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Solving the cardiac bidomain equations for discontinuous conductivities

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3 Author(s)
Austin, T.M. ; Bioeng. Inst., Auckland Univ., New Zealand ; Trew, Mark L. ; Pullan, A.J.

Fast simulations of cardiac electrical phenomena demand fast matrix solvers for both the elliptic and parabolic parts of the bidomain equations. It is well known that fast matrix solvers for the elliptic part must address multiple physical scales in order to show robust behavior. Recent research on finding the proper solution method for the bidomain equations has addressed this issue whereby multigrid preconditioned conjugate gradients has been used as a solver. In this paper, a more robust multigrid method, called Black Box Multigrid, is presented as an alternative to conventional geometric multigrid, and the effect of discontinuities on solver performance for the elliptic and parabolic part is investigated. Test problems with discontinuities arising from inserted plunge electrodes and naturally occurring myocardial discontinuities are considered. For these problems, we explore the advantages to using a more advanced multigrid method like Black Box Multigrid over conventional geometric multigrid. Results will indicate that for certain discontinuous bidomain problems Black Box Multigrid provides 60% faster simulations than using conventional geometric multigrid. Also, for the problems examined, it will be shown that a direct usage of conventional multigrid leads to faster simulations than an indirect usage of conventional multigrid as a preconditioner unless there are sharp discontinuities.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 7 )