This thesis is structured as follows. Chapter 2 gives a general introduction
to the formation of large-scale structures in the Universe by taking a brief look at the
matter content of the Universe; theories for structure formation, both linear and
non-linear; peculiar velocity fields; and finally a description of the Local Group and
its immediate neighbourhood. In Chapter 3, the dynamics of galaxies will be
discussed, the main result being the deduction of the equations of motion for particles
in comoving coordinates using Hamilton's principle. In the following chapter, Chapter
4, a presentation of the different numerical methods used in the AVP will be
presented, both for the integration and the optimization of the action. In Chapter
5, we are finally moving into the main part of this thesis, namely the
implementation of the AVP and the testing of the different optimizing methods for two
different systems off mass tracers: one consisting of 8 and one of 22 particles. The
resulting number of undefined parameters for these two systems is 120 and 660,
respectively, and these two systems will therefore serve as two widely different test
cases. Additionally, Chapter 5 will contain a description of the N-body code
used to test the validity of the AVP solutions, a comparison of the AVP solution reached
to the solutions presented by P-89,P-90, and a physical discussion of the
solution that gave the best fit in the system of 22 mass tracers, including the
adjustment of distances mentioned in the previous section. Chapter 6 is meant
to serve as a review of the AVP, giving a brief examination of the areas of application
and the different implementations presented previously in literature. The closing
chapter, Chapter 7, contains a summary of the study and suggestions for
future work, while the Appendix A contains the complete sourcecode of the
program used to calculate the orbits, `AVP`.

Mon Jul 5 02:59:28 MET DST 1999