assempde

(Not recommended) Assemble finite element matrices and solve elliptic PDE

assempde is not recommended. Use solvepde instead.

Description

example

u = assempde(model,c,a,f) solves the PDE

(cu)+au=f

with geometry, boundary conditions, and finite element mesh in model, and coefficients c, a, and f. If the PDE is a system of equations (model.PDESystemSize > 1), then assempde solves the system of equations

(cu)+au=f

example

u = assempde(b,p,e,t,c,a,f) solves the PDE with boundary conditions b, and finite element mesh (p,e,t).

example

[Kc,Fc,B,ud] = assempde(___), for any of the previous input syntaxes, assembles finite element matrices using the reduced linear system form, which eliminates any Dirichlet boundary conditions from the system of linear equations. You can calculate the solution u at node points by the command u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud. See Reduced Linear System.

example

[Ks,Fs] = assempde(___) assembles finite element matrices that represent any Dirichlet boundary conditions using a stiff-spring approximation. You can calculate the solution u at node points by the command u = Ks\Fs. See Stiff-Spring Approximation.

example

[K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(___) assembles finite element matrices that represent the PDE problem. This syntax returns all the matrices involved in converting the problem to finite element form. See Algorithms.

[K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(___,[],sdl) restricts the finite element matrices to those that include the subdomain specified by the subdomain labels in sdl. The empty argument is required in this syntax for historic and compatibility reasons.

example

u = assempde(K,M,F,Q,G,H,R) returns the solution u based on the full collection of finite element matrices.

[Ks,Fs] = assempde(K,M,F,Q,G,H,R) returns finite element matrices that approximate Dirichlet boundary conditions using the stiff-spring approximation. See Algorithms.

[Kc,Fc,B,ud] = assempde(K,M,F,Q,G,H,R) returns finite element matrices that eliminate any Dirichlet boundary conditions from the system of linear equations. See Algorithms.

Examples

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Solve an elliptic PDE on an L-shaped region.

Create a scalar PDE model. Incorporate the geometry of an L-shaped region.

model = createpde;
geometryFromEdges(model,@lshapeg);

Apply zero Dirichlet boundary conditions to all edges.

applyBoundaryCondition(model,'Edge',1:model.Geometry.NumEdges,'u',0);

Generate a finite element mesh.

generateMesh(model,'GeometricOrder','linear');

Solve the PDE -(cu)+au=f with parameters c = 1, a = 0, and f = 5.

c = 1;
a = 0;
f = 5;
u = assempde(model,c,a,f);

Plot the solution.

pdeplot(model,'XYData',u)

Solve a 3-D elliptic PDE using a PDE model.

Create a PDE model container, import a 3-D geometry description, and view the geometry.

model = createpde;
importGeometry(model,'Block.stl');
pdegplot(model,'FaceLabels','on','FaceAlpha',0.5)

Set zero Dirichlet conditions on faces 1 through 4 (the edges). Set Neumann conditions with g = -1 on face 6 and g = 1 on face 5.

applyBoundaryCondition(model,'Face',1:4,'u',0);
applyBoundaryCondition(model,'Face',6,'g',-1);
applyBoundaryCondition(model,'Face',5,'g',1);

Set coefficients c = 1, a = 0, and f = 0.1.

c = 1;
a = 0;
f = 0.1;

Create a mesh and solve the problem.

generateMesh(model);
u = assempde(model,c,a,f);

Plot the solution on the surface.

pdeplot3D(model,'ColorMapData',u)

Solve a 2-D PDE using the older syntax for mesh.

Create a circle geometry.

g = @circleg;

Set zero Dirichlet boundary conditions.

b = @circleb1;

Create a mesh for the geometry.

[p,e,t] = initmesh(g);

Solve the PDE -(cu)+au=f with parameters c = 1, a = 0, and f = sin(x).

c = 1;
a = 0;
f = 'sin(x)';
u = assempde(b,p,e,t,c,a,f);

Plot the solution.

pdeplot(p,e,t,'XYData',u)

Obtain the finite-element matrices that represent the problem using a reduced linear algebra representation of Dirichlet boundary conditions.

Create a scalar PDE model. Import a simple 3-D geometry.

model = createpde;
importGeometry(model,'Block.stl');

Set zero Dirichlet boundary conditions on all the geometry faces.

applyBoundaryCondition(model,'dirichlet','Face',1:model.Geometry.NumFaces,'u',0);

Generate a mesh for the geometry.

generateMesh(model);

Obtain finite element matrices K, F, B, and ud that represent the equation -(cu)+au=f with parameters c=1, a=0, and f=log(1+x+y1+z).

c = 1;
a = 0;
f = 'log(1+x+y./(1+z))';
[K,F,B,ud] = assempde(model,c,a,f);

You can obtain the solution u of the PDE at mesh nodes by executing the command

u = B*(K\F) + ud;

Generally, this solution is slightly more accurate than the stiff-spring solution, as calculated in the next example.

Obtain the stiff-spring approximation of finite element matrices.

Create a scalar PDE model. Import a simple 3-D geometry.

model = createpde;
importGeometry(model,'Block.stl');

Set zero Dirichlet boundary conditions on all the geometry faces.

applyBoundaryCondition(model,'Face',1:model.Geometry.NumFaces,'u',0);

Generate a mesh for the geometry.

generateMesh(model);

Obtain finite element matrices Ks and Fs that represent the equation -(cu)+au=f with parameters c=1, a=0, and f=log(1+x+y1+z).

c = 1;
a = 0;
f = 'log(1+x+y./(1+z))';
[Ks,Fs] = assempde(model,c,a,f);

You can obtain the solution u of the PDE at mesh nodes by executing the command

u = Ks\Fs;

Generally, this solution is slightly less accurate than the reduced linear algebra solution, as calculated in the previous example.

Obtain the full collection of finite element matrices for an elliptic problem.

Import geometry and set up an elliptic problem with Dirichlet boundary conditions. The Torus.stl geometry has only one face, so you need set only one boundary condition.

model = createpde();
importGeometry(model,'Torus.stl');
applyBoundaryCondition(model,'face',1,'u',0);
c = 1;
a = 0;
f = 1;
generateMesh(model);

Create the finite element matrices that represent this problem.

[K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f);

Most of the resulting matrices are quite sparse. G, M, Q, and R are all zero sparse matrices.

howsparse = @(x)nnz(x)/numel(x);
disp(['Maximum fraction of nonzero entries in K or H is ',...
       num2str(max(howsparse(K),howsparse(H)))])
Maximum fraction of nonzero entries in K or H is 0.002006

To find the solution to the PDE, call assempde again.

u = assempde(K,M,F,Q,G,H,R);

Input Arguments

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PDE model, specified as a PDEModel object.

Example: model = createpde

PDE coefficient, specified as a scalar, matrix, character vector, character array, string scalar, string vector, or coefficient function. c represents the c coefficient in the scalar PDE

(cu)+au=f

or in the system of PDEs

(cu)+au=f

Example: 'cosh(x+y.^2)'

Data Types: double | char | string | function_handle
Complex Number Support: Yes

PDE coefficient, specified as a scalar, matrix, character vector, character array, string scalar, string vector, or coefficient function. a represents the a coefficient in the scalar PDE

(cu)+au=f

or in the system of PDEs

(cu)+au=f

Example: 2*eye(3)

Data Types: double | char | string | function_handle
Complex Number Support: Yes

PDE coefficient, specified as a scalar, matrix, character vector, character array, string scalar, string vector, or coefficient function. f represents the f coefficient in the scalar PDE

(cu)+au=f

or in the system of PDEs

(cu)+au=f

Example: char('sin(x)';'cos(y)';'tan(z)')

Data Types: double | char | string | function_handle
Complex Number Support: Yes

Boundary conditions, specified as a boundary matrix or boundary file. Pass a boundary file as a function handle or as a file name. A boundary matrix is generally an export from the PDE Modeler app.

Example: b = 'circleb1', b = "circleb1", or b = @circleb1

Data Types: double | char | string | function_handle

Mesh points, specified as a 2-by-Np matrix of points, where Np is the number of points in the mesh. For a description of the (p,e,t) matrices, see Mesh Data.

Typically, you use the p, e, and t data exported from the PDE Modeler app, or generated by initmesh or refinemesh.

Example: [p,e,t] = initmesh(gd)

Data Types: double

Mesh edges, specified as a 7-by-Ne matrix of edges, where Ne is the number of edges in the mesh. For a description of the (p,e,t) matrices, see Mesh Data.

Typically, you use the p, e, and t data exported from the PDE Modeler app, or generated by initmesh or refinemesh.

Example: [p,e,t] = initmesh(gd)

Data Types: double

Mesh triangles, specified as a 4-by-Nt matrix of triangles, where Nt is the number of triangles in the mesh. For a description of the (p,e,t) matrices, see Mesh Data.

Typically, you use the p, e, and t data exported from the PDE Modeler app, or generated by initmesh or refinemesh.

Example: [p,e,t] = initmesh(gd)

Data Types: double

Stiffness matrix, specified as a sparse matrix or full matrix. Generally, you obtain K from a previous call to assema or assempde. For the meaning of stiffness matrix, see Elliptic Equations.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Mass matrix, specified as a sparse matrix or full matrix. Generally, you obtain M from a previous call to assema or assempde. For the meaning of mass matrix, see Elliptic Equations.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Finite element f representation, specified as a vector. Generally, you obtain F from a previous call to assema or assempde. For the meaning of this representation, see Elliptic Equations.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Neumann boundary condition matrix, specified as a sparse matrix or full matrix. Generally, you obtain Q from a previous call to assemb or assempde. For the meaning of this matrix, see Elliptic Equations.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Neumann boundary condition vector, specified as a sparse vector or full vector. Generally, you obtain G from a previous call to assemb or assempde. For the meaning of this vector, see Elliptic Equations.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Dirichlet boundary condition matrix, specified as a sparse matrix or full matrix. Generally, you obtain H from a previous call to assemb or assempde. For the meaning of this matrix, see Algorithms.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Dirichlet boundary condition vector, specified as a sparse vector or full vector. Generally, you obtain R from a previous call to assemb or assempde. For the meaning of this vector, see Algorithms.

Example: [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R] = assempde(model,c,a,f)

Data Types: double
Complex Number Support: Yes

Subdomain labels, specified as a vector of positive integers. For 2-D geometry only. View the subdomain labels in your geometry using the command

pdegplot(g,'SubdomainLabels','on')

Example: sdl = [1,3:5];

Data Types: double

Output Arguments

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PDE solution, returned as a vector.

  • If the PDE is scalar, meaning only one equation, then u is a column vector representing the solution u at each node in the mesh. u(i) is the solution at the ith column of model.Mesh.Nodes or the ith column of p.

  • If the PDE is a system of N > 1 equations, then u is a column vector with N*Np elements, where Np is the number of nodes in the mesh. The first Np elements of u represent the solution of equation 1, then next Np elements represent the solution of equation 2, etc.

To obtain the solution at an arbitrary point in the geometry, use pdeInterpolant.

To plot the solution, use pdeplot for 2-D geometry, or see Plot 3-D Solutions and Their Gradients.

Stiffness matrix, returned as a sparse matrix. See Elliptic Equations.

u1 = Kc\Fc returns the solution on the non-Dirichlet points. To obtain the solution u at the nodes of the mesh,

u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud

Generally, Kc, Fc, B, and ud make a slower but more accurate solution than Ks and Fs.

Load vector, returned as a vector. See Elliptic Equations.

u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud

Generally, Kc, Fc, B, and ud make a slower but more accurate solution than Ks and Fs.

Dirichlet nullspace, returned as a sparse matrix. See Algorithms.

u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud

Generally, Kc, Fc, B, and ud make a slower but more accurate solution than Ks and Fs.

Dirichlet vector, returned as a vector. See Algorithms.

u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud

Generally, Kc, Fc, B, and ud make a slower but more accurate solution than Ks and Fs.

Finite element matrix for stiff-spring approximation, returned as a sparse matrix. See Algorithms.

To obtain the solution u at the nodes of the mesh,

u = Ks\Fs.

Generally, Ks and Fs make a quicker but less accurate solution than Kc, Fc, B, and ud.

Load vector corresponding to the stiff-spring approximation for Dirichlet boundary condition, returned as a vector. See Algorithms.

To obtain the solution u at the nodes of the mesh,

u = Ks\Fs.

Generally, Ks and Fs make a quicker but less accurate solution than Kc, Fc, B, and ud.

Stiffness matrix, returned as a sparse matrix. See Elliptic Equations.

K represents the stiffness matrix alone, unlike Kc or Ks, which are stiffness matrices combined with other terms to enable immediate solution of a PDE.

Typically, you use K in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

Mass matrix. returned as a sparse matrix. See Elliptic Equations.

Typically, you use M in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

Load vector, returned as a vector. See Elliptic Equations.

F represents the load vector alone, unlike Fc or Fs, which are load vectors combined with other terms to enable immediate solution of a PDE.

Typically, you use F in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

Neumann boundary condition matrix, returned as a sparse matrix. See Elliptic Equations.

Typically, you use Q in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

Neumann boundary condition vector, returned as a sparse vector. See Elliptic Equations.

Typically, you use G in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

Dirichlet matrix, returned as a sparse matrix. See Algorithms.

Typically, you use H in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

Dirichlet vector, returned as a sparse vector. See Algorithms.

Typically, you use R in a subsequent call to a solver such as assempde or hyperbolic.

More About

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Reduced Linear System

This form of the finite element matrices eliminates Dirichlet conditions from the problem using a linear algebra approach. The finite element matrices reduce to the solution u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud, where B spans the null space of the columns of H (the Dirichlet condition matrix representing hu = r). R is the Dirichlet condition vector for Hu = R. ud is the vector of boundary condition solutions for the Dirichlet conditions. u1 = Kc\Fc returns the solution on the non-Dirichlet points.

See Systems of PDEs for details on the approach used to eliminate Dirichlet conditions.

Stiff-Spring Approximation

This form of the finite element matrices converts Dirichlet boundary conditions to Neumann boundary conditions using a stiff-spring approximation. Using this approximation, assempde returns a matrix Ks and a vector Fs that represent the combined finite element matrices. The approximate solution u is u = Ks\Fs.

See Elliptic Equations. For details of the stiff-spring approximation, see Systems of PDEs.

Algorithms

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Elliptic Equations

Partial Differential Equation Toolbox™ solves equations of the form

m2ut2+dut·(cu)+au=f

When the m and d coefficients are 0, this reduces to

(cu)+au=f

which the documentation calls an elliptic equation, whether or not the equation is elliptic in the mathematical sense. The equation holds in Ω, where Ω is a bounded domain in two or three dimensions. c, a, f, and the unknown solution u are complex functions defined on Ω. c can also be a 2-by-2 matrix function on Ω. The boundary conditions specify a combination of u and its normal derivative on the boundary:

  • Dirichlet: hu = r on the boundary ∂Ω.

  • Generalized Neumann: n · (cu) + qu = g on ∂Ω.

  • Mixed: Only applicable to systems. A combination of Dirichlet and generalized Neumann.

n is the outward unit normal. g, q, h, and r are functions defined on ∂Ω.

Our nomenclature deviates slightly from the tradition for potential theory, where a Neumann condition usually refers to the case q = 0 and our Neumann would be called a mixed condition. In some contexts, the generalized Neumann boundary conditions is also referred to as the Robin boundary conditions. In variational calculus, Dirichlet conditions are also called essential boundary conditions and restrict the trial space. Neumann conditions are also called natural conditions and arise as necessary conditions for a solution. The variational form of the Partial Differential Equation Toolbox equation with Neumann conditions is given below.

The approximate solution to the elliptic PDE is found in three steps:

  1. Describe the geometry of the domain Ω and the boundary conditions. For 2-D geometry, create geometry using the PDE Modeler app or through MATLAB® files. For 3-D geometry, import the geometry in STL file format.

  2. Build a triangular mesh on the domain Ω. The software has mesh generating and mesh refining facilities. A mesh is described by three matrices of fixed format that contain information about the mesh points, the boundary segments, and the elements.

  3. Discretize the PDE and the boundary conditions to obtain a linear system Ku = F. The unknown vector u contains the values of the approximate solution at the mesh points, the matrix K is assembled from the coefficients c, a, h, and q and the right-hand side F contains, essentially, averages of f around each mesh point and contributions from g. Once the matrices K and F are assembled, you have the entire MATLAB environment at your disposal to solve the linear system and further process the solution.

More elaborate applications make use of the Finite Element Method (FEM) specific information returned by the different functions of the software. Therefore we quickly summarize the theory and technique of FEM solvers to enable advanced applications to make full use of the computed quantities.

FEM can be summarized in the following sentence: Project the weak form of the differential equation onto a finite-dimensional function space. The rest of this section deals with explaining the preceding statement.

We start with the weak form of the differential equation. Without restricting the generality, we assume generalized Neumann conditions on the whole boundary, since Dirichlet conditions can be approximated by generalized Neumann conditions. In the simple case of a unit matrix h, setting g = qr and then letting q → ∞ yields the Dirichlet condition because division with a very large q cancels the normal derivative terms. The actual implementation is different, since the preceding procedure may create conditioning problems. The mixed boundary condition of the system case requires a more complicated treatment, described in Systems of PDEs.

Assume that u is a solution of the differential equation. Multiply the equation with an arbitrary test function v and integrate on Ω:

Ω((·cu)v+auv)dx=Ωfvdx

Integrate by parts (i.e., use Green's formula) to obtain

Ω((cu)·v+auv)dxΩn·(cu)vds=Ωfvdx

The boundary integral can be replaced by the boundary condition:

Ω((cu)·v+auv)dxΩ(qu+g)vds=Ωfvdx

Replace the original problem with Find u such that

Ω((cu)·v+auvfv)dxΩ(qu+g)vds=0v

This equation is called the variational, or weak, form of the differential equation. Obviously, any solution of the differential equation is also a solution of the variational problem. The reverse is true under some restrictions on the domain and on the coefficient functions. The solution of the variational problem is also called the weak solution of the differential equation.

The solution u and the test functions v belong to some function space V. The next step is to choose an Np-dimensional subspace VNpV. Project the weak form of the differential equation onto a finite-dimensional function space simply means requesting u and v to lie in VNp rather than V. The solution of the finite dimensional problem turns out to be the element of VNp that lies closest to the weak solution when measured in the energy norm. Convergence is guaranteed if the space VNp tends to V as Np→∞. Since the differential operator is linear, we demand that the variational equation is satisfied for Np test-functions Φi VNp that form a basis, i.e.,

Ω((cu)·ϕi+auϕifϕi)dxΩ(qu+g)ϕids=0,i=1,...,Np

Expand u in the same basis of VNp elements

u(x)=j=1NpUjϕj(x)

and obtain the system of equations

j=1Np(Ω((cϕj)·ϕi+aϕjϕi)dx+Ωqϕjϕids)Uj=Ωfϕidx+Ωgϕids, i=1,...,Np

Use the following notations:

Ki,j=Ω(cϕj)ϕidx(stiffness matrix)

Mi,j=Ωaϕjϕidx(mass matrix)

Qi,j=Ωqϕjϕids

Fi=Ωfϕidx

Gi=Ωgϕids

and rewrite the system in the form

(K + M + Q)U = F + G.(1)

K, M, and Q are Np-by-Np matrices, and F and G are Np-vectors. K, M, and F are produced by assema, while Q, G are produced by assemb. When it is not necessary to distinguish K, M, and Q or F and G, we collapse the notations to KU = F, which form the output of assempde.

When the problem is self-adjoint and elliptic in the usual mathematical sense, the matrix K + M + Q becomes symmetric and positive definite. Many common problems have these characteristics, most notably those that can also be formulated as minimization problems. For the case of a scalar equation, K, M, and Q are obviously symmetric. If c(x) ≥ δ > 0, a(x) ≥ 0 and q(x) ≥ 0 with q(x) > 0 on some part of ∂Ω, then, if U ≠ 0.

UT(K+M+Q)U=Ω(c|u|2+au2)dx+Ωqu2ds>0,if U0

UT(K + M + Q)U is the energy norm. There are many choices of the test-function spaces. The software uses continuous functions that are linear on each element of a 2-D mesh, and are linear or quadratic on elements of a 3-D mesh. Piecewise linearity guarantees that the integrals defining the stiffness matrix K exist. Projection onto VNp is nothing more than linear interpolation, and the evaluation of the solution inside an element is done just in terms of the nodal values. If the mesh is uniformly refined, VNp approximates the set of smooth functions on Ω.

A suitable basis for VNp in 2-D is the set of “tent” or “hat” functions ϕi. These are linear on each element and take the value 0 at all nodes xj except for xi. For the definition of basis functions for 3-D geometry, see Finite Element Basis for 3-D. Requesting ϕi(xi) = 1 yields the very pleasant property

u(xi)=j=1NpUjϕj(xi)=Ui

That is, by solving the FEM system we obtain the nodal values of the approximate solution. The basis function ϕi vanishes on all the elements that do not contain the node xi. The immediate consequence is that the integrals appearing in Ki,j, Mi,j, Qi,j, Fi and Gi only need to be computed on the elements that contain the node xi. Secondly, it means that Ki,j andMi,j are zero unless xi and xj are vertices of the same element and thus K and M are very sparse matrices. Their sparse structure depends on the ordering of the indices of the mesh points.

The integrals in the FEM matrices are computed by adding the contributions from each element to the corresponding entries (i.e., only if the corresponding mesh point is a vertex of the element). This process is commonly called assembling, hence the name of the function assempde.

The assembling routines scan the elements of the mesh. For each element they compute the so-called local matrices and add their components to the correct positions in the sparse matrices or vectors.

The discussion now specializes to triangular meshes in 2-D. The local 3-by-3 matrices contain the integrals evaluated only on the current triangle. The coefficients are assumed constant on the triangle and they are evaluated only in the triangle barycenter. The integrals are computed using the midpoint rule. This approximation is optimal since it has the same order of accuracy as the piecewise linear interpolation.

Consider a triangle given by the nodes P1, P2, and P3 as in the following figure.

The Local Triangle P1P2P3

Note

The local 3-by-3 matrices contain the integrals evaluated only on the current triangle. The coefficients are assumed constant on the triangle and they are evaluated only in the triangle barycenter.

The simplest computations are for the local mass matrix m:

mi,j=ΔP1P2P3a(Pc)ϕi(x)ϕj(x)dx=a(Pc)area(ΔP1P2P3)12(1+δi,j)

where Pc is the center of mass of Δ P1P2P3, i.e.,

Pc=P1+P2+P33

The contribution to the right side F is just

fi=f(Pc)area(ΔP1P2P3)3

For the local stiffness matrix we have to evaluate the gradients of the basis functions that do not vanish on P1P2P3. Since the basis functions are linear on the triangle P1P2P3, the gradients are constants. Denote the basis functions ϕ1, ϕ2, and ϕ3 such that ϕ(Pi) = 1. If P2P3 = [x1,y1]T then we have that

ϕ1=12area(ΔP1P2P3)[y1x1]

and after integration (taking c as a constant matrix on the triangle)

ki,j=14area(ΔP1P2P3)[yj,xj]c(Pc)[y1x1]

If two vertices of the triangle lie on the boundary ∂Ω, they contribute to the line integrals associated to the boundary conditions. If the two boundary points are P1 and P2, then we have

Qi,j=q(Pb)P1P26(1+δi,j),i,j=1,2

and

Gi=g(Pb)P1P22,i=1,2

where Pb is the midpoint of P1P2.

For each triangle the vertices Pm of the local triangle correspond to the indices im of the mesh points. The contributions of the individual triangle are added to the matrices such that, e.g.,

Kim,intKim,in+km,n,m,n=1,2,3

This is done by the function assempde. The gradients and the areas of the triangles are computed by the function pdetrg.

The Dirichlet boundary conditions are treated in a slightly different manner. They are eliminated from the linear system by a procedure that yields a symmetric, reduced system. The function assempde can return matrices K, F, B, and ud such that the solution is u = Bv + ud where Kv = F. u is an Np-vector, and if the rank of the Dirichlet conditions is rD, then v has Np – rD components.

To summarize, assempde performs the following steps to obtain a solution u to an elliptic PDE:

  1. Generate the finite element matrices [K,M,F,Q,G,H,R]. This step is equivalent to calling assema to generate the matrices K, M, and F, and also calling assemb to generate the matrices Q, G, H, and R.

  2. Generate the combined finite element matrices [Kc,Fc,B,ud]. The combined stiffness matrix is for the reduced linear system, Kc = K + M + Q. The corresponding combined load vector is Fc = F + G. The B matrix spans the null space of the columns of H (the Dirichlet condition matrix representing hu = r). The R vector represents the Dirichlet conditions in Hu = R. The ud vector represents boundary condition solutions for the Dirichlet conditions.

  3. Calculate the solution u via

    u = B*(Kc\Fc) + ud.

assempde uses one of two algorithms for assembling a problem into combined finite element matrix form. A reduced linear system form leads to immediate solution via linear algebra. You choose the algorithm by the number of outputs. For the reduced linear system form, request four outputs:

[Kc,Fc,B,ud] = assempde(_)

For the stiff-spring approximation, request two outputs:

[Ks,Fs] = assempde(_)

For details, see Reduced Linear System and Stiff-Spring Approximation.

Systems of PDEs

Partial Differential Equation Toolbox software can also handle systems of N partial differential equations over the domain Ω. We have the elliptic system

(cu)+au=f

the parabolic system

dut(cu)+au=f

the hyperbolic system

d2ut2(cu)+au=f

and the eigenvalue system

(cu)+au=λdu

where c is an N-by-N-by-D-by-D tensor, and D is the geometry dimensions, 2 or 3.

For 2-D systems, the notation (cu) represents an N-by-1 matrix with an (i,1)-component

j=1N(xci,j,1,1x+xci,j,1,2y+yci,j,2,1x+yci,j,2,2y)uj

For 3-D systems, the notation (cu) represents an N-by-1 matrix with an (i,1)-component

j=1N(xci,j,1,1x+xci,j,1,2y+xci,j,1,3z)uj+j=1N(yci,j,2,1x+yci,j,2,2y+yci,j,2,3z)uj+j=1N(zci,j,3,1x+zci,j,3,2y+zci,j,3,3z)uj

The symbols a and d denote N-by-N matrices, and f denotes a column vector of length N.

The elements cijkl, aij, dij, and fi of c, a, d, and f are stored row-wise in the MATLAB matrices c, a, d, and f. The case of identity, diagonal, and symmetric matrices are handled as special cases. For the tensor cijkl this applies both to the indices i and j, and to the indices k and l.

Partial Differential Equation Toolbox software does not check the ellipticity of the problem, and it is quite possible to define a system that is not elliptic in the mathematical sense. The preceding procedure that describes the scalar case is applied to each component of the system, yielding a symmetric positive definite system of equations whenever the differential system possesses these characteristics.

The boundary conditions now in general are mixed, i.e., for each point on the boundary a combination of Dirichlet and generalized Neumann conditions,

hu=rn·(cu)+qu=g+hμ

For 2-D systems, the notation n·(cu) represents an N-by-1 matrix with (i,1)-component

j=1N(cos(α)ci,j,1,1x+cos(α)ci,j,1,2y+sin(α)ci,j,2,1x+sin(α)ci,j,2,2y)uj

where the outward normal vector of the boundary is n=(cos(α),sin(α)).

For 3-D systems, the notation n·(cu) represents an N-by-1 matrix with (i,1)-component

j=1N(cos(α)ci,j,1,1x+cos(α)ci,j,1,2y+cos(α)ci,j,1,3z)uj+j=1N(cos(β)ci,j,2,1x+cos(β)ci,j,2,2y+cos(β)ci,j,2,3z)uj+j=1N(cos(γ)ci,j,3,1x+cos(γ)ci,j,3,2y+cos(γ)ci,j,3,3z)uj

where the outward normal to the boundary is

n=(cos(α),cos(β),cos(γ))

There are M Dirichlet conditions and the h-matrix is M-by-N, M ≥ 0. The generalized Neumann condition contains a source hμ, where the Lagrange multipliers μ are computed such that the Dirichlet conditions become satisfied. In a structural mechanics problem, this term is exactly the reaction force necessary to satisfy the kinematic constraints described by the Dirichlet conditions.

The rest of this section details the treatment of the Dirichlet conditions and may be skipped on a first reading.

Partial Differential Equation Toolbox software supports two implementations of Dirichlet conditions. The simplest is the “Stiff Spring” model, so named for its interpretation in solid mechanics. See Elliptic Equations for the scalar case, which is equivalent to a diagonal h-matrix. For the general case, Dirichlet conditions

hu = r

are approximated by adding a term

L(hhuhr)

to the equations KU = F, where L is a large number such as 104 times a representative size of the elements of K.

When this number is increased, hu = r will be more accurately satisfied, but the potential ill-conditioning of the modified equations will become more serious.

The second method is also applicable to general mixed conditions with nondiagonal h, and is free of the ill-conditioning, but is more involved computationally. Assume that there are Np nodes in the mesh. Then the number of unknowns is NpN = Nu. When Dirichlet boundary conditions fix some of the unknowns, the linear system can be correspondingly reduced. This is easily done by removing rows and columns when u values are given, but here we must treat the case when some linear combinations of the components of u are given, hu = r. These are collected into HU = R where H is an M-by-Nu matrix and R is an M-vector.

With the reaction force term the system becomes

KU +H´ µ = F

HU = R.

The constraints can be solved for M of the U-variables, the remaining called V, an NuM vector. The null space of H is spanned by the columns of B, and U = BV + ud makes U satisfy the Dirichlet conditions. A permutation to block-diagonal form exploits the sparsity of H to speed up the following computation to find B in a numerically stable way. µ can be eliminated by pre-multiplying by B´ since, by the construction, HB = 0 or B´H´ = 0. The reduced system becomes

B´ KBV = B´ FB´Kud

which is symmetric and positive definite if K is.

Finite Element Basis for 3-D

The finite element method for 3-D geometry is similar to the 2-D method described in Elliptic Equations. The main difference is that the elements in 3-D geometry are tetrahedra, which means that the basis functions are different from those in 2-D geometry.

It is convenient to map a tetrahedron to a canonical tetrahedron with a local coordinate system (r,s,t).

In local coordinates, the point p1 is at (0,0,0), p2 is at (1,0,0), p3 is at (0,1,0), and p4 is at (0,0,1).

For a linear tetrahedron, the basis functions are

ϕ1=1rstϕ2=rϕ3=sϕ4=t

For a quadratic tetrahedron, there are additional nodes at the edge midpoints.

The corresponding basis functions are

ϕ1=2(1rst)2(1rst)ϕ2=2r2rϕ3=2s2sϕ4=2t2tϕ5=4r(1rst)ϕ6=4rsϕ7=4s(1rst)ϕ8=4t(1rst)ϕ9=4rtϕ10=4st

As in the 2-D case, a 3-D basis function ϕi takes the value 0 at all nodes j, except for node i, where it takes the value 1.

Introduced before R2006a