Publications / Other Report

Composing preconditioners for multiphysics PDE systems with applications to Generalized MHD

Tuminaro, Raymond S.; Crockatt, Michael M.; Robinson, Allen C.

New patch smoothers or relaxation techniques are developed for solving linear matrix equations coming from systems of discretized partial differential equations (PDEs). One key linear solver challenge for many PDE systems arises when the resulting discretization matrix has a near null space that has a large dimension, which can occur in generalized magnetohydrodynamic (GMHD) systems. Patch-based relaxation is highly effective for problems when the null space can be spanned by a basis of locally supported vectors. The patch-based relaxation methods that we develop can be used either within an algebraic multigrid (AMG) hierarchy or as stand-alone preconditioners. These patch-based relaxation techniques are a form of well-known overlapping Schwarz methods where the computational domain is covered with a series of overlapping sub-domains (or patches). Patch relaxation then corresponds to solving a set of independent linear systems associated with each patch. In the context of GMHD, we also reformulate the underlying discrete representation used to generate a suitable set of matrix equations. In general, deriving a discretization that accurately approximates the curl operator and the Hall term while also producing linear systems with physically meaningful near null space properties can be challenging. Unfortunately, many natural discretization choices lead to a near null space that includes non-physical oscillatory modes and where it is not possible to span the near null space with a minimal set of locally supported basis vectors. Further discretization research is needed to understand the resulting trade-offs between accuracy, stability, and ease in solving the associated linear systems.