# NDSolve involves previous time step value

I am trying to use NDSolve to solve problems involve previous time step value. For example, instead of using the working code below:

    NDSolve[{x'[t] == a[t] Sin[t], x[0] == 0, a[0] == 1,
WhenEvent[Sin[t] == 0, a[t] -> -a[t]]}, x, {t, 0, 20} ,
DiscreteVariables -> {a}, StartingStepSize -> 0.1, Method -> {"FixedStep",
Method -> {"ExplicitRungeKutta", "DifferenceOrder" -> 4,
"Coefficients" -> ClassicalRK4Coefficients}}];


how i wish i could replace the WhenEvent above with

WhenEvent[x[t]-x[t-0.1] < 0, a[t] -> -a[t]]


(to note x[t] is current value and x[t-0.1] is previous value). I have no idea how to apply it, anyone can enlighten me?

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This question can be solved by storing the old value of x as an additional discrete variable.

s = Flatten@NDSolve[{x'[t] == a[t] Sin[t], x[0] == 0, a[0] == 1, tem[0] == 0,
WhenEvent[Mod[t, .1] == 0, {If[x[t] - tem[t] < 0, a[t] -> -a[t]], tem[t] -> x[t]}]},
{x, a}, {t, 0, 20}, DiscreteVariables -> {a, tem}, StartingStepSize -> 0.1,
Method -> {"FixedStep", Method -> {"ExplicitRungeKutta", "DifferenceOrder" -> 4}}];

Plot[x[t] /. s, {t, 0, 20}, AxesLabel -> {t, x}]


Plot[a[t] /. s, {t, 0, 20}, AxesLabel -> {t, a}]


Note that this method works equally well for non-constant time-steps.

• Thank you very much. You helped me a lot. I appreciated it.
– VTeh
Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 13:53