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A cookbook for finite element methods for nonlocal problems, including quadrature rules and approximate Euclidean balls

by   Marta D'Elia, et al.

The implementation of finite element methods (FEMs) for nonlocal models with a finite range of interaction poses challenges not faced in the partial differential equations (PDEs) setting. For example, one has to deal with weak forms involving double integrals which lead to discrete systems having higher assembly and solving costs due to possibly much lower sparsity compared to that of FEMs for PDEs. In addition, one may encounter non-smooth integrands. In many nonlocal models, nonlocal interactions are limited to bounded neighborhoods that are ubiquitously chosen to be Euclidean balls, resulting in the challenge of dealing with intersections of such balls with the finite elements. We focus on developing recipes for the efficient assembly of FEM stiffness matrices and on the choice of quadrature rules for the double integrals that contribute to the assembly efficiency and also posses sufficient accuracy. A major feature of our recipes is the use of approximate balls, e.g., several polygonal approximations of Euclidean balls, that, among other advantages, mitigate the challenge of dealing with ball-element intersections. We provide numerical illustrations of the relative accuracy and efficiency of the several approaches we develop.


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