Issues related to least-squares finite element methods for the stokes equations
Deang, Jennifer M.
Gunzburger, Max D.
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Least-squares finite element methods have become increasingly popular for the approximate solution of first-order systems of partial differential equations. Here, after a brief review of some existing theories, a number of issues connected with the use of such methods for the velocity-vorticity-pressure formulation of the Stokes equations in two dimensions in realistic settings are studied through a series of computational experiments. Finite element spaces that are not covered by existing theories are considered; included in these are piecewise linear approximations for the velocity. Mixed boundary conditions, which are also not covered by existing theories, are also considered, as is enhancing mass conservation. Next, problems in nonconvex polygonal regions and the resulting nonsmooth solutions are considered with a view toward seeing how accuracy can be improved. A conclusion that can be drawn from this series of computational experiments is that the use of appropriate mesh-dependent weights in the least-squares functional almost always improves the accuracy of the approximations. Concluding remarks concerning three-dimensional problems, the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations, and the conditioning of the discrete systems are provided.