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A weighted reverse Cuthill–McKee procedure for finite element method algorithms to solve strongly anisotropic electrodynamic problems

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3 Author(s)
Cristofolini, Andrea ; Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy ; Latini, Chiara ; Borghi, Carlo A.

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This paper presents a technique for improving the convergence rate of a generalized minimum residual (GMRES) algorithm applied for the solution of a algebraic system produced by the discretization of an electrodynamic problem with a tensorial electrical conductivity. The electrodynamic solver considered in this work is a part of a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code in the low magnetic Reynolds number approximation. The code has been developed for the analysis of MHD interaction during the re-entry phase of a space vehicle. This application is a promising technique intensively investigated for the shock mitigation and the vehicle control in the higher layers of a planetary atmosphere. The medium in the considered application is a low density plasma, characterized by a tensorial conductivity. This is a result of the behavior of the free electric charges, which tend to drift in a direction perpendicular both to the electric field and to the magnetic field. In the given approximation, the electrodynamics is described by an elliptical partial differential equation, which is solved by means of a finite element approach. The linear system obtained by discretizing the problem is solved by means of a GMRES iterative method with an incomplete LU factorization threshold preconditioning. The convergence of the solver appears to be strongly affected by the tensorial characteristic of the conductivity. In order to deal with this feature, the bandwidth reduction in the coefficient matrix is considered and a novel technique is proposed and discussed. First, the standard reverse Cuthill–McKee (RCM) procedure has been applied to the problem. Then a modification of the RCM procedure (the weighted RCM procedure, WRCM) has been developed. In the last approach, the reordering is performed taking into account the relation between the mesh geometry and the magnetic field direction. In order to investigate the effectiveness of the methods, two cases are considered. The RCM and WRCM proc- - edures has successfully improved the convergence rate of the GMRES solver. For strong anisotropies, the WRCM procedure appears to have a higher convergence rate. The same behavior is shown when applying the methods to the rebuilding of an hypersonic MHD experiment.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:109 ,  Issue: 3 )