I would like to numerically solve (with NDSolve ) the following system of ordinary differential equations, for different, fixed $M$,
$$\begin{array}{c} y_{1}'(t)=Fy_{2}(t)\\ y_{2}'(t)=2Fy_{3}(t)\\ \vdots\\ y_{M-1}'(t)=(M-1)Fy_{M}(t)\\ (M-1)!F^{M-1}y_{M}'(t)=y_{1}(t) \end{array}$$

with initial conditions $y_{k}(0)=\left(x_{0}\right)^{k}$, $k=1,2,\ldots,M$ and $F$ is some fixed constant.

Is there a slick way to generate the $M$ equations above and the initial conditions, so that they can be passed to ``NDSolve?

**Edit: ** To be precise I don't need exactly the solution of the above ODE but something similar. So unfortunately @polfosol answr does not work for me. I am really looking for a way to generate several equations of the kind depicted above.

  • $\begingroup$ I did try but I got a very weird error message, something like: Your post appear to have code that is not properly indented. I'm familiar with MathJax $\endgroup$
    – lcv
    Jan 24, 2023 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ This is the ODE \begin{array}{c} y_{1}'(t)=Fy_{2}(t)\\ y_{2}'(t)=2Fy_{3}(t)\\ \vdots\\ y_{M-1}'(t)=(M-1)Fy_{M}(t)\\ (M-1)!F^{M-1}y_{M}'(t)=y_{1}(t) \end{array} $\endgroup$
    – lcv
    Jan 24, 2023 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


Edit: Corrected typos from 1/24/23, ran through NDSolveValue and checked plots

Edit 2: changed code to make easier to plot all with a legend or a selected solution

You can use subscripted variables:

M = 4;
F = 2;
Subscript[x, 0] = 1;
theDepVars = {};
innerEqnSet = Table[
   AppendTo[theDepVars, Subscript[y, k][t]];
   Subscript[y, k]'[t] == k F Subscript[y, k + 1][t],
   {k, 1, M - 1}];
eqnM = (M - 1)! F^(M - 1) Subscript[y, M]'[t] == Subscript[y, 1][t];
AppendTo[theDepVars, Subscript[y, M][t]];
eqnMInitVal = Subscript[y, M][0] == Subscript[x, 0]^M;
innerEqnInitVals = 
  Table[Subscript[y, k][0] == Subscript[x, 0]^k, {k, 1, M - 1}];
myIVP = Join[innerEqnSet, {eqnM}, innerEqnInitVals, {eqnMInitVal}]
theSols = NDSolveValue[myIVP, theDepVars, {t, 0, 1}]

Plot[theSols, {t, 0, 1}, 
 PlotLegends -> Placed[theDepVars, {0.29, 0.7}]]


Plot[theSols[[1]], {t, 0, 1}]

to plot $y_1$ and so forth. Also easier to use Ctrl-underscore key to enter a subscripted variable to look like $y_1$ in the notebook for example rather than all the text above.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Great! (+1) I think this is what I was looking for. Let me take a look at it tomorrow morning. $\endgroup$
    – lcv
    Jan 24, 2023 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ @lcv: Had a few typos in post from 1/24/23. I corrected them and verified system ran ok through NDSolveValue. $\endgroup$
    – josh
    Jan 25, 2023 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ Works like a treat. $\endgroup$
    – lcv
    Jan 25, 2023 at 15:56

If you don't insist on using NDSolve, there is an (IMO simpler) workaround for your specific problem. Since your ODE is linear, it has an analytic solution. Let $y=[\matrix{y_1&y_2&\cdots&y_M}]^T$, then: $$y'(t)=Ay(t),\qquad y(0)=y_0$$ where $$A=\left[\matrix{0&1&0&\cdots&0\\0&0&2&\cdots&0\\ \vdots&\vdots&\vdots&\ddots&\vdots\\ 0&0&0&\cdots&M-1\\ \frac1{(M-1)!F^M}&0&0&\cdots&0}\right]F,\qquad y_0=\left[\matrix{x_0\\x_0^2\\\vdots\\x_0^M}\right]$$ The solution to this linear ODE system is given by $$y(t)=\exp(At)y(0)$$ Then you can use MatrixExp function to calculate $\exp(At)$.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank very much you but I really need the NDSolve version. The example I posted is a baby version of my actual problem. I should have realized that it could lead to such solution. $\endgroup$
    – lcv
    Jan 24, 2023 at 20:37

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