Questions tagged [pde]

Partial differential equations (PDEs) are equations that relate the partial derivatives of a function of more than one variable. This tag is intended for questions on modeling phenomena with PDEs, solving PDEs, and other related aspects.

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46
votes
5answers
8k views

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 ...
32
votes
2answers
4k views

Strange oscillation when solving the advection equation by finite-difference with fully closed Neumann boundary conditions (reflection at boundaries)

I am trying to solving the advection equation but have a strange oscillation appearing in the solution when the wave reflects from the boundaries. If anybody has seen this artefact before I would be ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is local conservation important when solving PDEs?

Engineers often insist on using locally conservative methods such as finite volume, conservative finite difference, or discontinuous Galerkin methods for solving PDEs. What can go wrong when using a ...
26
votes
2answers
4k views

Is Crank-Nicolson a stable discretization scheme for Reaction-Diffusion-Advection (convection) equation?

I am not very familiar with the common discretization schemes for PDEs. I know that Crank-Nicolson is popular scheme for discretizing the diffusion equation. Is also a good choice for the advection ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

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 (...
24
votes
3answers
943 views

Why is the time dimension special?

Generally speaking, I've heard numerical analysts utter the opinion that "Of course, mathematically speaking, time is just another dimension, but still, time is special" How to justify this? In ...
24
votes
1answer
5k views

Conservation of a physical quantity when using Neumann boundary conditions applied to the advection-diffusion equation

I don't understand the different behaviour of the advection-diffusion equation when I apply different boundary conditions. My motivation is the simulation of a real physical quantity (particle density)...
22
votes
1answer
11k views

Why is Newton's method not converging?

I am using PETSc's nonlinear solver package SNES to solve a system of nonlinear equations obtained by discretizing a partial differential equation. How can I determine why the solver is not converging ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Software package for constrained optimization?

I am looking to solve a constrained optimization problem where I know the bounds on some of the variables (specifically a boxed constraint). $$ \arg \min_u f(u,x) $$ subject to $$ c(u,x) = 0 $$ $$ ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

How to determine if a numerical solution to a PDE is converging to a continuum solution?

The Lax equivalence theorem states that consistency and stability of a numerical scheme for a linear initial value problem is a necessary and sufficient condition for convergence. But for nonlinear ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a general-purpose library for structured grid adaptive mesh refinement?

Adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) is a common technique for dealing with the problem of widely varying spatial scales in the numerical solution of PDEs. What general-purpose libraries exist for AMR on ...
18
votes
2answers
9k views

What is pseudo time-stepping?

While reading some literature on PDE solvers I came across the term pseudo time-stepping today. It seems to be a common term, however I failed to find a good definition or an introductionary article ...
18
votes
4answers
549 views

Which methods can ensure that physical quantities remain positive throughout a PDE simulation?

Physical quantities like pressure, density, energy, temperature, and concentration should always be positive, but numerical methods sometimes compute negative values during the solution process. This ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

How can wavelets be applied to PDE?

I would like to learn how wavelet methods can be applied to PDE, but unfortunately I do not know a good resource to learn about this topic. It seems that many introductions to wavelets focus on ...
17
votes
5answers
349 views

Databases of results for numerical codes

In the numerical methods literature, many research papers consist of a description of a new algorithmic variation, followed by a few test problems comparing the new method with one or two existing ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Is there a good, easy-to-use, high quality open source CFD solver out there?

My thesis is on developing numerical methods for model reduction in combustion. I run my methods purely on the chemistry part of combustion simulations, and I have plenty of case studies for 0-D ...
16
votes
5answers
473 views

Are there operator splitting approaches for multiphysics PDEs that achieve high order convergence?

Given an evolution PDE $$u_t = Au + Bu$$ where $A,B$ are (possibly nonlinear) differential operators that don't commute, a common numerical approach is to alternate between solving $$u_t = Au$$ ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

When should implicit methods be used in the integration of hyperbolic PDEs?

Numerical methods for solving PDEs (or ODEs) fall into two broad categories: explicit and implicit methods. Implicit methods allow larger stable timesteps but require more work per step. For ...
16
votes
2answers
770 views

How can I choose a good Riemann solver when numerically solving a system of hyperbolic PDEs?

Many numerical methods for hyperbolic PDEs are based on the use of Riemann solvers. Such solvers are essential for accurately capturing shock waves. There are a range of such solvers available for ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

multigrid method to solve PDE

I need simple explanation of the Multigrid Method or some literature about this. I am familiar with iterational methods including BiCGStab,CG,GS,Jacobi and preconditioning, but I am a beginner with ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

uniform vs. non-uniform grid

It is probably a student level question but I can't exactly make it cleat to myself. Why is it more accurate to use non-uniform grids in the numerical methods? I am thinking in the context of some ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the advantage of multigrid over domain decomposition preconditioners, and vice versa?

This is mostly aimed for elliptic PDEs over convex domains, so that I can get a good overview of the two methods.
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How to reorder variables to produce a banded matrix of minimum bandwidth?

I'm trying to solve a 2D Poisson equation by finite differences. In the process, I obtain a sparse matrix with only $5$ variables in each equation. For example, if the variables were $U$, then the ...
15
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
264 views

What are the best practices for algorithms and implementation of multi-physics simulations?

Multi-physics simulation involves coupling multiple "physics", often with different space and/or time scales. Additionally, the single-physics codes are often written by different teams. The most ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Convergence rate of FFT Poisson solver

What is the theoretical convergence rate for an FFT Poison solver? I am solving a Poisson equation: $$\nabla^2 V_H(x, y, z) = -4\pi n(x, y, z)$$ with $$n(x, y, z) = {3\over\pi} ((x-1)^2 + (y-1)^2 + (...
15
votes
1answer
688 views

Are there any open source inverse-based multilevel ILU implementations?

I am very impressed with the serial performance of multilevel inverse-based ILU preconditioners, particularly for heterogeneous Helmholtz, but I am surprised to not be able to find any open source ...
14
votes
3answers
641 views

PDEs in Many Dimensions

I know that most methods of finding approximate solutions to PDEs scale poorly with the number of dimensions, and that Monte Carlo is used for situations that call for ~100 dimensions. What are good ...
14
votes
3answers
925 views

Is variable scaling essential when solving some PDE problems numerically?

In semiconductor simulation, it is common that the equations are scaled so they have normalised values. For example, in extreme cases electron density in semiconductors can vary over 18 order of ...
14
votes
3answers
746 views

What is a scalable preconditioner for high-frequency Helmholtz?

Standard multigrid and domain decomposition methods do not work, but I have large 3D problems and direct solvers are not an option. What methods should I try? How are my choices affected by the ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Boundary conditions for the advection equation discretized by a finite difference method

I am trying to find some resources to help explain how to choose boundary conditions when using finite difference methods to solve PDEs. The books and notes which I currently have access to all say ...
14
votes
5answers
526 views

Examples of PDE computations using parallelism in both space and time

In the numerical solution of initial boundary value PDEs, it is very common to employ parallelism in space. It is much less common to employ some form of parallelism in the time discretization, and ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the relative benefits of using Adams-Moulton over Adams-Bashforth algorithm?

I am solving a system of two coupled PDE's in two spatial dimensions and in time computationally. Since the function evaluations are expensive, I would like to use a multistep method (initialised ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

How to impose boundary conditions in finite difference methods

I have a problem when I want to use the high order center difference approximation: $$\left(\frac{-u_{i+2,j}+16u_{i+1,j}-30u_{i,j}+16u_{i-1,j}-u_{i-2,j}}{12}\right)$$ for the Poisson equation $$(...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Illustrative examples of mimetic finite difference methods

As much as I try to find a concise explanation on the internet, I can't seem to grasp the concept of a mimetic finite difference, or how it even relates to standard finite differences. It would be ...
14
votes
1answer
518 views

Is there a multigrid algorithm that solves Neumann problems and has a convergence rate independent of the number of levels?

Multigrid methods usually solve Dirichlet problems on levels (e.g. point Jacobi or Gauss-Seidel). When using continuous finite element methods, it is much less expensive to assemble small Neumann ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How to deal with curved boundary condition when using finite difference method?

I'm trying to learn about numerically solving PDE by myself. I've been beginning with finite difference method(FDM) for some time because I heard that FDM is the fundament of numerous numerical ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Alternatives to von neumann stability analysis for finite difference methods

I'm working on solving the coupled one-dimensional poroelasticity equations (biot's model), given as: $$-(\lambda+ 2\mu) \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial x^2} + \frac{\partial p}{\partial x} = 0$$ $$\...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What are possible methods to solve compressible Euler equations

I would like to write my own solver for compressible Euler equations, and most importantly I want it to work robustly in all situations. I would like it to be FE based (DG is ok). What are the ...
13
votes
1answer
324 views

How to construct well-balanced finite volume and discontinuous Galerkin methods for hyperbolic PDEs with source terms?

Source terms, such as those due to bathymetry in the shallow water equations, need to be integrated in a special way in order to preserve physical steady states. Is there a general way to construct ...
13
votes
2answers
483 views

Verification in Eigenvalue problems

Let us start with a problem of the form $$(\mathcal{L} + k^2) u=0$$ with a set of given boundary conditions (Dirichlet, Neumann, Robin, Periodic, Bloch-Periodic). This corresponds with finding the ...
13
votes
1answer
905 views

Can an approximated Jacobian with finite differences cause instability in the Newton method?

I have implemented a backward-Euler solver in python 3 (using numpy). For my own convenience and as an exercise, I also wrote a small function that computes a finite difference approximation of the ...
12
votes
4answers
865 views

Scalability of Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)

To use the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) on uniformly sampled data, e.g. in connection with PDE solvers, it is well known that the FFT is an $\mathcal{O}(n\log(n)$) algorithm. How well do the FFT scale ...
12
votes
1answer
398 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
530 views

Using fixed point iteration to decouple a system of pde's

Suppose I had a boundary value problem: $$\frac{d^2u}{dx^2} + \frac{dv}{dx}=f \text{ in } \Omega$$ $$\frac{du}{dx} +\frac{d^2v}{dx^2} =g \text{ in } \Omega$$ $$u=h \text{ in } \partial\Omega$$ My ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Periodic boundary condition for the heat equation in ]0,1[

Let us consider a smooth initial condition and the heat equation in one dimension : $$ \partial_t u = \partial_{xx} u$$ in the open interval $]0,1[$, and let us assume that we want to solve it ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

PDE solvers for Drift-diffusion and related models

I'm trying to simulate basic semiconductor models for pedagogical purposes--starting from the Drift-diffusion model. Although I don't want to use an off-the-shelf semiconductor simulator--I'll be ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Understanding the cost of adjoint method for pde-constrained optimization

I'm trying to understand how the adjoint-based optimization method works for a PDE constrained optimization. Particularly, I'm trying to understand why the adjoint method is more efficient for ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Strong vs. weak solutions of PDEs

The strong form of a PDE requires that the unknown solution belongs in $H^2$. But the weak form requires only that the unknown solution belongs in $H^1$. How do you reconcile this?