A locally calculable P^3-pressure using a P^4-velocity for incompressible Stokes equations

by   Chunjae Park, et al.

This paper will suggest a new finite element method to find a P^4-velocity and a P^3-pressure solving incompressible Stokes equations at low cost. The method solves first the decoupled equation for a P^4-velocity. Then, using the calculated velocity, a locally calculable P^3-pressure will be defined component-wisely. The resulting P^3-pressure is analyzed to have the optimal order of convergence. Since the pressure is calculated by local computation only, the chief time cost of the new method is on solving the decoupled equation for the P^4-velocity. Besides, the method overcomes the problem of singular vertices or corners.



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1 Introduction

High order finite element methods for incompressible Stokes equations have been developed well in 2 dimensional domain and analyzed along to the inf-sup condition [4, 6, 8]

. They, however, endure their large degrees of freedom and have to avoid singular vertices or corners.

Recently, we have found a so called sting function causing the discrete Stokes equation to be singular on the presence of exactly singular vertices in the Scott-Vogelius finite element method. Even on nearly singular vertices, the pressure solution is easy to be spoiled. To fix the problem, a new error analysis was devised in a successive way and restored the ruined pressure by simple post-process [7].

In this paper, employing the precedented new error analysis, we will suggest a new finite element method to find a -velocity and a -pressure solving incompressible Stokes equations at low cost.

The method will solve first the decoupled equation for a divergence-free -velocity. Then, using the calculated velocity, we will define a -pressure by exploiting locally calculable components in the Falk-Neilan and Scott-Vogelius finite element methods [4, 6, 8]. The resulting -pressure is analyzed to have the optimal order of convergence.

Since the pressure is calculated by local computation only, the chief time cost of the new method is on solving the decoupled equation for the -velocity. Besides, the method overcomes the problem arising from the singular vertices or corners.

The suggested -pressure consists of several components, each of whom needs others to be defined in a successive way. In the overall paper, the characteristics of sting functions depicted in Figure 1-(a) will also play a key role as in the precedented work in [7].

The paper is organized as follows. In the next section, the detail on finding a -velocity will be offered. Based on the orthogonality of sting and non-sting functions, we will introduce an orthogonal decomposition of the space of -pressures in Section 3. The non-sting and constant components will be defined in Section 4. Then, Section 5 will be devoted to defining 3 sting components for regular vertices, singular non-corner vertices, singular corners, respectively. It will be done on clustering sting functions vertex-wisely. Finally, after summing up all the components to define a -pressure in Section 6, numerical tests will be presented in the last section.

Throughout the paper, for a set , standard notations for Sobolev spaces are employed and is the space of all whose integrals over vanish. We will use , and for the norm, seminorm for and inner product, respectively. If , it may be omitted in the subscript. Denoting by , the space of all polynomials of degree less than or equals , will mean that coincides with a polynomial in on .

2 Velocity from the decoupled equation

Let be a simply connected polygonal domain in . In this paper, we will approximate a pair of velocity and pressure which satisfies an incompressible Stokes equation:


for a body force .

Given a family of shape-regular triangulations of , define as the following space of piecewise polynomials:

Let be a space of -Argyris triangle elements [2, 3] such that



The degrees of freedom of are the Hessians, gradients and values of at vertices and its normal derivatives at midpoints of edges.

Define a divergence-free space as

We note that

where , and are the numbers of interior vertices, interior edges, boundary vertices and corners, respectively [4].

Then, we can solve satisfying the following decoupled equation:

Theorem 2.1.

Let and satisfy (1), (3

), respectively. Then we estimate


if , where is a constant independent of .


Since satisfies (1), we have . Thus, there exists a stream function such that [5]


Let be a projection of such that the Hessians, gradients and values of at vertices and its normal derivatives at midpoints of edges vanish. Then, since , by Bramble-Hilbert lemma, we have


If we denote , then from (5) and (6), we estimate


We note that for all . Thus, from (1) and (3), we deduce

It is written in the form:


Then we can establish (4) from (7) and (8) with . ∎

3 Orthogonal decomposition of

For a triangle and an integer , define

In the remaining of the paper, we will use the following notations:

  • : a generic constant which does not depend on of ,

  • : the union of all triangles in sharing a vertex as in Figure 4,

  • : the counterclockwise

    rotation of a vector


  • : the area or length of a set ,

  • : the average of a function over .

We assume the following on to exclude pathological meshes.

Assumption 3.1.

Every triangles in has at most one corner point of .

3.1 sting function

Let be a vertex of a triangle . Then there exists a unique function satisfying the following quadrature rule:


since the both sides of (9) are linear functionals on . If is a reference triangle with vertices and , we have


as depicted in Figure 1-(a). Given a vertex of , we note that


Thus, the values of are inherited from those of as


If for a scalar , we call it a sting function of on , named after the shape of its graph as in Figure 1-(a).

For a triangle , define a subspace of as


where are 3 vertices of . From (12), it is easy to prove that

(a) a sting function of on

(b) a non-sting function on
Figure 1: graphs of sting and non-sting functions

3.2 non-sting function

For a triangle , let


and define a subspace of as


If , we will call it a non-sting function on . By definition in (15), (16), every non-sting function has the following properties:


An example of its graph is depicted in Figure 1-(b).

Then, the following orthogonality is clear from (13), (17) and the quadrature rule in (9),


The fact induces the following, with an aid of Lemma 3.1 below,

Lemma 3.1.

If and , then .


Since on and on , there exists such that

Let be 3 infinite lines containing 3 line segments of , respectively. Then vanish on . It implies that vanishes on any line which passes 3 points in . Thus we have and on . ∎

The above lemma tells that is a norm of . Furthermore, we can show that


Actually, in (16) is the space of all function satisfying (17) [6].

3.3 orthogonal decomposition

Let be a constant function of value 1 on . Then, we can decompose as in the following lemma. We will notate

Lemma 3.2.

From (17), we have . Thus, by (14), (18), (19), it is enough to prove (21) that

For the vertices of , let


Then, by (12), vanishes at all vertices of . By (9), it means that


Assume . Then, and from (23). It contradicts to

Let’s define the following subspaces of :


Then by Lemma 3.2, we have


3.4 decomposition of

For satisfying (1), let

be a Hermite interpolation of

such that


at all vertices and gravity centers of triangles in . Then, if , we have


By (25), we can decompose into



called the non-sting, constant and sting components of , respectively. We will approximate them component-wisely in next two sections, exploiting the following equation for ,


4 Non-sting and constant components

Define the following spaces:


Then, for in (1), there exists a unique satisfying


since the following Stokes complex is exact with in (2) [4]:

We note that in (31) is the previously calculated in (3) and is the unique solution of the following equation,


Similarly to (28), decompose into


4.1 non-sting component

For a triangle , we note . Thus, by (24), (33) and orthogonality in Lemma 3.2, we can rewrite (32) into


Then by definition of in (16), is determined by (34). Thus we can calculate locally on each triangle in .

Lemma 4.1.

Define in (33), then for in (28), we estimate


From (29) and Lemma 3.2, satisfies that


If we set , from (34) and (36), we have


Then (35) comes from (20), (37) and the definition of in (16). ∎

4.2 piecewise constant component

Define a subspace of as


Then, by quadrature rule in (9) and definition of in (38), we can reduce (32) into


where defined in Lemma 4.1.

For each triangle , let be a constant such that


If are two adjacent triangles sharing an edge, there exists a test function such that


Then from (39)-(41), we have


Fix a triangle . Then for each triangle , we can choose a telescoping sequence of triangles:


so that share an edge for . Then, can be obtained from

which are calculated locally as in (42).

The knowledge of for all gives us from

Now, we can obtain , since for each ,

Remark 4.2.

The difference does not depend on the choice of telescoping sequence in (43) from the existence of satisfying (39).

Lemma 4.3.

Define for in (33), then for in (28), we estimate


By (29) and quadrature rule in (9), satisfies for all ,


If we set , from (39) and (45), it satisfies


for all .

We can establish Lemma 4.4 below that tells the existence of a nontrivial such that


Then (44) comes from (46), (47) and Lemma 4.1. ∎

Lemma 4.4.

satisfies the inf-sup condition.


Given , there exists a nontrivial such that [1]


for a constant regardless of .

For each triangle in , define so that


Then, for a reference triangle and an affine map , we have


If we define by for all , then belongs to , since derivatives of along to edges are continuous. We note that . If so, from the second and third conditions in (49).

Thus, from (49) and (50), satisfies


Then, the following comes from (48) and (51), which completes the proof:

For each triangle , define as in (22) so that vanishes at all vertices of . If we modify in (33) by

we have


We note is continuous at every vertex, since so is and vanish at all vertices in . By (32) and (52), the vertex-continuous sting function satisfies the following system:


If has no singular corner, we could revise (53) slightly with the Falk-Neilan finite element space [4], to obtain a sting component in approximating of in (28).

To avoid a global system such as (53), we will seek locally calculable sting components vertex-wisely in the next section by unleashing the vertex-continuity.

5 Sting component

For each vertex , let be the space of all sting functions of , that is,

where are all triangles in sharing . An example of a function in is represented in Figure 2.

Figure 2: a sting function of ,

Then we note that

Thus the sting component of in (28) can be decomposed by vertex into


In this section, we will define to approximate for regular vertex , singular non-corner vertex , singular corner , respectively in order: .

5.1 two test functions for two adjacent triangles

Let be two adjacent triangles sharing an edge and a vertex as in Figure 3. Denote other 3 vertices and a unit tangent vector by so that

Then, there exists a function such that [7]


Assuming are counterclockwisely numbered with respect to , by simple calculation, we have


For a vector , denote . Then from (55) and (56), vanishes at all vertices in except


Let be a sting function on . It is represented with some constants as

Then, by (57) and quadrature rule of sting functions in (9), we have that

It can be written in simpler form: