Scientific Computing and Applied & Industrial Mathematics: Jessica Bosch

  • Date: 10/11/2016
  • Time: 12:30
Jessica Bosch, UBC

University of British Columbia


Fast Iterative Solvers for Cahn-Hilliard Problems


The Cahn-Hilliard equation models the motion of interfaces between several phases. The underlying energy functional includes a potential for which different types were proposed in the literature. We consider smooth and nonsmooth potentials with a focus on the latter. In the nonsmooth case, we apply a function space-based algorithm, which combines a Moreau-Yosida regularization technique with a semismooth Newton method. We apply classical finite element methods to discretize the problems in space. At the heart of our method lies the solution of large and sparse fully discrete systems of linear equations. Block preconditioners using effective Schur complement approximations are presented. For the smooth systems, we derive optimal preconditioners, which are proven to be robust with respect to crucial model parameters. Further, we prove that the use of the same preconditioners give poor approximations for the nonsmooth formulations. The preconditioners we present for the nonsmooth problems incorporate the regularization terms. Extensive numerical experiments show an outstanding behavior of our developed preconditioners. Our strategy applies to different Cahn-Hilliard problems including phase separation and coarsening processes, image inpainting, and two-phase flows.

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Location: ESB 4133 (PIMS Lounge)