# Analysis of fractional partial differential equations by Taylor series expansion

- Ali Demir
^{1}Email author, - Sertaç Erman
^{1}, - Berrak Özgür
^{1}and - Esra Korkmaz
^{2}

**2013**:68

**DOI: **10.1186/1687-2770-2013-68

© Demir et al.; licensee Springer 2013

**Received: **19 December 2012

**Accepted: **11 March 2013

**Published: **30 March 2013

## Abstract

We develop a formulation for the analytic or approximate solution of fractional differential equations (FDEs) by using respectively the analytic or approximate solution of the differential equation, obtained by making fractional order of the original problem integer order. It is shown that this method works for FDEs very well. The results reveal that it is very effective and simple in determination of solutions of FDEs.

## 1 Introduction

Fractional differential equations (FDEs) are obtained by generalizing differential equations to an arbitrary order. Since fractional differential equations are used to model complex phenomena, they play a crucial role in engineering, physics and applied mathematics. Therefore they have been generating increasing interest from engineers and scientist in recent years. Since FDEs have memory, nonlocal relations in space and time, complex phenomena can be modeled by using these equations. Due to this fact, materials with memory and hereditary effects, fluid flow, rheology, diffusive transport, electrical networks, electromagnetic theory and probability, signal processing, and many other physical processes are diverse applications of FDEs [1–7].

In [8], the solutions for some nonlinear fractional differential equations are constructed by using symmetry analysis. But, in general, FDEs do not have exact analytic solutions, hence the approximate and numerical solutions of these equations are studied. Analytical approximations of linear and nonlinear FDEs are obtained by the variational iteration method, Adomian’s decomposition method, the homotopy perturbation method and the Lagrange multiplier method [9–24].

In the present paper, we use the Taylor series of an analytical solution for the differential equations which is obtained from FDEs by making the fractional order of the derivative integer, to obtain the analytical or approximate solution of FDEs. We can obtain the exact or approximate solution of FDEs by changing the terms of Taylor series expansion for a solution of a differential equation in such a way that the relationship among the terms of Taylor series expansion in the sense of derivative and fractional derivative remains the same. Applications of this method show that it is easy and effective when applied to any FDEs as long as the differential equation obtained from FDEs has an analytical or approximate solution. We take the fractional derivative in the Caputo sense.

The structure of this article is as follows. In Section 2, we give the construction of analytical or approximate solutions for FDEs including fractional derivative with respect to time. In the same manner, we obtain the analytical or approximate solution of FDEs with fractional derivative with respect to space variable in Section 3. In Section 4, we take the combination of previous two sections, and we get the analytical or approximate solution of FDEs with fractional derivative with respect to time and space variable. Finally, we give some illustrative examples of this method for all cases in Section 5.

## 2 Solution of FDEs including fractional derivative with respect to time

*t*. Then we replace the derivatives with respect to

*t*by fractional derivatives with respect to

*t*in such a way that the relation among the terms of Taylor series is preserved. Moreover, we leave the first

*m*terms of Taylor series fixed since $\alpha =m$. This also allows the solution of the fractional differential equation to satisfy the initial conditions of the problem. Let us assume that the solution of equation (2) is expanded into its Taylor series with respect to

*t*as follows:

*t*as follows:

## 3 Solution of FDEs including fractional derivative with respect to space variable

which is obtained by taking $\alpha =m$.

After finding the analytic or approximate solution of equation (7), we can obtain the exact or approximate solution of equation (6) by changing the terms of Taylor series expansion for the solution of differential equation (7) in such a way that the relationship among the terms of Taylor series expansion in the sense of derivative and fractional derivative with respect to space remains the same. In other words, we expand the exact or approximate solution into its Taylor series with respect to *x*. Then we replace the derivatives with respect to *x* by fractional derivatives with respect to *x* in such a way that the relation among the terms of Taylor series is preserved. Moreover, we leave the first *m* terms of Taylor series fixed since $\alpha =m$. This also allows the solution of the fractional differential equation to satisfy the boundary conditions of the problem.

*x*as follows:

*x*as follows:

## 4 Solution of FDEs including fractional derivative with respect to space variable and time

*x*and ${u}_{1}(t)$ into its Taylor series with respect to

*t*. Then we replace the derivatives with respect to

*x*by fractional derivatives with respect to

*x*in ${u}_{0}(x)$ in such a way that the relation among the terms of Taylor series is preserved. Moreover, we leave the first

*m*terms of Taylor series fixed since $\alpha =m$. Similarly, we do the same thing for ${u}_{1}(t)$. This also allows the solution of the fractional differential equation to satisfy the initial and boundary conditions of the problem. Let us assume that ${u}_{0}(x)$ of equation (12) is expanded into its Taylor series with respect to

*x*as follows:

*t*as follows:

*x*as follows:

## 5 Illustrative applications

**Example 1**

which is exactly the same solution as in [18].

**Example 2**

which is exactly the same solution as in [19].

**Example 3**

which is totaly the same solution as in [20].

**Example 4**

where the boundary conditions are given in fractional terms.

which is exactly the same solution as in [21].

**Example 5**

**Example 6**

**Example 7**

## Declarations

### Acknowledgements

Dedicated to Professor Hari M Srivastava.

The research was supported by parts by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

## Authors’ Affiliations

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