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galerkin methods

# galerkin methods

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03/29/2014

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2
Galerkin Method
In this chapter, we discuss the fundamentals of the Galerkin method — theidea of ﬁnite-dimensional approximation of the variational boundary-valueproblem (VBVP), the notion of the best approximation error, and an elemen-tary approximation error analysis.
2.1 Finite-Dimensional Approximation of the VBVP
Thespaceoftestfunctionsisafunctionspace,anditisinﬁnitedimensional.Ingeneral,ittakesaninﬁnitenumberoffunctionstoapproximatetheunknownsolution. Galerkin method approximates it with a ﬁnite number of linearlyindependent functions
e
i
=
e
i
(
x
) from test space
,
u
(
x
)
˜
u
0
(
x
)
+
j
=
1
u
j
e
j
(
x
)
,
where the coefﬁcients
u
j
are to be determined. Functions
e
j
are called the
basis functions
, and the unknown coefﬁcients
u
j
are called the
global degrees of  freedom (d.o.f.)
.The idea is very general, and we will discuss it in context of the abstractVBVP,usingargumentlessnotation.Alongwiththesolution,weusethesame basis functions to approximate the test functions,
u
˜
u
0
+
j
=
1
u
j
e
j
v
l
=
1
v
l
e
l
.
We now substitute the approximations into the abstract VBVP:
b
˜
u
0
+
j
=
1
u
j
e
j
,
l
=
1
v
l
e
l
=
l
l
=
1
v
l
e
l
.
(2.1)The equation is to be satisﬁed for every test function which, for the ﬁnite-dimensional approximation, translates into the condition: for every choice of
33
© 2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

34
coefﬁcients
v
l
, l
=
1
,
...
,
. We select
v
l
=
δ
li
(Kronecker’s delta) to arrive ata system of
algebraic equations:
b
˜
u
0
+
j
=
1
u
j
e
j
, e
i
=
l
(
e
i
)
, i
=
1
,
...
,
.
Conversely, we can multiply the preceding equations with arbitrary coefﬁ-cients
v
i
, sum up wrt
i
, and use linearity of form
l
, and form
b
(
u, v
) wrt
v
,to arrive at the previous equation. The two formulations are thus equivalent.Additionally, if we also use the linearity of form
b
(
u, v
) in
u
(we are solving alinear problem), we realize that the algebraic equations are linear,
b
(˜
u
0
, e
i
)
+
j
=
1
b
(
e
j
, e
i
)
u
i
=
l
(
e
i
)
, i
=
1
,
...
,
.
Function ˜
u
0
representing a lift of Dirichlet data
u
0
is known, so it is advisableto move it to the right-hand side,
j
=
1
b
(
e
j
, e
i
)
u
j
=
l
(
e
i
)
b
(˜
u
0
, e
i
)
, i
=
1
,
...
,
.
Matrix
b
ij
=
b
(
e
j
, e
i
) will be called the
(global) stiffness matrix
, vector
l
i
=
l
(
e
i
)is the
, and vector
l
modi
=
l
mod
(
e
i
)
=
l
(
e
i
)
b
(˜
u
0
, e
i
) is the
. To solve the approximate problem, we have tocompute matrices
B
= {
b
ij
}
,
l
mod
= {
l
modi
}
, and solve the system of linearequations,
j
=
1
b
ij
u
j
=
l
modi
, i
=
1
,
...
, N,
(2.2)or, using the matrix notation,
Bu
=
l
mod
.
Here, the unknown d.o.f.
u
j
has been put into a vertical vector.Summing up, for determining the approximate solution, we need to:
Select lift ˜
u
0
of Dirichlet data
u
0
Calculate the global stiffness matrix and the modiﬁed load vector
Solve Equation 2.2We can look at the Galerkin method more precisely using the language ofvectorspaces.Functions
e
j
, j
=
1
,
...
,
spanan
-dimensionalsubspace
h
of
. Index
h
is here an abstraction for a maximum element size, and it comesfrom the language of ﬁnite elements. Thus, by deﬁnition, functions
e
j
indeed
© 2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Galerkin Method
35form a basis for space
h
. The Galerkin system of equations (Equation 2.1)can now be written in a more concise form of the approximate (abstract)variational boundary-value problem.
u
h
˜
u
0
+
h
b
(
u
h
, v
h
)
=
l
(
v
h
)
,
v
h
h
.
(2.3)In principle, approximate solution
u
h
depends only upon the space
h
,and it is independent of the choice of basis functions
e
j
, as long as they spanthe same approximate subspace. In practice, however, the choice of the basisfunctions affects the conditioning of the ﬁnal discrete system of equationsand, because of round-off error effects, may signiﬁcantly inﬂuence the actualapproximate solution.WhenapproximatingaBVP,weconstructasequenceofﬁnite-dimensionalspaces
h
, and solve the resulting linear systems for the correspondingapproximate solution
u
h
. In ﬁnite elements, these spaces correspond to dif-ferentmeshesthatarereﬁnedtoyieldbetterandbetterapproximationstotheoriginal problem. All discussed quantities — basis functions
e
j
=
e
h j
, dimen-sion
=
h
of
h
, global d.o.f.
u
j
=
u
h j
, stiffness matrix, and load vector —depend upon index
h
.
2.1.1 Petrov–Galerkin Method
The discussed version of the Galerkin method is known as the
Bubnov–Galerkin
method, in which both solution and test functions are approximatedwith the same basis functions. In a more general approach, known as
Petrov–Galerkin
method,testfunctionsareapproximatedusingadifferentsetofbasisfunctions. The basis functions to approximate the solution are then called the
trial basis functions
, and those used for the test functions are known as the
test basis functions
. Specially selected test basis functions allow for improvingstabilitypropertiesoftheGalerkinapproximationforproblemsthatlacksucha stability to begin with, e.g., convection-dominated diffusion problems. Inthismonograph,however,weshallrestrictourselvestotheBubnov–Galerkinapproach only.
2.1.2 Internal Approximation
Approximate spaces
h
are assumed to be subspaces of the inﬁnite dimen-sional space of test functions
, i.e., basis functions
e
j
belong to space
. Thisiscalledan
internalapproximation