We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details for Dr Stefano Giani

Solin, P. & Giani, S. (2012). An Iterative Adaptive Finite Element Method for Elliptic Eigenvalue Problems. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics 236(18): 4582-4599.

Author(s) from Durham


We consider the task of resolving accurately the nth eigenpair of a generalized eigenproblem rooted in some elliptic partial differential equation (PDE), using an adaptive finite element method (FEM). Conventional adaptive FEM algorithms call a generalized eigensolver after each mesh refinement step. This is not practical in our situation since the generalized eigensolver needs to calculate n eigenpairs after each mesh refinement step, it can switch the order of eigenpairs, and for repeated eigenvalues it can return an arbitrary linear combination of eigenfunctions from the corresponding eigenspace. In order to circumvent these problems, we propose a novel adaptive algorithm that only calls a generalized eigensolver once at the beginning of the computation, and then employs an iterative method to pursue a selected eigenvalue–eigenfunction pair on a sequence of locally refined meshes. Both Picard’s and Newton’s variants of the iterative method are presented. The underlying partial differential equation (PDE) is discretized with higher-order finite elements (hp-FEM) but the algorithm also works for standard low-order FEM. The method is described and accompanied with theoretical analysis and numerical examples. Instructions on how to reproduce the results are provided.