Condition Number

Applies to: Triangular or Quadrilateral Surface Meshes, Tetrahedral or Hexahedral Volume Meshes. Does not apply to Mixed Element Meshes.

Summary: Optimizes the mesh condition number to produce well-shaped elements.


Surface <surface_id_range> Smooth Scheme Condition Number [beta <double=2.0>] [cpu <double=10>]

Related Commands:



The condition number smoother is designed to be the most robust smoother in Cubit because it guarantees that if the initial mesh is non-inverted then the smoothed mesh will also be non-inverted. The price exacted for this capability is that this smoother is not as fast as some of the other smoothers.

Condition Number measures the distance of an element from the set of degenerate (non-convex or inverted) elements. Optimization of the condition number increases this distance and improves the shape quality of the elements. Condition number optimization requires that the given mesh contain no negative Jacobians. If the mesh contains negative Jacobians and this command is issued, Cubit automatically calls the Untangle smoother and attempts to remove the negative Jacobians. If successful, condition number smoothing occurs next; the resulting mesh should have no negative Jacobians. If untangling is unsuccessful, condition number smoothing is not performed.

There is no "fixed/free" option with this command; boundary nodes are always held fixed.

The command above only sets the smoothing scheme; to actually smooth the mesh one must subsequently issue the command "smooth surface <surface_id_range>" or "smooth volume <volume_id_range>".

Stopping Criteria: Smoothing will proceed until the objective function has been minimized or until one of two user input stopping criteria are satisfied. To input your own stopping criterion use the optional parameters 'beta' and 'cpu' in the command above. The value of beta is compared at each iteration to the maximum condition number in the mesh. If the maximum condition number is less than the value of beta, the iteration halts. In Cubit condition number ranges from 1.0 to infinity, with 1.0 being a perfectly shaped element. Thus the smaller the maximum condition number, the better the mesh shape quality. The default value of the beta parameter is 2.0. The value supplied for the "cpu" stopping criterion tells the code how many minutes to spend trying to optimize the mesh. The default value is 10 minutes. Optimization may also be halted by using "control-C" on your keyboard.

To view a detailed report of the smoothing in progress issue the command "set debug 91 on" prior to smoothing the surfaces or volumes. You will get a synopsis of whether or not untangling is needed first and whether the stopping criteria have been satisfied. In addition the following printout information is given for each iteration of the conjugate gradient numerical optimization:

Iteration=n, Evals=m, Fcn=value1, dfmax=value2, time=value3 ave_cond=value4, max_cond=value5, min_jsc=value6

n is the iteration count, m is the number of objective function evaluations performed per iteration, value1 is the value of the objective function (this usually decreases monotonically), value2 is the norm of the gradient (does not always decrease monotonically), and value3 is the cumulative cpu time (in seconds) spent up to the current iteration. The minimum possible value of the objective function is zero but this is attained only for a perfect mesh. ave_cond, max_cond, and min_jsc are the average and maximum condition number, and the minimum scaled jacobian. ave_cond generally decreases monotonically because it is directly related to value1.