Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Soliton and Rogue-Wave Solutions of Derivative Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation - Part 1

Written By

Zhou Guo-Quan

Submitted: 11 February 2020 Reviewed: 21 July 2020 Published: 05 September 2020

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93438

From the Edited Volume

Nonlinear Optics - From Solitons to Similaritons

Edited by İlkay Bakırtaş and Nalan Antar

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Based upon different methods such as a newly revised version of inverse scattering transform, Marchenko formalism, and Hirota’s bilinear derivative transform, this chapter aims to study and solve the derivative nonlinear Schrödinger (DNLS for brevity) equation under vanishing boundary condition (VBC for brevity). The explicit one-soliton and multi-soliton solutions had been derived by some algebra techniques for the VBC case. Meanwhile, the asymptotic behaviors of those multi-soliton solutions had been analyzed and discussed in detail.


  • soliton
  • nonlinear equation
  • derivative nonlinear Schrödinger equation
  • inverse scattering transform
  • Zakharov-Shabat equation
  • Marchenko formalism
  • Hirota’s bilinear derivative transform
  • rogue wave

1. Introduction

Derivative nonlinear Schrödinger (DNLS for brevity) equation is one of the several rare kinds of integrable nonlinear models. Research of DNLS equation has not only mathematic interest and significance, but also important physical application background. It was first found that the Alfven waves in space plasma [1, 2, 3] can be modeled with DNLS equation. The modified nonlinear Schrödinger (MNLS for brevity) equation, which is used to describe the sub-picosecond pulses in single mode optical fibers [4, 5, 6], is actually a transformed version of DNLS equation. The weak nonlinear electromagnetic waves in ferromagnetic, anti-ferromagnetic, or dielectric systems [5, 6, 7, 8, 9] under external magnetic fields can also be modeled by DNLS equation.

Although DNLS equation is similar to NLS equation in form, it does not belong to the famous AKNS hierarchy at all. As is well known, a nonlinear integrable equation can be transformed to a pair of Lax equation satisfied by its Jost functions, the original nonlinear equation is only the compatibility condition of the Lax pair, that is, the so-called zero-curvature condition. Another fact had been found by some scholars that those nonlinear integrable equations which have the same first operator of the Lax pair belong to the same hierarchy and can deal with the same inverse scattering transform (IST for brevity). As a matter of fact, the DNLS equation has a squared spectral parameter of λ2 in the first operator of its Lax pair, while the famous NLS equation, one typical example in AKNS hierarchy, has a spectral parameter of λ. Thus, the IST of the DNLS equation is greatly different from that of the NLS equation which is familiar to us. In a word, it deserves us to demonstrate several different approaches of solving it as a typical integrable nonlinear equation.

In this chapter, we will solve the DNLS equation under two kinds of boundary condition, that is, the vanishing boundary condition (VBC for brevity) and the non-vanishing boundary condition (NVBC for brevity), by means of three different methods – the revised IST method, the Marchenko formalism, and the Hirota’s bilinear derivative method. Meanwhile, we will search for different types of special soliton solution to the DNLS equation, such as the light/dark solitons, the pure solitons, the breather-type solitons, and the rogue wave solution, in one- or multi-soliton form.


2. An N-soliton solution to the DNLS equation based on a revised inverse scattering transform

For the VBC case of DNLS equation, which is just the concerned theme of the section, some attempts and progress have been made to solve the DNLS equation. Since Kaup and Newell proposed an IST with a revision in their pioneer works [10, 11], one-soliton solution was firstly attained and several versions of raw or explicit multi-soliton solutions were also obtained by means of different approaches [12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]. Huang and Chen have got a N soliton solution by means of Darboux transformation [15]. Steudel has derived a formula for N soliton solution in terms of Vandermonde-like determinants by means of Bäcklund transformation [13]; but just as Chen points out in Ref. [16], Steudel’s multi-soliton solution is difficult to demonstrate collisions among solitons and still has a too complicate form to be used in the soliton perturbation theory of DNLS equation, although it can easily generate compute pictures. Since the integral kernel in Zakharov-Shabat (Z-S for brevity) equation does not tend to zero in the limit of spectral parameter λ with λ, the contribution of the path integral along the big circle (the out contour) is also nonvanishing, the usual procedure to perform inverse scattering transform encounters difficulty and is invalid. Kaup thus proposed a revised IST by multiplying an additional weighing factor before the Jost solution Exλ, so that it tends to zero as λ, thus the modified Z-S kernel should lead to vanishing contribution of the integral along the big circle of Cauchy contour. Though the one-soliton solution has been found by the obtained Z-S equation of their IST, it is very difficult to derive directly its multi-soliton solution by their IST due to the existence of a complicated phase factor which is related to the solution itself [11]. We thus consider proposing a new revised IST to avoid the excessive complexity. Our N-soliton solution obviously has a standard multi-soliton form. It can be easily used to discuss its asymptotic behaviors and then develop its direct perturbation theory. On the other hand, in solving Z-S equation for DNLS with VBC, unavoidably we will encounter a problem of calculating determinant detI+Q1Q2, for two N × N matrices Q1 and Q2, where I is a N × N identity matrix. Our work also shows Binet-Cauchy formula and some other linear algebra techniques, (Appendices A.1–4 in Part 2), play important roles in the whole process, and actually also effective for some other nonlinear integrable models [21].

2.1 The revised inverse scattering transform and the Zakharov-Shabat equation for DNLS equation with VBC

2.1.1 The fundamental concepts for the IST theory of DNLS equation

DNLS equation for the one-dimension wave function uxt is usually expressed as


with VBC, where the subscripts stand for partial derivative. Eq. (1) is also called Kaup-Newell (KN for brevity) equation. Its Lax pair is given by




where λ is a spectral parameter, and σ3 is the third one of Pauli matrices σ1, σ2, σ3, and a bar over a letter, (e.g., u¯ in (2)), represents complex conjugate. The first Lax equation is


In the limit of x, u0, and

LL0=iλ2σ3; MM0=i2λ4σ3E5

The free Jost solution is a 2×2 matrix.


The Jost solutions of (4) are defined by their asymptotic behaviors as x±.


where ψxλ=ψ1xλψ2xλT, ψ˜xλ=ψ˜1xλψ˜2xλT, etc., and superscript “T” represents transposing of a matrix here and afterwards.

Since the first Lax equation of DNLS is similar to that of NLS, there are some similar properties of the Jost solutions. The monodromy matrix Tλ is defined as




It is easy to find from (2) and (9) that




Then we can get the following reduction relation and symmetry properties



aλ=aλ; bλ=bλa˜λ=a˜λ; b˜λ=b˜λE20

2.1.2 Relation between Jost functions and the solutions to the DNLS equation

The asymptotic behaviors of the Jost solutions in the limit of λ can be obtained by simple derivation. Let υ=υ1υ2Tψ˜xλ; Eq. (4) can be rewritten as


Then we have


In the limit λ, we assume ψ˜1xλ=eiλ2x+g, substituting it into Eq. (22), then we have


In the limit λ, gx can be expanded as series of λ2j, j=1,2,.




Eq. (21) leads to gxυ1=λuυ2. Considering (25), in the limit of λ, we find a useful formula


which expresses the conjugate of solution u in terms of the Jost solutions as λ.

On the other hand, the zeros of aλ appear in pairs and can be designed by λn, n=1,2,,N in the I quadrant, and λn+N=λn in the III quadrant. The discrete part of aλ is [21, 22, 23].


where a0=1. It comes from our consideration of the fact that, from the sum of two Cauchy integrals


in order to maintain that lnaλ0,asλ0,andlnaλis finiteasλ, we then have to introduce a factor λ¯n2/λn2 in (27). At the zeros of aλ, we have


Due to μ00 in (24) and (25), the Jost solutions do not tend to free Jost solutions Exλ in the limit of λ. This is their most typical property which means that the usual procedure of constructing the equation of IST by a Cauchy contour integral must be invalid and abortive, thus a newly revised procedure to derive a suitable IST and the corresponding Z-S equation is proposed in our group.

2.1.3 The revised IST and Zakharov-Shabat equation for DNLS equation with VBC

The 2 × 1 column function Θxλ can be introduced as usual


An alternative form of IST equation is proposed as


Because in the limit of λ, limλeiλ2x=0,asx>0,Imλ2>0,λin theIIIIquadrants,x<0,Imλ2<0,λin theIIIVquadrants, then the integral path Γ should be chosen as shown in Figure 1, where the radius of big circle tends to infinite, while the radius of small circle tends to zero. And the factor λ2 is introduced to ensure the contribution of the integral along the big arc is vanishing. Meanwhile, our modification produces no new poles since Lax operator L0, as λ0. In the reflectionless case, the revised IST equation gives

Figure 1.

The integral path for IST of the DNLS.


where ȧλn=daλ/dλλ=λn. Similarly, an alternative form of IST equation is proposed as follows:


where a factor λ1 is introduced for the same reason as λ2 in Eq. (30). Then in the reflectionless case, we can attain


Taking the symmetry and reduction relation (18) and (28) into consideration, from (31) and (33), we can obtain the revised Zakharov-Shabat equation for DNLS equation with VBC, that is,


2.2 The raw expression of N-soliton solution

Substituting Eqs. (34) and (35) into formula (26), we thus attain the N-soliton solution




Let λ=λ¯m, m = 1, 2,…, N, respectively, in Eqs. (34) and (35), and make use of the symmetry and reduction relation (15), we can attain

ψ¯1xλm=n=1N2λm2¯λm2¯λn2cnψ2xλneiλn2xeiλm2¯x; m=1,2,,N.E40

where cn=bn/ȧλn. We also define


where superscript “T” represents transposition of a matrix. Then Eqs. (39) and (40) can be rewritten as


where m = 1, 2,…, N. They can be rewritten in a more compact matrix form.




where I is the N × N identity matrix. On the other hand, from (37) and (38), we know


Substituting Eqs. (48), (49) into (50) and (51) and then substituting (50) and (51) into formula (36), we thus attain




In the subsequent chapter, we will prove that


It is obvious that formula (52) has the usual standard form of soliton solution. Here in formula (52), some algebra techniques have been used and can be found in Appendix A.1 in Part 2.

2.3 Explicit expression of N-soliton solution

2.3.1 Verification of standard form for the N-soliton solution

We only need to prove that Eq. (55) holds. Firstly, we define N × N matrices P1, P2, Q1, Q2, respectively, as




where Q1n1n2nrm1m2mr denotes a minor, which is the determinant of a submatrix of Q1 consisting of elements belonging to not only rows (n1, n2,…, nr) but also columns (m1,m2,…, mr). Here use is made of Binet-Cauchy formula in the Appendices A.2–4 in Part 2. Then








It is easy to find a kind of permutation symmetry existed between expressions (59) and (61), that is,


Comparing (58) with (62) and making use of (63), we thus complete verification of Eq. (55). The soliton solution is surely of a typical form as that in NLS equation and can be expressed as formula (52).

2.3.2 Introduction of time evolution function

The time evolution factor of the scattering data can be introduced by standard procedure [21]. Due to the fact that the second Lax operator Mi2λ4σ3 in the limit of x, it is easy to derive the time dependence of scattering date.


Then the typical soliton arguments θn and φn can be defined according to


where λμn+iνn, and θn=4μnνnx+4μn2νn2t=4κnxVnt; φn=2μn2νn2x+4μn2νn2216μn2νn2·t


2.3.3 Calculation of determinant of D¯ and A

Substituting expression (64) and (65) into formula (59) and then into (58), we have


with n,nn1n2nr and m,mm1m2mr. Where use is made of Binet-Cauchy formula which is numerated in Appendix A. 3–4 in Part 2. Substituting expression (67) into formula (58) thus complete the calculation of determinant D¯.

About the calculation of the most complicate determinant A in (52), we introduce a N×(N + 1) matrix Ω1 and a (N + 1) × N matrix Ω2 defined as


with n,m=1,2,,N. We thus have


The above summation obviously can be decomposed into two parts: one is extended to m1 = 0, the other is extended to m11. Subtracted from (69), the part that is extended to m11, the remaining parts of (69) is just A in (52) (with m1=0 and m21). Due to (68), we thus have




Here n,nn1n2nr and especially m,mm2mr, which completes the calculation of determinant A in formula (52). Substituting the explicit expressions of D, D¯, and A into (52), we finally attain the explicit expression of N-soliton solution to the DNLS equation under VBC and reflectionless case, based upon a newly revised IST technique.

An interesting conclusion is found that, besides a permitted well-known constant global phase factor, there is also an undetermined constant complex parameter bn0 before each of the typical soliton factor eθneiφn, (n = 1,2,…, N). It can be absorbed into eθneiφn by redefinition of soliton center and its initial phase factor. This kind of arbitrariness is in correspondence with the unfixed initial conditions of the DNLS equation.

2.4 The typical examples for one- and two-soliton solutions

We give two concrete examples – the one- and two-soliton solutions as illustrations of the general explicit soliton solution.

In the case of one-soliton solution, N = 1, λ2=λ1, λ1=ρ1eiβ1=μ1+iν1, and


It is different slightly from the definition in (66) for that here b10 has been absorbed into the soliton center and initial phase. Then




The complex conjugate of one-soliton solution u¯1xt in (75) is u1xt, which is just in conformity with that gotten from pure Marchenko formalism [24] (see the next section), up to a permitted global constant phase factor. In the case of two-soliton solution, N = 2, λ3=λ1, λ4=λ2 and


where θj=4μjνjxxj0+4μj2νj2t


and bj0 is absorbed into the soliton center and the initial phase by


And we get








Substituting (81) and (84) into formula (52), we thus get the two-soliton solution to the DNLS equation with VBC


Once again we find that, up to a permitted global constant phase factor, the above two-soliton solution is equivalent to that gotten in Ref. [23, 24], verifying the validity of our formula of N-soliton solution and the reliability of those linear algebra techniques. As a matter of fact, a general and strict demonstration of our revised IST for DNLS equation with VBC has been given in one paper by use of Liouville theorem [25].

2.5 The asymptotic behaviors of N-soliton solution

The complex conjugate of expression (52) gives the explicit expression of N-soliton solution as


Without the loss of generality, for λn=μn+ivn,Vn=4μn2vn2, n=1,2,,N, we assume V1<V2<<Vn<VN and define the n’th vicinity area as Γn:xxnoVnt0,n=1.2N.

As t, N vicinity areas Γn,n=1,2,N, queue up in a descending series


and in the vicinity of Γn, we have (note that κj>0)


Here the complex constant 2cn0 in expression (65) has been absorbed into eθneiφn by redefinition of the soliton center xn0 and the initial phase αn0.

Introducing a typical factor Fn=e2θn/λn2λn2¯2>0, n=1,2,,N; then


wherel,m12n. Thus




In the vicinity of Γn,






Each u1θnφn, (1,2,,n) is a one-soliton solution characterized by one parameter λn, moving along the positive direction of the x-axis, queuing up in a series with descending order number n as in series (88). As t, in the vicinity of Γn, we have (note that κj>0)


So as t, in the vicinity of Γn,


then as t,


That is to say, the N-soliton solution can be viewed as N well-separated exact one- solitons, queuing up in a series with ascending order number n: Γ1,Γ2,,ΓN. In the course going from t to t, the n’th one-soliton overtakes the solitons from the first to n1’th and is overtaken by the solitons from n+1’th to N’th. In the meantime, due to collisions, the n’th soliton got a total forward shift Δθn/κn from exceeding those slower soliton from the first to n1’th, and got a total backward shift Δθn+/κn from being exceeded by those faster solitons from n+1’th to N’th, and just equals to the summation of shifts due to each collision between two solitons, together with a total phase shift Δφn, that is,


2.6 N-soliton solution to MNLS equation

Finally, we indicate that the exact N-soliton solution to the DNLS equation can be converted to that of MNLS equation by a gauge-like transformation. A nonlinear Schrödinger equation including the nonlinear dispersion term expressed as


is also integrable [23] and called modified nonlinear Schrödinger (MNLS for brevity) equation. It is well known that MNLS equation well describes transmission of femtosecond pulses in optical fibers [4, 5, 6] and is related to DNLS equation by a gauge-like transformation [23] formulated as


with x=α1X+4ρT, t=α2T; X=αx4βt, T=α2t; ρ=βα2. Using a method that is analogous to reference [16], and applying above gauge-like transformation to Eq. (105), the MNLS equation with VBC can be transformed into DNLS equation with VBC.


with u=uXT. So according to (106), the N-soliton solution to MNLS equation can also be attained by a gauge-like transformation from that of DNLS equation.

The N-soliton solution to the DNLS equation with VBC has been derived by means of a IST considered anew and some special linear algebra techniques. The one- and two-soliton solutions have been given as two typical examples in illustration of the general formula of the N-soliton solution. It is found to be perfectly in agreement with that gotten in the following section based on a pure Marchenko formalism or Hirota’s Bilinear derivative transformation [24, 26, 27]. The demonstration of the revised IST considered anew for DNLS equation with VBC has also been given by use of Liouville theorem [25].

The newly revised IST technique for DNLS equation with VBC supplies substantial foundation for its direct perturbation theory.


3. A simple method to derive and solve Marchenko equation for DNLS equation

Gel’fand-Levitan-Marchenko (GLM for brevity) equations can be viewed as an integral-transformed version of IST for those integrable nonlinear equations [21, 24, 28].

In this section, a simple method is used to derive and solve Marchenko equation (or GLM equation) for DNLS E with VBC [28]. Firstly, starting from the first Lax equation, we derive two conditions to be satisfied by the kernel matrix Nxy of GLM by applying the Lax operator xL upon the integral representation of Jost function for DNLSE. Secondly, based on Lax equation, a strict demonstration has been given for the validness of Marchenko formalism. At last, the Marchenko formalism is determined by choosing a suitable Fx+y and Gx+y, and their relation (135) has been constructed. The one and multi-soliton solution in the reflectionless case is attained based upon a pure Marchenko formalism by avoiding direct use of inverse scattering data and verified by using direct substitution method with Mathematica.

3.1 The lax pair and its Jost functions of DNLS equation

DNLS equation is usual expressed as


with vanishing boundary, x, u0. Here the subscript denotes partial derivative. Its Lax pair is given by


The first Lax equation is


In the case of x, u0, LL0=iλ2σ3, the free Jost solution is


where λ2 is a real squared parameter, Exλ expresses two independent solutions with two components. The Jost solutions of (4) are defined by their asymptotic properties at x±,


3.2 The integral representation of Jost function

As usual, we introduce the integral representation,


where the superscripts d and o mean the diagonal and off-diagonal elements, respectively. According to the conventional operation in IST, the time variable is suppressed temporarily. Here

Ndxy=Nxy1100Nxy22, Noxy=0Nxy12Nxy210

Due to the symmetry of the first Lax operator λ2iσ311=λ2iσ3¯22 and λU21=λU¯12, the kernel matrix Nxy of the integral representation of Jost function should have the same symmetry as follows:


Substitute Eq. (115) into the first Lax Eq. (111). By simply partial integration, we have the following terms:




Use is made of that iλ2σ3Eyλ=Eyλ, then


According to equation xLΨxλ=0, adding up the l.h.s. and r.h.s., respectively, of Eq. (117)(120), (121). We obtain two equations involving with terms λ2 and λ outside of the integral dy as follows:




and the equations in the integral dyS=0, where S is equal to

[ λ2Nxd(x,y)+λNxo(x,y) ]+σ3[ λ2Nyd(x,y)+λNyo(x,y) ]σ3λU(x)[ iNyd(x,y)σ3+λNo(x,y) ]=0E125

Therefore, Eq. (125) gives two conditions to be satisfied by the kernel matrix Nxy in the integral representation of Jost solution


Since (122) is an identity, Eq. (123) or (124) gives the solution Ux or ux in terms of N(x,x), thus the first Lax equation gives two conditions (126) and (127) which should be satisfied by the integral kernel N(x,y). Note that the time variable of ux in (124) is suppressed temporarily.

3.3 Marchenko equation for DNLSE and its demonstration

In Eq. (115), the Ndxy and Noxy appear in different manner, we assume the form of Marchenko equation for DNLSE with VBC is


where Fx+y is only with off-diagonal terms. Gx+y is considered as another function with only off-diagonal terms. We notice that the Marchenko equation needn’t involve obviously the function of spectral parameter λ.

We now show the kernel Nxy determined by (128) and (129) indeed satisfy the conditions (126) and (127) as long as we choose a suitable form of expression for Gx+y.

Making partial derivation in (128) with respect to x and y, respectively, we obtain


By partial integrating, Eq. (131) becomes


Use is made of the fact that Fz+y = Fyz+y=Fzz+y in (131). Making a weighing summation as follows:


We find

Nxd(x,y)+σ3Nyd(x,y)σ3U(x)No(x,y)No(x,x)F(x+y)σ3No(x,x)F(x+y)σ3U(x)F(x+y)+xdz{ Nxo(x,z)F(z+y)σ3Nzo(x,,z)F(z+y)σ3U(x)Nd(x,,z)G(z+y) }=0E133

Since Fx is off-diagonal, Fxσ3=σ3Fx. Thus the terms involving with Fx+y outside of integral are equal to iUxNdxxσ3Fx+y by use of Eq. (123). Then (133) can be rewritten as


If we choose




Thus, Eq. (134) becomes


Now substituting (135) into (129), we find


Making partial derivation with respect to x and y, respectively, on the l.h.s. of Eq. (138), we have




Now we make a weighing summation as


Hence, we have


Noticing Fxσ3=σ3Fx, Eq. (142) becomes


We find that, as long as we choose a suitable form for Gx+y as well as Fx+y according to Eq. (135), Eq. (128) and (129) will just satisfy the two conditions (126) and (127) derived from the first Lax Eq. (111). On the other hand, owing to the symmetry properties of Noxy and Ndxy, the function fx+y in (128) and (129) can only has off-diagonal elements, we write


Considering the dependence of the Jost solutions on the squared spectral parameter λ2, in the reflectionless case, we choose


where Cnt contains a time-dependent factor ei4λn4t, which can be introduced by a standard procedure [29], due to a fact of the Lax operator Mi2λ4σ3 as x±.

As is well known, Lax equations are linear equation so that a constant factor can be introduced in its solution, that is, Cn=eβn+iαnei4λn4t. It means that βn is related to the center of soliton and αn expresses the initial phase up to a constant factor. Thus, the time-independent part of Cn is inessential and can be absorbed or normalized only by redefinition of the soliton center and initial phase. On the other hand, notice the terms generated by partial integral in (133)(142), in order to ensure the convergence of the partial integral, we must let limxeiλn2x=0, so we only consider the N zero points of aλ in the first quadrant of complex plane of λ (also in the upper half part of the complex plane of λ2), that is, the discrete spectrum for λ1,λ2,λN, although λn,n=12N in the third quadrant of the complex plane of λ are also the zero points of aλ due to symmetry of Lax operator and transition matrix. Then Eq. (145) corresponds to the N-soliton solution in the reflectionless case, and we have completed the derivation and manifestation of Marchenko equation (128) and (129), (144), and (145) for DNLSE with VBC.

3.4 A multi-soliton solution of the DNLS equation based upon pure Marchenko formalism

When there are N simple poles λ1,λ2,,λN in the first quadrant of the complex plane of λ, the Marchenko equation will give a N-solition solution to the DNLS equation with VBC in the reflectionless case. We can assume that


where gnxtCnteiλn2x,hnyeiλn2y,n=1,2,,N, and


Here and hereafter the superscript T represents transposing of a matrix. On the other hand, we assume that




Substituting (146)(149) into the Marchenko equation (128) and (129), we have






Both of them are N × N matrices and their matrix element are, respectively, expressed as


From (151) and (152), we immediately get


from (148), (156), and (157), we have



N11(x,x)=iTr{ iΔ1(x)H(x)TG¯(x)[ I+iΔ1(x)Δ2(x) ]1 }=i{ det[ I+iΔ1(x)Δ2(x)+iΔ1(x)H(x)TG¯(x) ]det[ I+iΔ1(x)Δ2(x) ]1 }E160



Substituting (160) and (161) into Eq. (124), we thus attain the N-soliton solution as follows in a pure Marchenko formalism.




and we will prove that in (136)


By means of some linear algebraic techniques, especially the Binet-Cauchy formula for some special matrices (see the Appendices 2–3 in Part2), the determinant D and C can be expanded explicitly as a summation of all possible principal minors. Firstly, we can prove identity (164) by means of Binet-Cauchy formula.




The complex constant factor cn0 can be absorbed into the soliton center and initial phase by redefining


here λn=μn+ivn, and

θn4μnvn[ xxn0+4(μn2vn2)t ]=4κn(xxn0υnt);κn=4μnνn;υn=4(μn2vn2);φn2(μn2vn2)x+[ 4(μn2vn2)216μn2vn2 ]t+αno;cn0e4κnxnoeiαno;n=1,2,,NE168

where M1n1n2nrm1m2mr denotes a minor, which is the determinant of a submatrix of M1, consisting of elements belonging to not only (n1, n2,…, nr) rows but also columns (m1, m2,…, mr).


where n,nn1n2nr, m,mm1m2mr, then M1n1n2nrm1m2mrM2m1m2mrn1n2nr


If we define matrices Q1=iΔ1 and Q2=Δ2, then we can similarly attain




where n,nn1n2nr,m,mm1m2mr. Comparing (172) and (174), we find the following permutation symmetry between them


Using above identity, comparing (169), (172), (173), and (174), we find that identity (164) holds and complete the computation of D.

Secondly, we compute the most complicate determinant C in (163). In order to calculate detI+iΔ1Δ2+H¯TG¯, we introduce an N×N+1 matrix Ω1 and an N+1×N matrix Ω2


with n, m = 1, 2,…, N. We thus have


The above summation obviously can be decomposed into two parts: one is extended to m1 = 0 and the other extended to m1 ≥ 1. Subtracted from (176), the part that is extended to m1 ≥ 1, the remaining parts of (176) is just C in Eq. (163) (with m1=0, m21). Due to (175), we have


which leads to


here n,nn1n2nr, m,mm2mr in (178)(180). Finally, substituting (174) into (173), (180) into (177), and (173 and 177) into (162), we thus attain the explicit N-soliton solution to the DNLS equation with VBC under the reflectionless case, based on a pure Marchenko formalism and in no need of the concrete spectrum expression of aλ. Obviously, the N-soliton solution permits uncertain complex constants cn0n=12N as well as an arbitrary global constant phase factor.

3.5 The special examples for one- and two-soliton solutions

In the case of one simple pole and one-soliton solution as N=1, according to (173), (177), (174), and (180), we have


From (167) and (168), we have (suppose λ1=ρ1eiβ1=μ1+iv1 and c10=e4κ1x10eiα10)


Then from (181) and (182), we attain the one-soliton solution


By further redefinition of its soliton center and initial phase, the single soliton solution can be further rewritten as usual standard form. It is easy to find, up to a permitted well-known constant global phase factor, the one-soliton solution to DNLS equation gotten in the pure Marchenko formalism is in perfectly agreement with that gotten from other approaches [23, 24, 26, 27].

As N=2 in the case of two-soliton solution corresponding to double simple poles, we have


Up to a permitted constant global phase factor, the two-soliton solution gotten above is actually equivalent to that gotten from both IST and Hirota’s method [23, 24, 26, 27], verifying the validity of the algebraic techniques that is used and our formula of the generalized multi-soliton solution. Because Marchenko equations (128), (129), (144), and (145) had been strictly proved, the multi-soliton solution is certainly right as long as we correctly use the algebraic techniques, especially Binet-Cauchy formula for the principal minor expansion of some special matrices.


4. Soliton solution of the DNLS equation based on Hirota’s bilinear derivative transform

Bilinear derivative operator D had been found and defined in the early 1970s by Hirota R., a Japanese mathematical scientist [30, 31, 32, 33]. Hirota’s bilinear-derivative transform (HBDT for brevity) can be used to deal with some partial differential equation and to find some special solutions, such as soliton solutions and rogue wave solutions [26, 27, 32]. In this section, we use HBDT to solve DNLS equation with VBC and search for its soliton solution. The DNLS equation with VBC, that is,


is one of the typical integrable nonlinear models, which is of a different form from the following equation:


which had been solved in Ref. [14] by using HBDT. We have paid special attention to the following solution form in it [14]:


where f,g are usually complex functions. Solution (191) is suitable for Eq. (190) and NLS equation, and so on, but not suitable for the DNLS equation. Just due to this fact, their work cannot deal with Eq. (189) at the same time. As is well known, rightly selecting an appropriate solution form is an important and key step to apply Hirota’s bilinear derivative transform to an integrable equation like Eq. (189). Refs. [13, 16, 17, 23], etc., have proved the soliton solution of the DNLS equation must has following standard form


here and henceforth a bar over a letter represents complex conjugation.

In view of the existing experiences of dealing with the DNLS equation, in the present section, we attempt to use the solution form (192) and HBDT to solve the DNLS equation. We demonstrate our solving approach step by step, and naturally extend our conclusion to the n-soliton case in the end.

4.1 Fundamental concepts and general properties of bilinear derivative transform

For two differentiable functions Axt,Bxt of two variables x and t, Hirota’s bilinear derivative operator, D, is defined as


which is different from the usual derivative, for example,


where Axt,Bxt are two functions derivable for an arbitrary order, and the dot · between them represents a kind of ordered product. Hirota’s bilinear derivative has many interesting properties. Some important properties to be used afterwards are listed as follows:


for example, DxA·B=DxB·A; DxA·A=0; Dx2A·B=Dx2B·A; DxnA·1=xnA; Dxn1·A=1nxnA


➂ Suppose ηi=Ωit+Λix+η0i, i=1,2, Ωi, Λi, η0i are complex constants, then


Especially, we have DtnDxmexpη1·expη2=0 as Ω1=Ω2 or Λ1=Λ2. Some other important properties are listed in the Appendix.

4.2 Bilinear derivative transform of DNLS equation

After a suitable solution form, for example, (192) has been selected, under the Hirota’s bilinear derivative transform, a partial differential equation like (189) can be generally changed into [20, 26, 27].


where FiDtDx, i=1,2 are the polynomial functions of Dt, Dx; and gi,fi, i=1,2, are the differentiable functions of two variables x and t . Using formulae in the Appendix and properties ①–③ of bilinear derivative transform numerated in the last chapter, with respect to (192), we have


Substituting the above expressions (199)(202) into Eq. (189), the latter can be reduced to [26, 27].


We can extract the needed bilinear derivative equations from Eq. (203) as follows:


Functions gxt, fxt can be expanded, respectively, as series of a small parameter ε


Substituting (207) and (208) into (204)(206) and equating the sum of the terms with the same orders of ε at two sides of (204)(206), we attain


The above equations, (209)(223), contain the whole information needed to search for a soliton solution of the DNLS equation with VBC.

4.3 Soliton solution of the DNLS equation with VBC based on HBDT

4.3.1 One-soliton solution

For the one-soliton case, due to (209)(211) and considering the transform property ③, we can select g1 and f1 respectively as


From (212), one can select g2=0. From (214), we can attain


where the vanishing boundary condition, u0 as x, is used. Then


Substituting (226) and (227) into Eq. (213), we can attain


From (226) and (228), we can get an expression of f2


Due to (224) and (229), we can also easily verify that


which immediately leads to


in Eq. (215). Then from (215), we can select g3=0. For the same reason, from (216)(223), we can select f3,g4, g5, …; f4, f5, …all to be zero. Thus the series (207) and (208) have been successfully cut off to have limited terms as follows:


where εi has been absorbed into the constant eη10 by redefiniing η10. In the end, we attain the one-soliton solution to the DNLS equation with VBC


which is characterized with two complex parameters Λ1 and η10 and shown in Figure 1. If we redefine the parameter Λ1 as Λ1i2λ¯12 and λ1μ1+iv1, then

ei2λ12x+i4λ14t+η¯10/2eΘ1e1;eη¯10/2e4μ1ν1x10eiα10;Θ14μ1v1[ xx10+4(μ12v12)t ];Φ12(μ12v12)x+[ 4(μ12v12)216μ12v12 ]t+α10E235



It is easy to find, up to a permitted constant global phase factor e=1, the one-soliton solution (234) or (237) gotten in this paper is in perfect agreement with that gotten from other approaches [16]. By further redefining its soliton center, initial phase and λ1=ρ1eiβ1, the one-soliton solution can be changed into the usual typical form [16, 23, 26, 27].


On the other hand, just like in Ref. [13], we can rewrite g1 and f1 in a more appropriate or “standard” form




which makes us easily extend the solution form to the case of n-soliton solution.

4.3.2 The two-soliton solution

For the two-soliton case, again from (209), we can select g21 as


The similar procedures to that used in the one-soliton case can be used to deduce g2 and f2. From (210) and (211), we can select f21=0, then from (212), we has to select g22=0. From (213) and (214), we can get the expressions of f22f¯22 and f22+f¯22, then attain f22 to be


Substituting (242) and (243) into (215), one can attain g23 to be


Substituting the expressions of g21,g22,g23,f21,f22 into (216) and (217), we can select that f23=0. Then from the expressions of g21,g22,g23,f21,f22,f23 and (218), we can select g24=0. From (219) and (220), we can get the expressions of f24f¯24 and f24+f¯24, then get f24 to be


Due to (243) and (244), we can also easily verify that


Then from (244), (245), (246), and (221), we can select g25=0. From (222)(223) and so on, we find that the series of (207) and (208) can be cut off by selecting g25,f25;g26,f26, all to be zero. We thus attain the last result of g2,f2 to be


It can also be rewritten in a standard form as follows:


where φi,θij in (249) and (250) are defined afterwards in (256). We then attain the two-soliton solution as

u2xt=g2 f¯2/f22E251

which is characterized with four complex parameters Λ1, Λ2, η10, and η20 and shown in Figure 3. By redefining parameters ηi0 and


we can easily transform it to a two-soliton form given in Ref. [23], up to a permitted constant global phase factor.

4.3.3 Extension to the N-soliton solution

Generally for the case of N-soliton solution, if we select g1 in (209) to be


then using an induction method, we can write the N-soliton solution as


where ηN+j=η¯jjN


therein κj=0,1l represents a summation over κj=0,1 under the condition j=1Nκj=l+j=1Nκj+N.

Here, we have some discussion in order. Because what concerns us only is the soliton solutions, our soliton solution of DNLS equation with VBC is only a subset of the whole solution set. Actually in the whole process of deriving the bilinear-form equations and searching for the one and two-soliton solutions, some of the latter results are only the sufficient but not the necessary conditions of the former equations. Thereby some possible modes might have been missing. For example, the solutions of Eqs. (209)(211) are not as unique as in (224) and (225), some other possibilities thus get lost here. This is also why we use a term “select” to determine a solution of an equation. In another word, we have selected a soliton solution. Meanwhile, we have demonstrated in Figures 2 and 3, the three-dimensional evolution of the one- and two-soliton amplitude with time and space, respectively. The elastic collision of two solitons in the two-soliton case has been demonstrated in Figure 4(ad) too. It can be found that each soliton keeps the same form and characteristic after the collision as that before the collision. In this section, by means of introducing HBDT and employing an appropriate solution form (192), we successfully solve the derivative nonlinear Schrödinger equation with VBC. The one- and two-soliton solutions are derived and their equivalence to the existing results is manifested. The N-soliton solution has been given by an induction method. On the other hand, by using simple parameter transformations (e.g., (235) and (252)), the soliton solutions attained here can be changed into or equivalent to that gotten based on IST, up to a permitted global constant phase factor. This section impresses us so greatly for a fact that, ranked with the extensively used IST [23] and other methods, the HBDT is another effective and important tool to deal with a partial differential equation. It is especially suitable for some integrable nonlinear models.

Figure 2.

The evolution of one-soliton solution with time and space under parameter Λ1=1+0.2i,η10=1 in (234).

Figure 3.

The evolution of two-soliton solution with time and space under parameter Λ1=1+0.3i,Λ2=10.3i,η10=η20=1 in (251).

Figure 4.

The elastic collision between two solitons at 4 typical moments: (a) t = −10(normalized time); (b) t = −1; (c) t = 1; (d) t = 10, from −10 before collision to 10 after collision.


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Written By

Zhou Guo-Quan

Submitted: 11 February 2020 Reviewed: 21 July 2020 Published: 05 September 2020