A convergent adaptive method for elliptic eigenvalue problems

S Giani, Ivan G Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (SciVal)


We prove the convergence of an adaptive linear finite element method for computing eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of second-order symmetric elliptic partial differential operators. The weak form is assumed to yield a bilinear form which is bounded and coercive in H-1. Each step of the adaptive procedure refines elements in which a standard a posteriori error estimator is large and also refines elements in which the computed eigenfunction has high oscillation. The error analysis extends the theory of convergence of adaptive methods for linear elliptic source problems to elliptic eigenvalue problems, and in particular deals with various complications which arise essentially from the nonlinearity of the eigenvalue problem. Because of this nonlinearity, the convergence result holds under the assumption that the initial finite element mesh is sufficiently fine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1091
Number of pages25
JournalSIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis (SINUM)
Issue number2
Early online date13 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • second-order elliptic problems
  • convergence
  • eigenvalues
  • adaptive finite element methods


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