Commutators of flow maps of nonsmooth vector fields

Franco Rampazzo, Héctor J. Sussmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Relying on the notion of set-valued Lie bracket introduced in an earlier paper, we extend some classical results valid for smooth vector fields to the case when the vector fields are just Lipschitz. In particular, we prove that the flows of two Lipschitz vector fields commute for small times if and only if their Lie bracket vanishes everywhere (i.e., equivalently, if their classical Lie bracket vanishes almost everywhere). We also extend the asymptotic formula that gives an estimate of the lack of commutativity of two vector fields in terms of their Lie bracket, and prove a simultaneous flow box theorem for commuting families of Lipschitz vector fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-175
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Differential Equations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Asymptotic formula
  • Commutativity
  • Higher order bracket
  • Lie bracket
  • Lipschitz vector field
  • Simultaneous flow-box


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