholar


© Q.Wan and T.-J. Xiao. 2011

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.