Efficient optimization-based quadrature for variational discretization of nonlocal problems

01/28/2022
by   Marco Pasetto, et al.
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Casting nonlocal problems in variational form and discretizing them with the finite element (FE) method facilitates the use of nonlocal vector calculus to prove well-posedeness, convergence, and stability of such schemes. Employing an FE method also facilitates meshing of complicated domain geometries and coupling with FE methods for local problems. However, nonlocal weak problems involve the computation of a double-integral, which is computationally expensive and presents several challenges. In particular, the inner integral of the variational form associated with the stiffness matrix is defined over the intersections of FE mesh elements with a ball of radius δ, where δ is the range of nonlocal interaction. Identifying and parameterizing these intersections is a nontrivial computational geometry problem. In this work, we propose a quadrature technique where the inner integration is performed using quadrature points distributed over the full ball, without regard for how it intersects elements, and weights are computed based on the generalized moving least squares method. Thus, as opposed to all previously employed methods, our technique does not require element-by-element integration and fully circumvents the computation of element-ball intersections. This paper considers one- and two-dimensional implementations of piecewise linear continuous FE approximations, focusing on the case where the element size h and the nonlocal radius δ are proportional, as is typical of practical computations. When boundary conditions are treated carefully and the outer integral of the variational form is computed accurately, the proposed method is asymptotically compatible in the limit of h ∼δ→ 0, featuring at least first-order convergence in L^2 for all dimensions, using both uniform and nonuniform grids.

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