# Questions tagged [finite-element]

A means of solving ordinary and partial differential equations. The domain of the problem is broken up into elements, and the solution in each element is expanded in a basis of functions. The Finite Element Method lends itself well to adaptive refinement, irregular geometry, and good error estimates.

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### What are the conceptual differences between the finite element and finite volume method?

There is an obvious difference between finite difference and the finite volume method (moving from point definition of the equations to integral averages over cells). But I find FEM and FVM to be very ...
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### What are criteria to choose between finite-differences and finite-elements

I am used to thinking of finite-differences as a special case of finite-elements, on a very constrained grid. So what are the conditions on how to choose between Finite Difference Method (FDM) and ...
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### Modern resources for learning FEM

I need to get started using Finite Element Methods. I am about to start reading Numerical solutions of partial differential equations by the finite element method by Claes Johnson, but it's dated 1987....
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### What is a good way to run parameter studies in C++

The problem I'm currently working on a Finite Element Navier Stokes simulation and I would like to investigate the effects of a variety of parameters. Some parameters are specified in an input file ...
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### What is the purpose of using integration by parts in deriving a weak form for FEM discretization?

When going from the strong form of a PDE to the FEM form it seems one should always do this by first stating the variational form. To do this you multiply the strong form by an element in some (...
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### How to incorporate the boundary conditions with the Galerkin method?

I've been reading some resources on the web about Galerkin methods to solve PDEs, but I'm not clear about something. The following is my own account of what I have understood. Consider the following ...
8k views

### What are differences between 'a priori' and 'posteriori' error estimate in numerical analysis?

I have learnt about Finite Element Method (also a little on other numerical methods) but I don't know what are exactly definition of these two errors and differences between them?
44k views

### Basic explanation of shape function

I just started studying FEM in a more structured basis compared to what I used to do during my undergraduate courses. I am doing this because, despite the fact that I can use the "FEM" in commercial (...
9k views

### What is the general idea of Nitsche's method in numerical analysis?

I know that the Nitsche's method is a very attractive methods since it allows to take into account Dirichlet type boundary conditions or contact with friction boundary conditions in a weak way without ...
6k views

### How to derive the Weak Formulation of a Partial Differential Equation for Finite Element Method?

I have taken a basic introduction to Finite Element Method, which did not emphasize a sophisticated understanding of a 'weak formulation'. I understand that with the galerkin method, we multiply both ...
5k views

### Finding which triangles points are in

Suppose I have a 2D mesh consisting of nonoverlapping triangles $\{T_k\}_{k=1}^N$, and a set of points $\{p_i\}_{i=1}^M \subset \cup_{k=1}^N T_K$. What is the best way to determine which triangle each ...
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### What is the purpose of the test function in Finite Element Analysis?

In the wave equation: $$c^2 \nabla \cdot \nabla u(x,t) - \frac{\partial^2 u(x,t)}{\partial t^2} = f(x,t)$$ Why do we first multiply by a test function $v(x,t)$ before integrating?
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### FeniCS: Visualizing high order elements

I've just started messing around with FEniCS. I am solving Poisson with 3rd order elements and would like to visualize the results. However, when I use plot(u), the visualization is just a linear ...
20k views

### How to formulate lumped mass matrix in FEM

When solving time dependent PDE's using the finite element method, for example say the heat equation, if we use explicit time stepping then we have to solve a linear system because of the mass matrix. ...
1k views

### Role of the numerical flux in DG-FEM

I am learning the theory behind DG-FEM methods using the Hesthaven/Warburton book and I am a bit confused about the role of the 'numerical flux.' I apologize if this is a basic question, but I have ...
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### Visualizing discontinuous Galerkin/finite element data

I would like to visualize simulation results, obtained using the discontinuous Galerkin (DG) approach, within ParaView. Similarly to finite volume methods, the problem domain is divided into cube-...
12k views

### In FEM, why is the stiffness matrix positive definite?

In FEM classes, it's usually taken for granted that the stiffness matrix is positive definite, but I just can't understand why. Could anyone give some explanation? For instance, we can consider the ...
18k views

### Alternatives to Comsol Multiphysics

This might be a question better suited for the Software Recommendations side of S.E., however I do believe that people who frequent this part of S.E. are more likely to be able to answer this question....
447 views

### What spatial discretizations work for incompressible flow with anisotropic boundary meshes?

High Reynolds number flows produce very thin boundary layers. If wall resolution is used in Large Eddy Simulation, the aspect ratio may be on the order of $10^6$. Many methods become unstable in this ...
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### How to write integration tests for numeric simulation software?

Just to be more precise, I'll put a worthy example of my typical use case. Let's say I'm developing a FEM software that produces several temporal solutions and inserts them in an HDF5 file, along with ...
6k views

### What is a "hanging node" in the finite element meshing?

When reading literatures about finite element method, the term "hanging nodes" can often be encountered. Could anyone tell me what indeed is a hanging node?
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### Oscillations in singularly perturbed reaction-diffusion problems with finite elements

When FEM-discretizing and solving a reaction-diffusion problem, e.g., $$- \varepsilon \Delta u + u = 1 \text{ on } \Omega\\ u = 0 \text{ on } \partial\Omega$$ with $0 < \varepsilon \ll 1$ (...
354 views

### How to integrate polynomial expression over 3D 4-node element?

I want to integrate a polynomial expression over a 4-node element in 3D. Several books on FEA cover the case where integrating is performed over an arbitrary flat 4-noned element. The usual procedure ...
518 views

### DG local equation, how to interpret mean-averaged test function

In the paper http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045782509003521, an HDG element-local equation is described on page 584 equation (4), with one of the equations taking the following ...
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### Poisson equation: Impose full gradient as boundary condition via Lagrange multipliers

I have a physical problem governed by the Poisson equation in two dimensions $$-\nabla^2 u = f(x,y), \; in \; \Omega$$ I have measurements of the two gradient components $\partial{u}/\partial{x}$ ...
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### How to make a good mesh in a biologically accurate model with very small domains

I have been trying to make a biologically accurate 2D spatial model of tissue layers, where different physiological processes happen. This includes mainly chemical reactions, diffusion and fluxes over ...