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One of the main tasks in mathematics is to answer the question whether an equation possesses a solution or not. In the 1940- Thom and Glaeser studied a new type of equations that are given by the composition of functions. They raised the following question: For which functions Î¨ does the equation F(Î¨)=f always have a solution. Of course this question only makes sense if the right hand side f satisfies some a priori conditions like being contained in the closure of the space of all compositions with Î¨ and is easy to answer if F and f are continuous functions. Considering further restrictions to these functions, especially to F, extremely complicates the search for an adequate solution. For smooth functions one can already find deep results by Bierstone and Milman which answer the question in the case of a real-analytic function Î¨. This work contains further results for a different class of functions, namely those Î¨ that are smooth and injective. In the case of a function Î¨ of a single real variable, the question can be fully answered and we give three conditions that are both sufficient and necessary in order for the composition equation to always have a solution. Furthermore one can unify these three conditions to show that they are equivalent to the fact that Î¨ has a locally Hölder-continuous inverse. For injective functions Î¨ of several real variables we give necessary conditions for the composition equation to be solvable. For instance Î¨ should satisfy some form of local distance estimate for the partial derivatives. Under the additional assumption of the Whitney-regularity of the image of Î¨, we can give sufficient conditions for flat functions f on the critical set of Î¨ to possess a solution F(Î¨)=f.

Nonlocal operators are used in a wide variety of models and applications due to many natural phenomena being driven by nonlocal dynamics. Nonlocal operators are integral operators allowing for interactions between two distinct points in space. The nonlocal models investigated in this thesis involve kernels that are assumed to have a finite range of nonlocal interactions. Kernels of this type are used in nonlocal elasticity and convection-diffusion models as well as finance and image analysis. Also within the mathematical theory they arouse great interest, as they are asymptotically related to fractional and classical differential equations.
The results in this thesis can be grouped according to the following three aspects: modeling and analysis, discretization and optimization.
Mathematical models demonstrate their true usefulness when put into numerical practice. For computational purposes, it is important that the support of the kernel is clearly determined. Therefore nonlocal interactions are typically assumed to occur within an Euclidean ball of finite radius. In this thesis we consider more general interaction sets including norm induced balls as special cases and extend established results about well-posedness and asymptotic limits.
The discretization of integral equations is a challenging endeavor. Especially kernels which are truncated by Euclidean balls require carefully designed quadrature rules for the implementation of efficient finite element codes. In this thesis we investigate the computational benefits of polyhedral interaction sets as well as geometrically approximated interaction sets. In addition to that we outline the computational advantages of sufficiently structured problem settings.
Shape optimization methods have been proven useful for identifying interfaces in models governed by partial differential equations. Here we consider a class of shape optimization problems constrained by nonlocal equations which involve interface-dependent kernels. We derive the shape derivative associated to the nonlocal system model and solve the problem by established numerical techniques.