Time fractional gradient flows: Theory and numerics

01/03/2021 ∙ by Wenbo Li, et al. ∙ 0

We develop the theory of fractional gradient flows: an evolution aimed at the minimization of a convex, l.s.c. energy, with memory effects. This memory is characterized by the fact that the negative of the (sub)gradient of the energy equals the so-called Caputo derivative of the state. We introduce the notion of energy solutions, for which we provide existence, uniqueness and certain regularizing effects. We also consider Lipschitz perturbations of this energy. For these problems we provide an a posteriori error estimate and show its reliability. This estimate depends only on the problem data, and imposes no constraints between consecutive time-steps. On the basis of this estimate we provide an a priori error analysis that makes no assumptions on the smoothness of the solution.

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