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On Interpolation Errors over Quadratic Nodal Triangular Finite Elements

Sastry, Shankar P. and Robert M. Kirby

22nd International Meshing Roundtable, Springer-Verlag, pp.349-366, October 13-16 2013


22nd International Meshing Roundtable
Orlando, FL
October 13-16,2013

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Email: {sastry,kirby}

Interpolation techniques are used to estimate function values and their derivatives at those points for which a numerical solution of any equation is not explicitly evaluated. In particular, the shape functions are used to interpolate a solution (within an element) of a partial differential equation obtained by the finite element method. Mesh generation and quality improvement are often driven by the objective of minimizing the bounds on the error of the interpolated solution. For linear elements, the error bounds at a point have been derived as a composite function of the shape function values at the point and its distance from the element’s nodes. We extend the derivation to quadratic triangular elements and visualize the bounds for both the function interpolant and the interpolant of its derivative. The maximum error bound for a function interpolant within an element is computed using the active set method for constrained optimization. For the interpolant of the derivative, we visually observe that the evaluation of the bound at the corner vertices is sufficient to find the maximum bound within an element.We characterize the bounds and develop a mesh quality improvement algorithm that optimizes the bounds through the movement (r-refinement) of both the corner vertices and edge nodes in a high-order mesh.

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