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    A nearly-linear computational-cost scheme for the forward dynamics of an N-body pendulum

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    The dynamic equations of motion of an n-body pendulum with spherical joints are derived to be a mixed system of differential and algebraic equations (DAE's). The DAE's are kept in implicit form to save arithmetic and preserve the sparsity of the system and are solved by the robust implicit integration method. At each solution point, the predicted solution is corrected to its exact solution within given tolerance using Newton's iterative method. For each iteration, a linear system of the form J delta X = E has to be solved. The computational cost for solving this linear system directly by LU factorization is O(n exp 3), and it can be reduced significantly by exploring the structure of J. It is shown that by recognizing the recursive patterns and exploiting the sparsity of the system the multiplicative and additive computational costs for solving J delta X = E are O(n) and O(n exp 2), respectively. The formulation and solution method for an n-body pendulum is presented. The computational cost is shown to be nearly linearly proportional to the number of bodies