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In this thesis, we study the convergence behavior of an efficient optimization method used for the identification of parameters for underdetermined systems. The research is motivated by optimization problems arising from the estimation of parameters in neural networks as well as in option pricing models. In the first application, we are concerned with neural networks used to forecasting stock market indices. Since neural networks are able to describe extremely complex nonlinear structures they are used to improve the modelling of the nonlinear dependencies occurring in the financial markets. Applying neural networks to the forecasting of economic indicators, we are confronted with a nonlinear least squares problem of large dimension. Furthermore, in this application the number of parameters of the neural network to be determined is usually much larger than the number of patterns which are available for the determination of the unknowns. Hence, the residual function of our least squares problem is underdetermined. In option pricing, an important but usually not known parameter is the volatility of the underlying asset of the option. Assuming that the underlying asset follows a one-factor continuous diffusion model with nonconstant drift and volatility term, the value of an European call option satisfies a parabolic initial value problem with the volatility function appearing in one of the coefficients of the parabolic differential equation. Using this system equation, the estimation of the volatility function is described by a nonlinear least squares problem. Since the adaption of the volatility function is based only on a small number of observed market data these problems are naturally ill-posed. For the solution of these large-scale underdetermined nonlinear least squares problems we use a fully iterative inexact Gauss-Newton algorithm. We show how the structure of a neural network as well as that of the European call price model can be exploited using iterative methods. Moreover, we present theoretical statements for the convergence of the inexact Gauss-Newton algorithm applied to the less examined case of underdetermined nonlinear least squares problems. Finally, we present numerical results for the application of neural networks to the forecasting of stock market indices as well as for the construction of the volatility function in European option pricing models. In case of the latter application, we discretize the parabolic differential equation using a finite difference scheme and we elucidate convergence problems of the discrete scheme when the initial condition is not everywhere differentiable.

Industrial companies mainly aim for increasing their profit. That is why they intend to reduce production costs without sacrificing the quality. Furthermore, in the context of the 2020 energy targets, energy efficiency plays a crucial role. Mathematical modeling, simulation and optimization tools can contribute to the achievement of these industrial and environmental goals. For the process of white wine fermentation, there exists a huge potential for saving energy. In this thesis mathematical modeling, simulation and optimization tools are customized to the needs of this biochemical process and applied to it. Two different models are derived that represent the process as it can be observed in real experiments. One model takes the growth, division and death behavior of the single yeast cell into account. This is modeled by a partial integro-differential equation and additional multiple ordinary integro-differential equations showing the development of the other substrates involved. The other model, described by ordinary differential equations, represents the growth and death behavior of the yeast concentration and development of the other substrates involved. The more detailed model is investigated analytically and numerically. Thereby existence and uniqueness of solutions are studied and the process is simulated. These investigations initiate a discussion regarding the value of the additional benefit of this model compared to the simpler one. For optimization, the process is described by the less detailed model. The process is identified by a parameter and state estimation problem. The energy and quality targets are formulated in the objective function of an optimal control or model predictive control problem controlling the fermentation temperature. This means that cooling during the process of wine fermentation is controlled. Parameter and state estimation with nonlinear economic model predictive control is applied in two experiments. For the first experiment, the optimization problems are solved by multiple shooting with a backward differentiation formula method for the discretization of the problem and a sequential quadratic programming method with a line search strategy and a Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno update for the solution of the constrained nonlinear optimization problems. Different rounding strategies are applied to the resulting post-fermentation control profile. Furthermore, a quality assurance test is performed. The outcomes of this experiment are remarkable energy savings and tasty wine. For the next experiment, some modifications are made, and the optimization problems are solved by using direct transcription via orthogonal collocation on finite elements for the discretization and an interior-point filter line-search method for the solution of the constrained nonlinear optimization problems. The second experiment verifies the results of the first experiment. This means that by the use of this novel control strategy energy conservation is ensured and production costs are reduced. From now on tasty white wine can be produced at a lower price and with a clearer conscience at the same time.