Domain Decomposition with local impedance conditions for the Helmholtz equation with absorption

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We consider one-level additive Schwarz preconditioners for the Helmholtz equation (with increasing wavenumber $k$), discretized using fixed-order nodal conforming finite elements on a family of simplicial fine meshes with diameter $h$, chosen to maintain accuracy as $k$ increases. The preconditioners combine independent local solves (with impedance boundary conditions) on overlapping subdomains of diameter $H$ and overlap $\delta$, and prolongation/restriction operators defined using a partition of unity, this formulation was previously proposed in [J.H. Kimn and M. Sarkis, Comp. Meth. Appl. Mech. Engrg. 196, 1507-1514, 2007]. In numerical experiments (with $\delta \sim H$) we observe robust (i.e. $k-$independent) GMRES convergence as $k$ increases, both with $H$ fixed, and with $H$ decreasing moderately as $k$ increases. This provides a highly-parallel, $k-$robust one-level domain-decomposition method. We provide supporting theory for this observation by studying the preconditioner applied to a range of absorptive problems, $k^2\mapsto k^2+ \mathrm{i} \varepsilon$, with absorption parameter $\varepsilon$, including the "pure Helmholtz" case ($\varepsilon = 0$). Working in the Helmholtz "energy" inner product, we prove a robust upper bound on the norm of the preconditioned matrix, valid for all $\varepsilon, \delta$. Under additional conditions on $\varepsilon$ and $\delta$, we also prove a strictly-positive lower bound on the distance of the field of values of the preconditioned matrix from the origin. Using these results, combined with previous results of [M.J. Gander, I.G. Graham and E.A. Spence, Numer. Math. 131(3), 567-614, 2015] we obtain theoretical support for the observed robustness of the preconditioner for the pure Helmholtz problem with increasing wavenumber $k$.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2515–2543
JournalSIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis
Issue number5
Early online date16 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • math.NA
  • 65F08, 65F10, 65N55


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