A Posteriori Error Estimation for Finite Element Methods and Iterative Linear Solvers
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This thesis addresses a posteriori error estimation for finite element methods and iterative linear solvers. Adaptive finite element methods have gained a lot of popularity over the last decades due to their ability to produce accurate results with limited computer power. In these methods a posteriori error estimates play an essential role. Not only do they give information about how large the total error is, they also indicate which parts of the computational domain should be given a more sophisticated treatment in order to reduce the error. A posteriori error estimates are traditionally aimed at estimating the global error, but more recently so called goal oriented error estimators have been shown a lot of interest. The name reflects the fact that they estimate the error in user-defined local quantities. In this thesis the main focus is on global error estimators for highly stretched grids and global oriented error estimators for flow problems on regular grids. Numerical methods for partial differential equations, such as finite element methods and other similar techniques, typically result in a linear system of equations that needs to be solved. Usually such systems are solved using some iterative procedure which due to a finite number of iterations introduces an additional error. Most such algorithms apply the residual in the stopping criterion, whereas the control of the actual error may be rather poor. A secondary focus in this thesis is on estimating the errors that are introduced during this last part of the solution procedure. This thesis contains new theoretical results regarding the behaviour of some well known, and a few new, a posteriori estimators for finite element methods on anisotropic grids. Further, a goal oriented strategy for the computation of forces in flow problems is devised and investigated. Finally, an approach for estimating the actual errors associated with the iterative solution of linear systems of equations is suggested.