Reference documentation for deal.II version 8.4.1

Table of contents  


This program is devoted to two aspects: the use of mixed finite elements – in particular RaviartThomas elements – and using block matrices to define solvers, preconditioners, and nested versions of those that use the substructure of the system matrix. The equation we are going to solve is again the Laplace equation, though with a matrixvalued coefficient:
\begin{eqnarray*} \nabla \cdot K({\mathbf x}) \nabla p &=& f \qquad {\textrm{in}\ } \Omega, \\ p &=& g \qquad {\textrm{on}\ }\partial\Omega. \end{eqnarray*}
\(K({\mathbf x})\) is assumed to be uniformly positive definite, i.e., there is \(\alpha>0\) such that the eigenvalues \(\lambda_i({\mathbf x})\) of \(K(x)\) satisfy \(\lambda_i({\mathbf x})\ge \alpha\). The use of the symbol \(p\) instead of the usual \(u\) for the solution variable will become clear in the next section.
After discussing the equation and the formulation we are going to use to solve it, this introduction will cover the use of block matrices and vectors, the definition of solvers and preconditioners, and finally the actual test case we are going to solve.
We are going to extend this tutorial program in step21 to solve not only the mixed Laplace equation, but add another equation that describes the transport of a mixture of two fluids.
The equations covered here fall into the class of vectorvalued problems. A toplevel overview of this topic can be found in the Handling vector valued problems module.
In the form above, the Laplace equation is generally considered a good model equation for fluid flow in porous media. In particular, if flow is so slow that all dynamic effects such as the acceleration terms in the NavierStokes equation become irrelevant, and if the flow pattern is stationary, then the Laplace equation models the pressure that drives the flow reasonable well. (Because the solution variable is a pressure, we here use the name \(p\) instead of the name \(u\) more commonly used for the solution of partial differential equations.)
Typical applications of this view of the Laplace equation are then modeling groundwater flow, or the flow of hydrocarbons in oil reservoirs. In these applications, \(K\) is then the permeability tensor, i.e. a measure for how much resistance the soil or rock matrix asserts on the fluid flow. In the applications just named, a desirable feature is that the numerical scheme is locally conservative, i.e. that whatever flows into a cell also flows out of it (or the difference is equal to the integral over the source terms over each cell, if the sources are nonzero). However, as it turns out, the usual discretizations of the Laplace equation do not satisfy this property. On the other hand, one can achieve this by choosing a different formulation.
To this end, one first introduces a second variable, called the flux, \({\mathbf u}=K\nabla p\). By its definition, the flux is a vector in the negative direction of the pressure gradient, multiplied by the permeability tensor. If the permeability tensor is proportional to the unit matrix, this equation is easy to understand and intuitive: the higher the permeability, the higher the flux; and the flux is proportional to the gradient of the pressure, going from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure.
With this second variable, one then finds an alternative version of the Laplace equation, called the mixed formulation:
\begin{eqnarray*} K^{1} {\mathbf u} + \nabla p &=& 0 \qquad {\textrm{in}\ } \Omega, \\ {\textrm{div}}\ {\mathbf u} &=& f \qquad {\textrm{in}\ }\Omega, \\ p &=& g \qquad {\textrm{on}\ } \partial\Omega. \end{eqnarray*}
Here, we have multiplied the equation defining the velocity \({\mathbf u}\) by \(K^{1}\) because this makes the set of equations symmetric: one of the equations has the gradient, the second the negative divergence, and these two are of course adjoints of each other, resulting in a symmetric bilinear form and a consequently symmetric system matrix under the common assumption that \(K\) is a symmetric tensor.
The weak formulation of this problem is found by multiplying the two equations with test functions and integrating some terms by parts:
\begin{eqnarray*} A(\{{\mathbf u},p\},\{{\mathbf v},q\}) = F(\{{\mathbf v},q\}), \end{eqnarray*}
where
\begin{eqnarray*} A(\{{\mathbf u},p\},\{{\mathbf v},q\}) &=& ({\mathbf v}, K^{1}{\mathbf u})_\Omega  ({\textrm{div}}\ {\mathbf v}, p)_\Omega  (q,{\textrm{div}}\ {\mathbf u})_\Omega \\ F(\{{\mathbf v},q\}) &=& (g,{\mathbf v}\cdot {\mathbf n})_{\partial\Omega}  (f,q)_\Omega. \end{eqnarray*}
Here, \({\mathbf n}\) is the outward normal vector at the boundary. Note how in this formulation, Dirichlet boundary values of the original problem are incorporated in the weak form.
To be wellposed, we have to look for solutions and test functions in the space \(H({\textrm{div}})=\{{\mathbf w}\in L^2(\Omega)^d:\ {\textrm{div}}\ {\mathbf w}\in L^2\}\) for \(\mathbf u\), \(\mathbf v\), and \(L^2\) for \(p,q\). It is a wellknown fact stated in almost every book on finite element theory that if one chooses discrete finite element spaces for the approximation of \({\mathbf u},p\) inappropriately, then the resulting discrete saddlepoint problem is instable and the discrete solution will not converge to the exact solution.
To overcome this, a number of different finite element pairs for \({\mathbf u},p\) have been developed that lead to a stable discrete problem. One such pair is to use the RaviartThomas spaces \(RT(k)\) for the velocity \({\mathbf u}\) and discontinuous elements of class \(DQ(k)\) for the pressure \(p\). For details about these spaces, we refer in particular to the book on mixed finite element methods by Brezzi and Fortin, but many other books on the theory of finite elements, for example the classic book by Brenner and Scott, also state the relevant results.
The deal.II library (of course) implements RaviartThomas elements \(RT(k)\) of arbitrary order \(k\), as well as discontinuous elements \(DG(k)\). If we forget about their particular properties for a second, we then have to solve a discrete problem
\begin{eqnarray*} A(x_h,w_h) = F(w_h), \end{eqnarray*}
with the bilinear form and right hand side as stated above, and \(x_h=\{{\mathbf u}_h,p_h\}\), \(w_h=\{{\mathbf v}_h,q_h\}\). Both \(x_h\) and \(w_h\) are from the space \(X_h=RT(k)\times DQ(k)\), where \(RT(k)\) is itself a space of \(dim\)dimensional functions to accommodate for the fact that the flow velocity is vectorvalued. The necessary question then is: how do we do this in a program?
Vectorvalued elements have already been discussed in previous tutorial programs, the first time and in detail in step8. The main difference there was that the vectorvalued space \(V_h\) is uniform in all its components: the \(dim\) components of the displacement vector are all equal and from the same function space. What we could therefore do was to build \(V_h\) as the outer product of the \(dim\) times the usual \(Q(1)\) finite element space, and by this make sure that all our shape functions have only a single nonzero vector component. Instead of dealing with vectorvalued shape functions, all we did in step8 was therefore to look at the (scalar) only nonzero component and use the fe.system_to_component_index(i).first
call to figure out which component this actually is.
This doesn't work with RaviartThomas elements: following from their construction to satisfy certain regularity properties of the space \(H({\textrm{div}})\), the shape functions of \(RT(k)\) are usually nonzero in all their vector components at once. For this reason, were fe.system_to_component_index(i).first
applied to determine the only nonzero component of shape function \(i\), an exception would be generated. What we really need to do is to get at all vector components of a shape function. In deal.II diction, we call such finite elements nonprimitive, whereas finite elements that are either scalar or for which every vectorvalued shape function is nonzero only in a single vector component are called primitive.
So what do we have to do for nonprimitive elements? To figure this out, let us go back in the tutorial programs, almost to the very beginnings. There, we learned that we use the FEValues
class to determine the values and gradients of shape functions at quadrature points. For example, we would call fe_values.shape_value(i,q_point)
to obtain the value of the i
th shape function on the quadrature point with number q_point
. Later, in step8 and other tutorial programs, we learned that this function call also works for vectorvalued shape functions (of primitive finite elements), and that it returned the value of the only nonzero component of shape function i
at quadrature point q_point
.
For nonprimitive shape functions, this is clearly not going to work: there is no single nonzero vector component of shape function i
, and the call to fe_values.shape_value(i,q_point)
would consequently not make much sense. However, deal.II offers a second function call, fe_values.shape_value_component(i,q_point,comp)
that returns the value of the comp
th vector component of shape function i
at quadrature point q_point
, where comp
is an index between zero and the number of vector components of the present finite element; for example, the element we will use to describe velocities and pressures is going to have \(dim+1\) components. It is worth noting that this function call can also be used for primitive shape functions: it will simply return zero for all components except one; for nonprimitive shape functions, it will in general return a nonzero value for more than just one component.
We could now attempt to rewrite the bilinear form above in terms of vector components. For example, in 2d, the first term could be rewritten like this (note that \(u_0=x_0, u_1=x_1, p=x_2\)):
\begin{eqnarray*} ({\mathbf u}_h^i, K^{1}{\mathbf u}_h^j) = &\left((x_h^i)_0, K^{1}_{00} (x_h^j)_0\right) + \left((x_h^i)_0, K^{1}_{01} (x_h^j)_1\right) + \\ &\left((x_h^i)_1, K^{1}_{10} (x_h^j)_0\right) + \left((x_h^i)_1, K^{1}_{11} (x_h^j)_1\right). \end{eqnarray*}
If we implemented this, we would get code like this:
This is, at best, tedious, error prone, and not dimension independent. There are obvious ways to make things dimension independent, but in the end, the code is simply not pretty. What would be much nicer is if we could simply extract the \({\mathbf u}\) and \(p\) components of a shape function \(x_h^i\). In the program we do that in the following way:
This is, in fact, not only the first term of the bilinear form, but the whole thing (sans boundary contributions).
What this piece of code does is, given an fe_values
object, to extract the values of the first \(dim\) components of shape function i
at quadrature points q
, that is the velocity components of that shape function. Put differently, if we write shape functions \(x_h^i\) as the tuple \(\{{\mathbf u}_h^i,p_h^i\}\), then the function returns the velocity part of this tuple. Note that the velocity is of course a dim
dimensional tensor, and that the function returns a corresponding object. Similarly, where we subscript with the pressure extractor, we extract the scalar pressure component. The whole mechanism is described in more detail in the Handling vector valued problems module.
In practice, it turns out that we can do a bit better if we evaluate the shape functions, their gradients and divergences only once per outermost loop, and store the result, as this saves us a few otherwise repeated computations (it is possible to save even more repeated operations by calculating all relevant quantities in advance and then only inserting the results in the actual loop, see step22 for a realization of that approach). The final result then looks like this, working in every space dimension:
This very closely resembles the form in which we have originally written down the bilinear form and right hand side.
There is one final term that we have to take care of: the right hand side contained the term \((g,{\mathbf v}\cdot {\mathbf n})_{\partial\Omega}\), constituting the weak enforcement of pressure boundary conditions. We have already seen in step7 how to deal with face integrals: essentially exactly the same as with domain integrals, except that we have to use the FEFaceValues class instead of FEValues
. To compute the boundary term we then simply have to loop over all boundary faces and integrate there. The mechanism works in the same way as above, i.e. the extractor classes also work on FEFaceValues objects:
You will find the exact same code as above in the sources for the present program. We will therefore not comment much on it below.
After assembling the linear system we are faced with the task of solving it. The problem here is: the matrix has a zero block at the bottom right (there is no term in the bilinear form that couples the pressure \(p\) with the pressure test function \(q\)), and it is indefinite. At least it is symmetric. In other words: the Conjugate Gradient method is not going to work. We would have to resort to other iterative solvers instead, such as MinRes, SymmLQ, or GMRES, that can deal with indefinite systems. However, then the next problem immediately surfaces: due to the zero block, there are zeros on the diagonal and none of the usual preconditioners (Jacobi, SSOR) will work as they require division by diagonal elements.
For the matrix sizes we expect to run with this program, the by far simplest approach would be to just use a direct solver (in particular, the SparseDirectUMFPACK class that is bundled with deal.II). step29 goes this route and shows that solving any linear system can be done in just 3 or 4 lines of code.
But then, this is a tutorial: we teach how to do things. Consequently, in the following, we will introduce some techniques that can be used in cases like these. Namely, we will consider the linear system as not consisting of one large matrix and vectors, but we will want to decompose matrices into blocks that correspond to the individual operators that appear in the system. We note that the resulting solver is not optimal – there are much better ways, for example those explained in the results section of step22 or the one we use in step43 for a problem rather similar to the current one – but that the goal is to introduce techniques rather than optimal solvers.
In view of the difficulties using standard solvers and preconditioners mentioned above, let us take another look at the matrix. If we sort our degrees of freedom so that all velocity come before all pressure variables, then we can subdivide the linear system \(Ax=h\) into the following blocks:
\begin{eqnarray*} \left(\begin{array}{cc} M & B \\ B^T & 0 \end{array}\right) \left(\begin{array}{cc} U \\ P \end{array}\right) = \left(\begin{array}{cc} F \\ G \end{array}\right), \end{eqnarray*}
where \(U,P\) are the values of velocity and pressure degrees of freedom, respectively, \(M\) is the mass matrix on the velocity space, \(B^T\) corresponds to the negative divergence operator, and \(B\) is its transpose and corresponds to the gradient.
By block elimination, we can then reorder this system in the following way (multiply the first row of the system by \(B^TM^{1}\) and then subtract the second row from it):
\begin{eqnarray*} B^TM^{1}B P &=& B^TM^{1} F  G, \\ MU &=& F  BP. \end{eqnarray*}
Here, the matrix \(S=B^TM^{1}B\) (called the Schur complement of \(A\)) is obviously symmetric and, owing to the positive definiteness of \(M\) and the fact that \(B\) has full column rank, \(S\) is also positive definite.
Consequently, if we could compute \(S\), we could apply the Conjugate Gradient method to it. However, computing \(S\) is expensive, and \(S\) is in fact also a full matrix. On the other hand, the CG algorithm doesn't require us to actually have a representation of \(S\), it is sufficient to form matrixvector products with it. We can do so in steps: to compute \(Sv=B^TM^{1}Bv=B^T(M^{1}(Bv))\), we
Note how we evaluate the expression \(B^TM^{1}Bv\) right to left to avoid matrixmatrix products; this way, all we have to do is evaluate matrixvector products.
vmult()
member function that does the matrixvector product. How a class chooses to implement this function is not important to the solver. Consequently, classes can implement it by, for example, doing a sequence of products and linear solves as discussed above.Using this strategy, we can then implement a class that provides the function vmult()
that is all that the SolverCG class requires from an object representing a matrix. We can make our life a bit easier by also introducing an object that represents \(M^{1}\) and that has its own vmult()
function that, if called, solves the linear system with \(M\); in fact, such a class already exists in deal.II: this is accomplished by using the class IterativeInverse. Using it, the class that implements the Schur only needs to offer the vmult()
function to perform a matrixvector multiplication, using the algorithm above. Here are again the relevant parts of the code:
In this code, the constructor takes a reference to a block sparse matrix for the entire system, and a reference to the object representing the inverse of the mass matrix. It stores these using SmartPointer
objects (see step7), and additionally allocates two temporary vectors tmp1
and tmp2
for the vectors labeled \(w,y\) in the list above.
In the matrixvector multiplication function, the product \(Sv\) is performed in exactly the order outlined above. Note how we access the blocks \(B\) and \(B^T\) by calling system_matrix>block(0,1)
and system_matrix>block(1,0)
respectively, thereby picking out individual blocks of the block system. Multiplication by \(M^{1}\) happens using the object introduced above.
With all this, we can go ahead and write down the solver we are going to use. Essentially, all we need to do is form the right hand sides of the two equations defining \(P\) and \(U\), and then solve them with the Schur complement matrix and the mass matrix, respectively:
This code looks more impressive than it actually is. At the beginning, we declare an object representing \(M^{1}\) and a temporary vector (of the size of the first block of the solution, i.e. with as many entries as there are velocity unknowns), and the two blocks surrounded by braces then solve the two equations for \(P\) and \(U\), in this order. Most of the code in each of the two blocks is actually devoted to constructing the proper right hand sides. For the first equation, this would be \(B^TM^{1}FG\), and \(BP+F\) for the second one. The first hand side is then solved with the Schur complement matrix, and the second simply multiplied with \(M^{1}\). The code as shown uses no preconditioner (i.e. the identity matrix as preconditioner) for the Schur complement.
One may ask whether it would help if we had a preconditioner for the Schur complement \(S=B^TM^{1}B\). The general answer, as usual, is: of course. The problem is only, we don't know anything about this Schur complement matrix. We do not know its entries, all we know is its action. On the other hand, we have to realize that our solver is expensive since in each iteration we have to do one matrixvector product with the Schur complement, which means that we have to do invert the mass matrix once in each iteration.
There are different approaches to preconditioning such a matrix. On the one extreme is to use something that is cheap to apply and therefore has no real impact on the work done in each iteration. The other extreme is a preconditioner that is itself very expensive, but in return really brings down the number of iterations required to solve with \(S\).
We will try something along the second approach, as much to improve the performance of the program as to demonstrate some techniques. To this end, let us recall that the ideal preconditioner is, of course, \(S^{1}\), but that is unattainable. However, how about
\begin{eqnarray*} \tilde S^{1} = [B^T ({\textrm{diag}\ }M)^{1}B]^{1} \end{eqnarray*}
as a preconditioner? That would mean that every time we have to do one preconditioning step, we actually have to solve with \(\tilde S\). At first, this looks almost as expensive as solving with \(S\) right away. However, note that in the inner iteration, we do not have to calculate \(M^{1}\), but only the inverse of its diagonal, which is cheap.
The next step is to define a class that represents the approximate Schur complement. This should look very much like the Schur complement class itself, except that it doesn't need the object representing \(M^{1}\) any more since we can compute the inverse of the diagonal of \(M\) on the fly:
Note how the vmult
function differs in simply doing one Jacobi sweep (i.e. multiplying with the inverses of the diagonal) instead of multiplying with the full \(M^{1}\). (This is how a single Jacobi preconditioner step with \(M\) is defined: it is the multiplication with the inverse of the diagonal of \(M\); in other words, the operation \(({\textrm{diag}\ }M)^{1}x\) on a vector \(x\) is exactly what the function SparseMatrix::precondition_Jacobi above does.)
With all this, we already have the preconditioner: it should be the inverse of the approximate Schur complement, i.e. we need code like this:
That's all!
Taken together, the first block of our solve()
function will then look like this:
Note how we pass the sodefined preconditioner to the solver working on the Schur complement matrix.
Obviously, applying this inverse of the approximate Schur complement is a very expensive preconditioner, almost as expensive as inverting the Schur complement itself. We can expect it to significantly reduce the number of outer iterations required for the Schur complement. In fact it does: in a typical run on 5 times refined meshes using elements of order 0, the number of outer iterations drops from 164 to 12. On the other hand, we now have to apply a very expensive preconditioner 12 times. A better measure is therefore simply the runtime of the program: on my laptop, it drops from 28 to 23 seconds for this test case. That doesn't seem too impressive, but the savings become more pronounced on finer meshes and with elements of higher order. For example, a six times refined mesh and using elements of order 2 yields an improvement of 318 to 12 outer iterations, at a runtime of 338 seconds to 229 seconds. Not earth shattering, but significant.
As a final remark about solvers and preconditioners, let us note that a significant amount of functionality introduced above is actually also present in the library itself. It probably even is more powerful and general, but we chose to introduce this material here anyway to demonstrate how to work with block matrices and to develop solvers and preconditioners, rather than using black box components from the library.
For those interested in looking up the corresponding library classes: the Schur complement class corresponds to the SchurMatrix
class.
In this tutorial program, we will solve the Laplace equation in mixed formulation as stated above. Since we want to monitor convergence of the solution inside the program, we choose right hand side, boundary conditions, and the coefficient so that we recover a solution function known to us. In particular, we choose the pressure solution
\begin{eqnarray*} p = \left(\frac \alpha 2 xy^2 + \beta x  \frac \alpha 6 x^3\right), \end{eqnarray*}
and for the coefficient we choose the unit matrix \(K_{ij}=\delta_{ij}\) for simplicity. Consequently, the exact velocity satisfies
\begin{eqnarray*} {\mathbf u} = \left(\begin{array}{cc} \frac \alpha 2 y^2 + \beta  \frac \alpha 2 x^2 \\ \alpha xy \end{array}\right). \end{eqnarray*}
This solution was chosen since it is exactly divergence free, making it a realistic test case for incompressible fluid flow. By consequence, the right hand side equals \(f=0\), and as boundary values we have to choose \(g=p_{\partial\Omega}\).
For the computations in this program, we choose \(\alpha=0.3,\beta=1\). You can find the resulting solution in the results section below, after the commented program.
Since this program is only an adaptation of step4, there is not much new stuff in terms of header files. In deal.II, we usually list include files in the order baselacgriddofsfenumerics, followed by C++ standard include files:
For our Schur complement solver, we need two new objects. One is a matrix object which acts as the inverse of a matrix by calling an iterative solver.
This is the only significant new header, namely the one in which the RaviartThomas finite element is declared:
Finally, as a bonus in this program, we will use a tensorial coefficient. Since it may have a spatial dependence, we consider it a tensorvalued function. The following include file provides the TensorFunction
class that offers such functionality:
The last step is as in all previous programs:
MixedLaplaceProblem
class templateAgain, since this is an adaptation of step6, the main class is almost the same as the one in that tutorial program. In terms of member functions, the main differences are that the constructor takes the degree of the RaviartThomas element as an argument (and that there is a corresponding member variable to store this value) and the addition of the compute_error
function in which, no surprise, we will compute the difference between the exact and the numerical solution to determine convergence of our computations:
The second difference is that the sparsity pattern, the system matrix, and solution and right hand side vectors are now blocked. What this means and what one can do with such objects is explained in the introduction to this program as well as further down below when we explain the linear solvers and preconditioners for this problem:
Our next task is to define the right hand side of our problem (i.e., the scalar right hand side for the pressure in the original Laplace equation), boundary values for the pressure, as well as a function that describes both the pressure and the velocity of the exact solution for later computations of the error. Note that these functions have one, one, and dim+1
components, respectively, and that we pass the number of components down to the Function<dim>
base class. For the exact solution, we only declare the function that actually returns the entire solution vector (i.e. all components of it) at once. Here are the respective declarations:
And then we also have to define these respective functions, of course. Given our discussion in the introduction of how the solution should look like, the following computations should be straightforward:
In addition to the other equation data, we also want to use a permeability tensor, or better – because this is all that appears in the weak form – the inverse of the permeability tensor, KInverse
. For the purpose of verifying the exactness of the solution and determining convergence orders, this tensor is more in the way than helpful. We will therefore simply set it to the identity matrix.
However, a spatially varying permeability tensor is indispensable in reallife porous media flow simulations, and we would like to use the opportunity to demonstrate the technique to use tensor valued functions.
Possibly unsurprising, deal.II also has a base class not only for scalar and generally vectorvalued functions (the Function
base class) but also for functions that return tensors of fixed dimension and rank, the TensorFunction
template. Here, the function under consideration returns a dimbydim matrix, i.e. a tensor of rank 2 and dimension dim
. We then choose the template arguments of the base class appropriately.
The interface that the TensorFunction
class provides is essentially equivalent to the Function
class. In particular, there exists a value_list
function that takes a list of points at which to evaluate the function, and returns the values of the function in the second argument, a list of tensors:
The implementation is less interesting. As in previous examples, we add a check to the beginning of the class to make sure that the sizes of input and output parameters are the same (see step5 for a discussion of this technique). Then we loop over all evaluation points, and for each one first clear the output tensor and then set all its diagonal elements to one (i.e. fill the tensor with the identity matrix):
In the constructor of this class, we first store the value that was passed in concerning the degree of the finite elements we shall use (a degree of zero, for example, means to use RT(0) and DG(0)), and then construct the vector valued element belonging to the space \(X_h\) described in the introduction. The rest of the constructor is as in the early tutorial programs.
The only thing worth describing here is the constructor call of the fe
variable. The FESystem
class to which this variable belongs has a number of different constructors that all refer to binding simpler elements together into one larger element. In the present case, we want to couple a single RT(degree) element with a single DQ(degree) element. The constructor to FESystem
that does this requires us to specify first the first base element (the FE_RaviartThomas
object of given degree) and then the number of copies for this base element, and then similarly the kind and number of FE_DGQ
elements. Note that the RaviartThomas element already has dim
vector components, so that the coupled element will have dim+1
vector components, the first dim
of which correspond to the velocity variable whereas the last one corresponds to the pressure.
It is also worth comparing the way we constructed this element from its base elements, with the way we have done so in step8: there, we have built it as fe (FE_Q<dim>(1), dim)
, i.e. we have simply used dim
copies of the FE_Q(1)
element, one copy for the displacement in each coordinate direction.
This next function starts out with wellknown functions calls that create and refine a mesh, and then associate degrees of freedom with it:
However, then things become different. As mentioned in the introduction, we want to subdivide the matrix into blocks corresponding to the two different kinds of variables, velocity and pressure. To this end, we first have to make sure that the indices corresponding to velocities and pressures are not intermingled: First all velocity degrees of freedom, then all pressure DoFs. This way, the global matrix separates nicely into a \(2 \times 2\) system. To achieve this, we have to renumber degrees of freedom base on their vector component, an operation that conveniently is already implemented:
The next thing is that we want to figure out the sizes of these blocks so that we can allocate an appropriate amount of space. To this end, we call the DoFTools::count_dofs_per_component() function that counts how many shape functions are nonzero for a particular vector component. We have dim+1
vector components, and DoFTools::count_dofs_per_component() will count how many shape functions belong to each of these components.
There is one problem here. As described in the documentation of that function, it wants to put the number of \(x\)velocity shape functions into dofs_per_component[0]
, the number of \(y\)velocity shape functions into dofs_per_component[1]
(and similar in 3d), and the number of pressure shape functions into dofs_per_component[dim]
. But, the RaviartThomas element is special in that it is nonprimitive, i.e., for RaviartThomas elements all velocity shape functions are nonzero in all components. In other words, the function cannot distinguish between \(x\) and \(y\) velocity functions because there is no such distinction. It therefore puts the overall number of velocity into each of dofs_per_component[c]
, \(0\le c\le \text{dim}\). On the other hand, the number of pressure variables equals the number of shape functions that are nonzero in the dimth component.
Using this knowledge, we can get the number of velocity shape functions from any of the first dim
elements of dofs_per_component
, and then use this below to initialize the vector and matrix block sizes, as well as create output.
The next task is to allocate a sparsity pattern for the matrix that we will create. We use a compressed sparsity pattern like in the previous steps, but as system_matrix
is a block matrix we use the class BlockDynamicSparsityPattern
instead of just DynamicSparsityPattern
. This block sparsity pattern has four blocks in a \(2 \times 2\) pattern. The blocks' sizes depend on n_u
and n_p
, which hold the number of velocity and pressure variables. In the second step we have to instruct the block system to update its knowledge about the sizes of the blocks it manages; this happens with the dsp.collect_sizes ()
call.
We use the compressed block sparsity pattern in the same way as the nonblock version to create the sparsity pattern and then the system matrix:
Then we have to resize the solution and right hand side vectors in exactly the same way as the block compressed sparsity pattern:
Similarly, the function that assembles the linear system has mostly been discussed already in the introduction to this example. At its top, what happens are all the usual steps, with the addition that we do not only allocate quadrature and FEValues
objects for the cell terms, but also for face terms. After that, we define the usual abbreviations for variables, and the allocate space for the local matrix and right hand side contributions, and the array that holds the global numbers of the degrees of freedom local to the present cell.
The next step is to declare objects that represent the source term, pressure boundary value, and coefficient in the equation. In addition to these objects that represent continuous functions, we also need arrays to hold their values at the quadrature points of individual cells (or faces, for the boundary values). Note that in the case of the coefficient, the array has to be one of matrices.
Finally, we need a couple of extractors that we will use to get at the velocity and pressure components of vectorvalued shape functions. Their function and use is described in detail in the Handling vector valued problems report. Essentially, we will use them as subscripts on the FEValues objects below: the FEValues object describes all vector components of shape functions, while after subscription, it will only refer to the velocities (a set of dim
components starting at component zero) or the pressure (a scalar component located at position dim
):
With all this in place, we can go on with the loop over all cells. The body of this loop has been discussed in the introduction, and will not be commented any further here:
The final step in the loop over all cells is to transfer local contributions into the global matrix and right hand side vector. Note that we use exactly the same interface as in previous examples, although we now use block matrices and vectors instead of the regular ones. In other words, to the outside world, block objects have the same interface as matrices and vectors, but they additionally allow to access individual blocks.
The linear solvers and preconditioners we use in this example have been discussed in significant detail already in the introduction. We will therefore not discuss the rationale for these classes here any more, but rather only comment on implementational aspects.
SchurComplement
class templateThe next class is the Schur complement class. Its rationale has also been discussed in length in the introduction. The only things we would like to note is that the class, too, is derived from the Subscriptor
class and that as mentioned above it stores pointers to the entire block matrix and the inverse of the mass matrix block using SmartPointer
objects.
The vmult
function requires two temporary vectors that we do not want to reallocate and free every time we call this function. Since here, we have full control over the use of these vectors (unlike above, where a class called by the vmult
function required these vectors, not the vmult
function itself), we allocate them directly, rather than going through the VectorMemory
mechanism. However, again, these member variables do not carry any state between successive calls to the member functions of this class (i.e., we never care what values they were set to the last time a member function was called), we mark these vectors as mutable
.
The rest of the (short) implementation of this class is straightforward if you know the order of matrixvector multiplications performed by the vmult
function:
ApproximateSchurComplement
class templateThe third component of our solver and preconditioner system is the class that approximates the Schur complement so we can form a an InverseIterate object that approximates the inverse of the Schur complement. It follows the same pattern as the Schur complement class, with the only exception that we do not multiply with the inverse mass matrix in vmult
, but rather just do a single Jacobi step. Consequently, the class also does not have to store a pointer to an inverse mass matrix object.
We will later use this class as a template argument to the IterativeInverse class which will in turn want to use it as a template argument for the PointerMatrix class. The latter class has a function that requires us to also write a function that provides the product with the transpose of the matrix this object represents. As a consequence, in the code below, we also implement a Tvmult
function here that represents the product of the transpose matrix with a vector. It is easy to see how this needs to be implemented here: since the matrix is symmetric, we can as well call vmult
wherever the product with the transpose matrix is required. (Note, however, that even though we implement this function here, there will in fact not be any need for it as long as we use SolverCG as the solver since that solver does not ever call the function that provides this operation.)
After all these preparations, we can finally write the function that actually solves the linear problem. We will go through the two parts it has that each solve one of the two equations, the first one for the pressure (component 1 of the solution), then the velocities (component 0 of the solution). Both parts need an object representing the inverse mass matrix and an auxiliary vector, and we therefore declare these objects at the beginning of this function.
Now on to the first equation. The right hand side of it is \(B^TM^{1}FG\), which is what we compute in the first few lines. We then declare the objects representing the Schur complement, its approximation, and the inverse of the approximation. Finally, we declare a solver object and hand off all these matrices and vectors to it to compute block 1 (the pressure) of the solution:
After we have the pressure, we can compute the velocity. The equation reads \(MU=BP+F\), and we solve it by first computing the right hand side, and then multiplying it with the object that represents the inverse of the mass matrix:
After we have dealt with the linear solver and preconditioners, we continue with the implementation of our main class. In particular, the next task is to compute the errors in our numerical solution, in both the pressures as well as velocities.
To compute errors in the solution, we have already introduced the VectorTools::integrate_difference
function in step7 and step11. However, there we only dealt with scalar solutions, whereas here we have a vectorvalued solution with components that even denote different quantities and may have different orders of convergence (this isn't the case here, by choice of the used finite elements, but is frequently the case in mixed finite element applications). What we therefore have to do is to `mask' the components that we are interested in. This is easily done: the VectorTools::integrate_difference
function takes as its last argument a pointer to a weight function (the parameter defaults to the null pointer, meaning unit weights). What we simply have to do is to pass a function object that equals one in the components we are interested in, and zero in the other ones. For example, to compute the pressure error, we should pass a function that represents the constant vector with a unit value in component dim
, whereas for the velocity the constant vector should be one in the first dim
components, and zero in the location of the pressure.
In deal.II, the ComponentSelectFunction
does exactly this: it wants to know how many vector components the function it is to represent should have (in our case this would be dim+1
, for the joint velocitypressure space) and which individual or range of components should be equal to one. We therefore define two such masks at the beginning of the function, following by an object representing the exact solution and a vector in which we will store the cellwise errors as computed by integrate_difference
:
As already discussed in step7, we have to realize that it is impossible to integrate the errors exactly. All we can do is approximate this integral using quadrature. This actually presents a slight twist here: if we naively chose an object of type QGauss<dim>(degree+1)
as one may be inclined to do (this is what we used for integrating the linear system), one realizes that the error is very small and does not follow the expected convergence curves at all. What is happening is that for the mixed finite elements used here, the Gauss points happen to be superconvergence points in which the pointwise error is much smaller (and converges with higher order) than anywhere else. These are therefore not particularly good points for integration. To avoid this problem, we simply use a trapezoidal rule and iterate it degree+2
times in each coordinate direction (again as explained in step7):
With this, we can then let the library compute the errors and output them to the screen:
The last interesting function is the one in which we generate graphical output. Everything here looks obvious and familiar. Note how we construct unique names for all the solution variables at the beginning, like we did in step8 and other programs later on. The only thing worth mentioning is that for higher order elements, in seems inappropriate to only show a single bilinear quadrilateral per cell in the graphical output. We therefore generate patches of size (degree+1)x(degree+1) to capture the full information content of the solution. See the step7 tutorial program for more information on this.
Note that we output the dim+1
components of the solution vector as a collection of individual scalars here. Most visualization programs will then only offer to visualize them individually, rather than allowing us to plot the flow field as a vector field. However, as explained in the corresponding function of step22 or the Generating graphical output section of the Handling vector valued problems module, instructing the DataOut class to identify components of the FESystem object as elements of a dim
dimensional vector is not actually very difficult and will then allow us to show results as vector plots. We skip this here for simplicity and refer to the links above for more information.
This is the final function of our main class. It's only job is to call the other functions in their natural order:
main
functionThe main function we stole from step6 instead of step4. It is almost equal to the one in step6 (apart from the changed class names, of course), the only exception is that we pass the degree of the finite element space to the constructor of the mixed Laplace problem (here, we use zeroth order elements).
If we run the program as is, we get this output for the \(8\times 8\) mesh we use (for a total of 64 cells with 64 pressure degrees of freedom since we use piecewise constants, and 144 velocities because the RaviartThomas element defines one degree per freedom per face and there are 72 faces parallel to the \(x\)axis and the same number parallel to the \(y\)axis):
The fact that the number of iterations is so small, of course, is due to good (but expensive!) preconditioner we have developed. To get confidence in the solution, let us take a look at it. The following three images show (from left to right) the xvelocity, the yvelocity, and the pressure:
Let us start with the pressure: it is highest at the left and lowest at the right, so flow will be from left to right. In addition, though hardly visible in the graph, we have chosen the pressure field such that the flow leftright flow first channels towards the center and then outward again. Consequently, the xvelocity has to increase to get the flow through the narrow part, something that can easily be seen in the left image. The middle image represents inward flow in ydirection at the left end of the domain, and outward flow in ydirection at the right end of the domain.
As an additional remark, note how the xvelocity in the left image is only continuous in xdirection, whereas the yvelocity is continuous in ydirection. The flow fields are discontinuous in the other directions. This very obviously reflects the continuity properties of the RaviartThomas elements, which are, in fact, only in the space H(div) and not in the space \(H^1\). Finally, the pressure field is completely discontinuous, but that should not surprise given that we have chosen FE_DGQ(0)
as the finite element for that solution component.
The program offers two obvious places where playing and observing convergence is in order: the degree of the finite elements used (passed to the constructor of the MixedLaplaceProblem
class from main()
), and the refinement level (determined in MixedLaplaceProblem::make_grid_and_dofs
). What one can do is to change these values and observe the errors computed later on in the course of the program run.
If one does this, one finds the following pattern for the \(L_2\) error in the pressure variable:
Finite element order  
Refinement level  0  1  2 
0  1.45344  0.0831743  0.0235186 
1  0.715099  0.0245341  0.00293983 
2  0.356383  0.0063458  0.000367478 
3  0.178055  0.00159944  4.59349e05 
4  0.0890105  0.000400669  5.74184e06 
5  0.0445032  0.000100218  7.17799e07 
6  0.0222513  2.50576e05  9.0164e08 
\(O(h)\)  \(O(h^2)\)  \(O(h^3)\) 
The theoretically expected convergence orders are very nicely reflected by the experimentally observed ones indicated in the last row of the table.
One can make the same experiment with the \(L_2\) error in the velocity variables:
Finite element order  
Refinement level  0  1  2 
0  0.367423  0.127657  5.10388e14 
1  0.175891  0.0319142  9.04414e15 
2  0.0869402  0.00797856  1.23723e14 
3  0.0433435  0.00199464  1.86345e07 
4  0.0216559  0.00049866  2.72566e07 
5  0.010826  0.000124664  3.57141e07 
6  0.00541274  3.1166e05  4.46124e07 
\(O(h)\)  \(O(h^2)\)  \(O(h^3)\) 
The result concerning the convergence order is the same here.
Realistic flow computations for ground water or oil reservoir simulations will not use a constant permeability. Here's a first, rather simple way to change this situation: we use a permeability that decays very rapidly away from a central flowline until it hits a background value of 0.001. This is to mimic the behavior of fluids in sandstone: in most of the domain, the sandstone is homogeneous and, while permeable to fluids, not overly so; on the other stone, the stone has cracked, or faulted, along one line, and the fluids flow much easier along this large crack. Here is how we could implement something like this:
Remember that the function returns the inverse of the permeability tensor.
With a significantly higher mesh resolution, we can visualize this, here with x and yvelocity:
It is obvious how fluids flow essentially only along the middle line, and not anywhere else.
Another possibility would be to use a random permeability field. A simple way to achieve this would be to scatter a number of centers around the domain and then use a permeability field that is the sum of (negative) exponentials for each of these centers. Flow would then try to hop from one center of high permeability to the next one. This is an entirely unscientific attempt at describing a random medium, but one possibility to implement this behavior would look like this:
A piecewise constant interpolation of the diagonal elements of the inverse of this tensor (i.e., of normalized_permeability
) looks as follows:
With a permeability field like this, we would get xvelocities and pressures as follows:
We will use these permeability fields again in step21 and step43.
As mentioned in the introduction, the Schur complement solver used here is not the best one conceivable (nor is it intended to be a particularly good one). Better ones can be found in the literature and can be built using the same block matrix techniques that were introduced here. We pick up on this theme again in step22, where we first build a Schur complement solver for the Stokes equation as we did here, and then in the Improved Solvers section discuss better ways based on solving the system as a whole but preconditioning based on individual blocks. We will also come back to this in step43.