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Research Project C10

Domain Decomposition Methods

Olaf Steinbach, Wolfgang L. Wendland, Günther Of
Institut für Angewandte Analysis und Numerische Simulation

Domain decomposition methods are used to construct the coupling interfaces by introducing local solutions
fast algorithms for the numerical treatment of cou- on each subdomain. Therefore it is sufficient to be
pled boundary value problems in solid mechanics. able to solve local subproblems. Second, the BETI
Therefore structures with different physical proper- methods reinforce the continuity by corresponding
ties and different materials can be handled. Domain constraints for the local solutions across the coupling
decomposition methods are also very efficient solu- interfaces by the use of Lagrange multipliers.
tion strategies for coupled boundary value problems For the numerical simulation of technical and physi-
as they are suitable for parallelization because of the cal processes the mesh generation of complex struc-
separate solution of the local subproblems on the sin- tures as for example shown in Figure 2 is already
gle subdomains. Figure 1 shows the deformation of a challenging task. The meshes generated by auto-
two beams under an imposed load. The two beams matic mesh generators still must often be checked
are decomposed into 48 subdomains. up on their correctness by hand. Boundary Element
Methods [11] provide a significant simplification as
only the surface of the structure is to be meshed.
This also leads to a reduction of the dimension of
the resulting system of linear equations. Boundary
Element Methods have further advantages in some
applications such as for farfield computations, han-
dling of singularities and moving parts.

Figure 1: A domain decomposition.

The local solutions of the single subproblems can be

determined by different numerical methods as for ex- Figure 2: A foam.
ample with the Finite Element Method or the Bound-
ary Element Method. In doing so, these methods can On the other hand, the local character of the under-
be applied for the single subproblems according to lying partial differential equations is lost. This dis-
their particular features. advantage can be compensated by the use of fast
A new approach to domain decomposition methods boundary element methods as for example the Fast
are the Boundary Element Tearing and Interconnect- Multipole Method [3]. This method is based on the
ing methods (BETI) introduced in [5, 6] as counter- use of a fictitious hierarchy for the clustering of the
parts to the Finite Element Tearing and Intercon- boundary elements and suitable series expansions of
necting methods [1]. Compared to standard domain the kernels valid for boundary elements which are
decomposition methods [4, 10], the BETI methods well separated from each other. The utilization of
first discard the continuity of the global solution on the cluster hierarchy is essential for an efficient com-

putation of the approximation. In [7, 8], the Fast [3] L. Greengard, V. Rokhlin, A fast algorithm
Multipole Boundary Element Method is applied to for particle simulations, J. Comput. Phys. 73
the Laplacian and in [9] to the system of linear elas- (1987) 325–348.
tostatics. In cooperation with the research project
B5 [2], a fast multipole code has been developed for [4] G.C. Hsiao, E. Schnack, W.L. Wendland,
acoustics. Hyprid coupled finite–boundary element meth-
Even with the use of these fast methods, an efficient ods for elliptic systems of second order, Comput.
preconditioning for the iterative solution of the re- Mech. Adv., Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. En-
sulting system of linear equations is decisively impor- grg. 190 (2000), 431–485.
tant. One approach is an Artificial Multilevel Bound- [5] U. Langer, O. Steinbach, Boundary element
ary Element Preconditioner [12] which is based on tearing and interconnecting methods, Comput-
the hierarchy already introduced by the Fast Multi- ing 71 (2003) 205–228.
pole Method. This hierarchy defines a sequence of
nested boundary element spaces of piecewise con- [6] U. Langer, O. Steinbach, Coupled boundary and
stant basis functions. These boundary element spaces finite element tearing and interconnecting meth-
and the corresponding L2 projections are used to ods, Preprint 2003-45, Johannes Kepler Univer-
construct an almost optimal so–called BPX multi- sität Linz, SFB F013, 2003, submitted.
level preconditioner. Another approach for precondi-
tioning is the use of boundary integral operators of [7] G. Of, O. Steinbach, W.L. Wendland, The fast
opposite order [13]. The efficiency of this precondi- multipole method for the symmetric boundary
tioning combined with the use of the Fast Multipole integral formulation, in preperation.
Method is shown in [8]. [8] G. Of, O. Steinbach, A fast multipole bound-
ary element method for a modified hypersingu-
lar boundary integral equation, in: Analysis and
Simulation of Multifield Problems (W.L. Wend-
land, M. Efendiev, eds.), Springer Lecture
Notes in Applied and Computational Mechan-
ics, Springer, 2003, 163–169.

[9] G. Of, A fast multipole boundary element

method for the symmetric boundary inte-
gral formulation in linear elastostatics, in:
Proceedings of the Second M.I.T. Conference
on Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics
(K.J. Bathe, ed.), Elsevier, 540–543.

[10] O. Steinbach, Stability Estimates for Hy-

brid Coupled Domain Decomposition Methods,
Springer Lecture Notes in Mathematics, vol.
Figure 3: A press equipment. 1809, 2003.

[11] O. Steinbach, Numerische Näherungsverfahren

Figure 2 shows the computed deformation of a foam
für elliptische Randwertprobleme. Finite Ele-
made of metal under external forces. Further appli-
mente und Randelemente, B.G. Teubner,
cations are the layout design of press equipment, Fig-
Stuttgart, Leipzig, Wiesbaden, 2003.
ure 3, the simulation of spray painting and the com-
putation of the potential for the determination of the [12] O. Steinbach, Artificial Multilevel Boundary
capacity for micromachined capacitive transducers. Element Preconditioners, Proc. Appl. Math.
Mech. 3 (2003) 539–542.

References [13] O. Steinbach, W.L. Wendland, The construction

of some efficient preconditioners in the bound-
[1] C. Farhat, F.-X. Roux, A method of finite el- ary element method, Adv. Comput. Math. 9
ement tearing and interconnecting and its par- (1998) 191-216.
allel solution algorithm. Int. J. Numer. Meth.
Engrg. 32 (1991), 1205–1227.

[2] M. Fischer, U. Gauger, L. Gaul, A multipole

Galerkin boundary element method for acous-
tics, Engineering Analysis with Boundary Ele-
ments 28 (2004), 155–162.