General theory of interpolation error estimates on anisotropic meshes

by   Hiroki Ishizaka, et al.

We propose a general theory of estimating interpolation error for smooth functions in two and three dimensions. In our theory, the error of interpolation is bound in terms of the diameter of a simplex and a geometric parameter. In the two-dimensional case, our geometric parameter is equivalent to the circumradius of a triangle. In the three-dimensional case, our geometric parameter also represents the flatness of a tetrahedron. Through the introduction of the geometric parameter, the error estimates newly obtained can be applied to cases that violate the maximum-angle condition.



There are no comments yet.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


General theory of interpolation error estimates on anisotropic meshes, part II

We present a general theory of interpolation error estimates for smooth ...

A new geometric condition equivalent to the maximum angle condition for tetrahedrons

For a tetrahedron, suppose that all internal angles of faces and all dih...

Anisotropic Raviart–Thomas interpolation error estimates using a new geometric parameter

This paper presents delicate Raviart–Thomas interpolation error estimate...

Differential Similarity in Higher Dimensional Spaces: Theory and Applications

This paper presents an extension and an elaboration of the theory of dif...

Approximation Bounds for Interpolation and Normals on Triangulated Surfaces and Manifolds

How good is a triangulation as an approximation of a smooth curved surfa...

Geometric Interpretations of the Normalized Epipolar Error

In this work, we provide geometric interpretations of the normalized epi...

Interpolation and Amalgamation for Arrays with MaxDiff (Extended Version)

In this paper, the theory of McCarthy's extensional arrays enriched with...
This week in AI

Get the week's most popular data science and artificial intelligence research sent straight to your inbox every Saturday.

1 Introduction

It is challenging to construct accurate and efficient finite element schemes for solving partial differential equations in various domains. Estimations of interpolation error are important in terms of ensuring the validity of schemes and their accuracy sometimes depends on geometric conditions of meshes of the domain. Many studies have imposed the condition of shape regularity to a family of meshes

Bra07 ; BreSco08 ; Cia02 ; ErnGue04 ; Ran17 ; i.e., triangles or tetrahedra cannot be too flat in a shape-regular family of triangulations.

In BabAzi76 , the shape regularity condition was relaxed to the maximum-angle condition, which refers to the maximum angle of each triangle in meshes being smaller than a constant . A family of triangulations under the maximum-angle condition allows the use of anisotropic finite element meshes. Anisotropic meshes have different mesh sizes in different directions, and the shape regularity assumption on triangulations is no longer valid on these meshes.

The question arises whether the maximum-angle condition can be relaxed further. The answer was given by HanKorKri12 ; KobTsu14 ; KobTsu15 ; KobTsu20 ; i.e., it is known that the maximum-angle condition is not necessarily needed to obtain error estimates.

The present paper proposes a general theory of interpolation error estimates for smooth functions that can be applied to, for example, Lagrange, Hermite, and Crouzeix–Raviart interpolations. For a -simplex , we introduce a new geometric parameter in Section 3.7 and the error of interpolations is bounded in terms of the diameter of and . We emphasize that we do not impose the shape regularity condition and the maximum-angle condition for the mesh partition.

Using the new parameter , we also propose error estimates for the Raviart–Thomas interpolation. The Raviart–Thomas interpolation error estimates on anisotropic meshes play an important role in first-order Crouzeix–Raviart finite element analysis. In AcoDur99 , the interpolation error analysis in the lowest-order case was given under the maximum-angle condition for triangles and tetrahedra. In AcoApe10 , the authors extended the results to the Raviart–Thomas interpolation with any order in two- and three-dimensional cases.

Meanwhile, in KobTsu18 , the lowest-order Raviart–Thomas interpolation error analysis under a condition weaker than the maximum-angle condition was introduced in the two-dimensional case. The analysis was based on the technique of Babuka and Aziz BabAzi76 . The technique requires a Poincaré-like inequality on reference elements. However, it is not easy to deduce the inequality in the three-dimensional case. To overcome this difficulty, we use the component-wise stability estimates of the Raviart–Thomas interpolation in reference elements introduced in AcoApe10 . We consequently have the Raviart–Thomas interpolation error estimates of any order in two- and three-dimensional cases under the relaxed mesh condition.

The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 introduces notations and basic concepts of the Raviart–Thomas finite element. Section 3 introduces standard positions and the new geometric parameter. Further, we propose affine mappings and Piola transformations on standard positions and present the finite element generation. Section 4 proves interpolation error estimates of smooth functions that can be applied to, for example, Lagrange, Hermite, and Crouzeix–Raviart interpolations. Section 5 proves the Raviart–Thomas interpolation error estimate. Our main theorems are presented as Theorem 2 and Theorem 3.

2 Preliminaries

2.1 Function Spaces

Let . Let denote the set of non-negative integers. Let be a multi-index. For the multi-index , let

Let be an open domain of . Let be a nonnegative integer and with . We define the Sobolev space

equipped with the norms

We use the semi-norms

If , we use the notation

We set . The space is a Hilbert space equipped with the scalar product

where denotes the -inner product, which leads to the norm and semi-norm

The dual space of is defined and denoted by . is a Banach space with norm

For any , the norm is defined by

We introduce the function space

with the norm

Let be a matrix, and denote an operator norm as

where for .

2.2 Raviart–Thomas Finite Element on Simplices

For any , let be the space of polynomials with degree at most . is spanned by the restriction to of polynomials in , where is a closed domain. Let be a -simplex. The local Raviart–Thomas polynomial space of order is defined by



, the local degrees of freedom are given as


and if ,



denotes the outer unit normal vector of

on the face . For the simplicial Raviart–Thomas element in , it holds that


It is known that the Raviart–Thomas finite element with the set of linear forms is unisolvent; e.g., see (BofBreFor13, , Proposition 2.3.4). The triple is then a finite element.

We set the domain of the local Raviart–Thomas interpolation as ; e.g., see also (ErnGue04, , p. 27).

The local Raviart–Thomas interpolation is then defined as follows. For any ,


and if ,


Let with be the Raviart–Thomas finite element. Let , be an affine mapping such that with a regular matrix and . The Piola transformation is defined by

The following lemmata introduce the fundamental properties of the Piola transformation.

Lemma 1

For , , we define and . Then,


Here, and are respectively the unit outward normal vectors of and .


See, for example, (BofBre08, , Lemma 3.3). ∎

By applying (2.7), we can prove the invariance of the Raviart–Thomas interpolation under the Piola transform; e.g., see (BofBre08, , Lemma 3.4).

Lemma 2

For , we have

That is to say, the diagram


3 Standard Positions and Reference Elements

This section introduces the Jacobian matrix proposed in KobTsu20 for the three-dimensional case and that proposed in KobTsu14 ; KobTsu15 ; LiuKik18 for the two-dimensional case.

Let us first define a diagonal matrix as


3.1 Two-dimensional case

Let be the reference triangle with vertices , , and .

Let be the family of triangles

with vertices , , and .

We next define the regular matrices by


with parameters

For , let be the family of triangles

with vertices . We then have , .

3.2 Three-dimensional cases

There are two three-dimensional cases

Let and be reference tetrahedrons with the following vertices.


has the vertices , , .,


has the vertices , , ..

Let , , be the family of triangles

with vertices


, , , and ,


, , , and .

We next define the regular matrices by


with parameters

For , , let , be the family of triangles

with vertices

We then have , , and

3.3 Standard Positions

In what follows, we impose conditions for in the two-dimensional case and in the three-dimensional case.

Condition 1 (Case that )

Let with vertices () introduced in Section 3.1. We assume that is the longest edge of ; i.e., . Recall that and . We then assume that . Note that .

Condition 2 (Case that )

Let with vertices () introduced in Section 3.2. Let () be edges of . We denote by the edge of with minimum length; i.e., . Among the four edges that share an end point with , we take the longest edge . Let and be end points of the edge . We thus have

Consider cutting with the plane that contains the midpoint of the edge and is perpendicular to the vector . We then have two cases:


and belong to the same half-space;


and belong to different half-spaces.

In each case, we respectively set


and as the end points of , that is ;


and as the end points of , that is .

Finally, recall that . Note that we implicitly assume that and belong to the same half space. Also note that and , where denotes the diameter of .

Each -simplex is congruent to the unique satisfying Condition 1 or Condition 2. is therefore called the standard position of the -simplex. See Figure 1 and 2.

Figure 1: Standard position of Case (i) in
Figure 2: Standard position of Case (ii) in

3.4 Affine Mappings and Piola Transforms

The present paper adopts the following affine mappings and Piola transformations.

Definition 1

Let satisfy Condition 1 or Condition 2. Let , and be the simplices defined in Sections 3.1 and 3.2. That is to say,

We define the affine mapping by


Let and be the Piola transformations with respect to and , respectively. We define by , which is the Piola transformation with respect to .

3.5 Finite Element Generation on Standard Positions

We follow the procedure described in (ErnGue04, , Section 1.4.1 and 1.2.1).

For the reference element defined in Sections 3.1 and 3.2, let be a fixed reference finite element, where is a vector space of functions for some positive integer (tipically or ) and is a set of linear forms such that

is bijective; i.e., is a basis for . Further, we denote by in the local (-valued) shape functions such that

Let be a normed vector space of functions such that and the linear forms can be extended to . The local interpolation operator is then defined by


Let , , and be the affine mappings defined in (3.4). For , we first define a Banach space of -valued functions that is the counterpart of and define a linear bijection mapping by

with two linear bijection mappings:

Furthermore, the triple is defined by

while the triple is defined by

and are then finite elements. The local shape functions are and , , and the associated local interpolation operators are respectively defined by

Proposition 1

The diagrams



See (ErnGue04, , Proposition 1.62). ∎


Let be a finite element.

  1. For the Lagrange finite element of degree , we set .

  2. For the Hermite finite element, we set .

  3. For the Crouzeix–Raviart finite element with , we set .

3.6 Raviart–Thomas Finite Element on Standard Positions

For the reference element defined in Section 3.1 and 3.2, let be the Raviart–Thomas finite element with . Let , , and be the affine mappings defined in (3.4). Let , , and be the Piola transformations defined in Definition 1.

We then define and by


and are then the Raviart–Thomas finite elements. Furthermore, let




be the associated local Raviart–Thomas interpolation defined in (2.5) and (2.6), respectively.

3.7 Parameter and Mesh

We first propose a new parameter .

Definition 2

Let satisfy Condition 1 or Condition 2. Furthermore, let be defined in Condition 1 or Condition 2. We then define the parameter as

where .

In the sequel of this paper, the interpolation errors are bounded in terms of and . However, the parameters and proposed below might be more convenient for the practical computation of finite element methods.

We assume that is a bounded polyhedral domain. Let be a simplicial mesh of , made up of closed -simplices, such as