A study of stochastic differential equations and Fokker-Planck equations with applications
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Fokker-Planck equations, along with stochastic differential equations, play vital roles in physics, population modeling, game theory and optimization (finite or infinite dimensional). In this thesis, we study three topics, both theoretically and computationally, centered around them. In part one, we consider the optimal transport for finite discrete states, which are on a finite but arbitrary graph. By defining a discrete 2-Wasserstein metric, we derive Fokker-Planck equations on finite graphs as gradient flows of free energies. By using dynamical viewpoint, we obtain an exponential convergence result to equilibrium. This derivation provides tools for many applications, including numerics for nonlinear partial differential equations and evolutionary game theory. In part two, we introduce a new stochastic differential equation based framework for optimal control with constraints. The framework can efficiently solve several real world problems in differential games and Robotics, including the path-planning problem. In part three, we introduce a new noise model for stochastic oscillators. With this model, we prove global boundedness of trajectories. In addition, we derive a pair of associated Fokker-Planck equations.