Review Article


[+] Author and Article Information
Yogesh Jaluria

Board of Governors Professor & Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042353 History: Received October 03, 2018; Revised December 07, 2018


A common occurrence in many practical systems is that the desired result is known or given, but the conditions needed for achieving this result are not known. This situation leads to inverse problems, which are of particular interest in thermal processes. For instance, the temperature cycle to which a component must be subjected in order to obtain desired characteristics in a manufacturing system, such as heat treatment or plastic thermoforming, is prescribed. However, the necessary boundary and initial conditions are not known and must be determined by solving the inverse problem. Similarly, an inverse solution may be needed to complete a given physical problem by determining the unknown boundary conditions. Solutions thus obtained are not unique and optimization is generally needed to obtain results within a small region of uncertainty. This paper discusses inverse problems that arise in a variety of practical processes and presents some of the approaches that may be used to solve them and obtain acceptable and realistic results. Optimization methods that may be used to for reduce the error are presented.

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