Analysis of iterative methods for the solution of boundary integral equations with applications to the Helmholtz problem
This thesis is concerned with the numerical solution of boundary integral equations and the numerical analysis of iterative methods. In the first part, we assume the boundary to be smooth in order to work with compact operators; while in the second part we investigate the problem arising from allowing piecewise smooth boundaries. Although in principle most results of the thesis apply to general problems of reformulating boundary value problems as boundary integral equations and their subsequent numerical solutions, we consider the Helmholtz equation arising from acoustic problems as the main model problem. In Chapter 1, we present the background material of reformulation of Helmhoitz boundary value problems into boundary integral equations by either the indirect potential method or the direct method using integral formulae. The problem of ensuring unique solutions of integral equations for exterior problems is specifically discussed. In Chapter 2, we discuss the useful numerical techniques for solving second kind integral equations. In particular, we highlight the superconvergence properties of iterated projection methods and the important procedure of Nystrom interpolation. In Chapter 3, the multigrid type methods as applied to smooth boundary integral equations are studied. Using the residual correction principle, we are able to propose some robust iterative variants modifying the existing methods to seek efficient solutions. In Chapter 4, we concentrate on the conjugate gradient method and establish its fast convergence as applied to the linear systems arising from general boundary element equations. For boundary integral equalisations on smooth boundaries we have observed, as the underlying mesh sizes decrease, faster convergence of multigrid type methods and fixed step convergence of the conjugate gradient method. In the case of non-smooth integral boundaries, we first derive the singular forms of the solution of boundary integral solutions for Dirichlet problems and then discuss the numerical solution in Chapter 5. Iterative methods such as two grid methods and the conjugate gradient method are successfully implemented in Chapter 6 to solve the non-smooth integral equations. The study of two grid methods in a general setting and also much of the results on the conjugate gradient method are new. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 are partially based on publications ,  and  respectively.