In the theory of dynamical systems, and control theory, Lyapunov functions, named after Aleksandr Mikhailovich Lyapunov, are a family of functions that can be used to demonstrate the stability or instability of some state points of a system.
The demonstration of stability or instability requires finding a Lyapunov function for that system. There is no direct method to obtain a Lyapunov function but there may be tricks to simplify the task. The inability to find a Lyapunov function is inconclusive with respect to stability or instability.
- Example of determining the stability of the equilibrium solution of a system of ODEs with a Lyapunov function