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Title: Virtual Element Methods
Author: Sutton, Oliver James
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 7207
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis we study the Virtual Element Method, a recent generalisation of the standard conforming Finite Element Method offering high order approximation spaces on computational meshes consisting of general polygonal or polyhedral elements. Our particular focus is on developing the tools required to use the method as the foundation of mesh adaptive algorithms which are able to take advantage of the flexibility offered by such general meshes. We design virtual element discretisations of certain classes of linear second order elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations, and present a detailed exposition of their implementation aspects. An outcome of this is a concise and usable 50-line MATLAB implementation of a virtual element method for solving a model elliptic problem on general polygonal meshes, the code for which is included as an appendix. Optimal order convergence rates in the H1 and L2 norms are proven for the discretisation of elliptic problems. Alongside these, we derive fully computable residual-type a posteriori estimates of the error measured in the H1 and L2 norms for the methods we develop for elliptic problems, and in the L2(0; T;H1) and L∞(0; T;L2) norms for parabolic problems. In deriving the L∞(0; T;L2) error estimate, we introduce a new technique (which translates naturally back into the setting of conventional finite element methods) to produce estimates with effectivities which become constant for long time simulations. Mesh adaptive algorithms, designed around these methods and computable error estimates, are proposed and numerically assessed in a variety of challenging stationary and time-dependent scenarios. We further propose a virtual element discretisation and computable coarsening/refinement indicator for a system of semilinear parabolic partial differential equations which we apply to a Lotka-Volterra type model of interacting species. These components form the basis of an adaptive method which we use to reveal a variety of new pattern-forming mechanisms in the cyclic competition model.
Supervisor: Cangiani, Andrea ; Georgoulis, Emmanuil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available