Skip to main content

shooting method

shooting method An iterative method for the solution of boundary-value problems in ordinary differential equations. Consider the problem y = f(x,y,y′), y(a) = α, y(b) = β

Let y(x;t) denote the solution of this differential equation from initial conditions y(a) = α, y′(a) = t

This solves the above problem if F(t) = 0 where F(t) = y(b;t) – β

The equation F(t) = 0 is solved iteratively, usually by some variant of Newton's method. Each iteration therefore requires the numerical integration of an initial-value problem.

The method is applicable to all types of boundary-value problems, whatever the form of the boundary conditions. Apart from the problem of obtaining good estimates to start the iteration, difficulties can arise due to severe error propagation in the integration of the initial-value problem. A useful improvement is to guess the missing conditions at both ends of the range, matching the two solutions so defined at an interior point. In difficult cases estimates and matching can be used at several interior points to reduce error propagation; this is known as the parallel-shooting method.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"shooting method." A Dictionary of Computing. . 18 Feb. 2019 <>.

"shooting method." A Dictionary of Computing. . (February 18, 2019).

"shooting method." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved February 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.