A nodally bound-preserving finite element method

Barrenechea, Gabriel R. and Georgoulis, Emmanuil and Pryer, Tristan and Veeser, Andreas (2023) A nodally bound-preserving finite element method. IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis. ISSN 0272-4979 (https://doi.org/10.1093/imanum/drad055)

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This work proposes a nonlinear finite element method whose nodal values preserve bounds known for the exact solution. The discrete problem involves a nonlinear projection operator mapping arbitrary nodal values into bound preserving ones and seeks the numerical solution in the range of this projection. As the projection is not injective, a stabilisation based upon the complementary projection is added in order to restore well-posedness. Within the framework of elliptic problems, the discrete problem may be viewed as a reformulation of a discrete obstacle problem, incorporating the inequality constraints through Lipschitz projections. The derivation of the proposed method is exemplified for linear and nonlinear reaction-diffusion problems. Near-best approximation results in suitable norms are established. In particular, we prove that, in the linear case, the numerical solution is the best approximation in the energy norm among all nodally boundpreserving finite element functions. A series of numerical experiments for such problems showcase the good behaviour of the proposed bound-preserving finite element method.