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A posteriori error estimation techniques in practical finite element analysis

Abstract : In this paper we review the basic concepts to obtain a posteriori error estimates for the finite element solution of an elliptic linear model problem. We give the basic ideas to establish global error estimates for the energy norm as well as goal-oriented error estimates. While we show how these error estimation techniques are employed for our simple model problem, the emphasis of the paper is on assessing whether these procedures are ready for use in practical linear finite element analysis. We conclude that the actually practical error estimation techniques do not provide mathematically proven bounds on the error and need to be used with care. The more accurate estimation procedures also do not provide proven bounds that, in general, can be computed efficiently. We also briefly comment upon the state of error estimations in nonlinear and transient analyses and when mixed methods are used.
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Thomas Grätsch, Klaus-Jürgen Bathe. A posteriori error estimation techniques in practical finite element analysis. Computers and Structures, Elsevier, 2005, 83 (4-5), pp.235 - 265. ⟨10.1016/j.compstruc.2004.08.011⟩. ⟨hal-01390203⟩



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