A simple proof that the hp-FEM does not suffer from the pollution effect for the constant-coefficient full-space Helmholtz equation

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Abstract

In d dimensions, accurately approximating an arbitrary function oscillating with frequency ≲ k requires ∼ k d degrees of freedom. A numerical method for solving the Helmholtz equation (with wavenumber k) suffers from the pollution effect if, as k→ ∞, the total number of degrees of freedom needed to maintain accuracy grows faster than this natural threshold. While the h-version of the finite element method (FEM) (where accuracy is increased by decreasing the meshwidth h and keeping the polynomial degree p fixed) suffers from the pollution effect, the hp-FEM (where accuracy is increased by decreasing the meshwidth h and increasing the polynomial degree p) does not suffer from the pollution effect. The heart of the proof of this result is a PDE result splitting the solution of the Helmholtz equation into “high” and “low” frequency components. This result for the constant-coefficient Helmholtz equation in full space (i.e. in ℝ d) was originally proved in Melenk and Sauter (Math. Comp79(272), 1871–1914, 2010). In this paper, we prove this result using only integration by parts and elementary properties of the Fourier transform. The proof in this paper is motivated by the recent proof in Lafontaine et al. (Comp. Math. Appl.113, 59–69, 2022) of this splitting for the variable-coefficient Helmholtz equation in full space use the more-sophisticated tools of semiclassical pseudodifferential operators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages25
JournalAdvances in Computational Mathematics
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

I acknowledge support from EPSRC grant EP/R005591/1.

Keywords

  • Finite element method
  • Helmholtz equation
  • High frequency
  • Pollution effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

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