A Generalised RBF Finite Difference Approach to Solve Nonlinear Heat Conduction Problems on Unstructured Datasets

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Abstract

Radial Basis Functions have traditionally been used to provide a continuous interpolation of scattered data sets. However, this interpolation also allows for the reconstruction of partial derivatives throughout the solution field, which can then be used to drive the solution of a partial differential equation. Since the interpolation takes place on a scattered dataset with no local connectivity, the solution is essentially meshless. RBF-based methods have been successfully used to solve a wide variety of PDEs in this fashion. Such full-domain RBF methods are highly flexible and can exhibit spectral convergence rates Madych & Nelson (1990). However, in their traditional implementation the fully-populated matrix systems which are produced lead to computational complexities of at least order-N2 with datasets of size N. In addition, they suffer fromincreasingly poor numerical conditioning as the size of the dataset grows, and also with increasingly flat interpolating functions. This is a consequence of ill-conditioning in the determination of RBF weighting coefficients (as demonstrated in Driscoll & Fornberg (2002)), and is described by Robert Schaback Schaback (1995) as the uncertainty relation; better conditioning is associated with worse accuracy, and worse conditioning is associated with improved accuracy. Many techniques have been developed to reduce the effect of the uncertainty relation in the traditional RBF formulation, such as RBF-specific preconditioners Baxter (2002); Beatson et al. (1999); Brown (2005); Ling & Kansa (2005), or adaptive selection of data centres Ling et al. (2006); Ling & Schaback (2004). However, at present the only reliable methods of controlling numerical ill-conditioning and computational cost as problem size increases are domain decomposition Hernandez Rosales & Power (2007); Wong et al. (1999); Zhang (2007); Zhou et al. (2003), or the use of locally supported basis functions Fasshauer (1999); Schaback (1997); Wendland (1995); Wu (1995). In this work the domain decomposition principle is applied, forming a large number of heavily overlapping systems that cover the solution domain. A small RBF collocation system is formed around each global data centre, with each collocation system used to approximate the governing PDE at its centrepoint, in terms of the solution value at surrounding collocation points. This leads to a sparse global linear system which may be solved using a variety of standard solvers. In this way, the proposed formulation emulates a finite difference method, with the RBF collocation systems replacing the polynomial interpolation functions used in traditional finite difference methods. However, unlike such polynomial functions RBF collocation is well suited to scattered data, and the method may be applied to both structured and unstructured datasets without modification. The method is applied here to solve the nonlinear heat conduction equation. In order to reduce the nonlinearity in the governing equation the Kirchhoff integral transformation is applied, and the transformed equation is solved using a Picard iterative process. The application of the Kirchhoff transform necessitates that the thermal property functions be transformed to Kirchhoff space also. If the thermal properties are a known and integrable function of temperature then the transformation may be performed analytically. Otherwise, an integration-interpolation procedure can be performed using 1D radial basis functions, as described in Stevens & Power (2010). In recent years a number of local RBF collocation techniques have b
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Generalised RBF Finite Difference Approach to Solve Nonlinear Heat Conduction Problems on Unstructured Datasets
Number of pages394
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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    La Rocca, V. (2011). A Generalised RBF Finite Difference Approach to Solve Nonlinear Heat Conduction Problems on Unstructured Datasets. In A Generalised RBF Finite Difference Approach to Solve Nonlinear Heat Conduction Problems on Unstructured Datasets