PhD defense – Elvira Shishenina

Elvira Shishenina defended his PhD thesis entitled:

Space-Time Discretization of Elasto-Acoustic Wave Equation in Polynomial Trefftz-DG Bases

Discontinuous Finite Element Methods (DG FEM) have proven flexibility and accuracy for solving wave problems in complex media. However, they require a large number of degrees of freedom, which increases the corresponding computational cost compared with that of continuous finite element methods. Among the different variational approaches to solve boundary value problems, there exists a particular family of methods, based on the use of trial functions in the form of exact local solutions of the governing equations. The idea was first proposed by Trefftz in 1926, and since then it has been further developed and generalized. A Trefftz-DG variational formulation applied to wave problems reduces to surface integrals that should contribute to decreasing the computational costs.
Trefftz-type approaches have been widely used for time-harmonic problems, while their implementation for time-dependent simulations is still limited. The feature of Trefftz-DG methods applied to time-dependent problems is in the use of space-time meshes. Indeed, standard DG methods lead to the construction of a semi-discrete system of ordinary differential equations in time which are integrated by using an appropriate scheme. But Trefftz-DG methods applied to wave problems lead to a global matrix including time and space discretizations which is huge and sparse. This significantly hampers the deployment of this technology for solving industrial problems.
In this work, we develop a Trefftz-DG framework for solving mechanical wave problems including elasto-acoustic equations. We prove that the corresponding formulations are well-posed and we address the issue of solving the global matrix by constructing an approximate inverse obtained from the decomposition of the global matrix into a block-diagonal one. The inversion is then justified under a CFL-type condition. This idea allows for reducing the computational costs but its accuracy is limited to small computational domains. According to the limitations of the method, we have investigated the potential of Tent Pitcher algorithms following the recent works of Gopalakrishnan et al. It consists in constructing a space-time mesh made of patches that can be solved independently under a causality constraint. We have obtained very promising numerical results illustrating the potential of Tent Pitcher in particular when coupled with a Trefftz-DG method involving only surface terms. In this way, the space-time mesh is composed of elements which are 3D objects at most. It is also worth noting that this framework naturally allows for local time-stepping which is a plus to increase the accuracy while decreasing the computational burden.

Pau, December 7, 2018