A fully implicit Newton-Krylov-Schwarz method for tokamak magnetohydrodynamics: Jacobian construction and preconditioner formulation

Daniel R. Reynolds, Ravi Samtaney, Hilari C. Tiedeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Single-fluid resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is a fluid description of fusion plasmas which is often used to investigate macroscopic instabilities in tokamaks. In MHD modeling of tokamaks, it is often desirable to compute MHD phenomena to resistive time scales or a combination of resistive-Alfvén time scales, which can render explicit time stepping schemes computationally expensive. We present recent advancements in the development of preconditioners for fully nonlinearly implicit simulations of single-fluid resistive tokamak MHD. Our work focuses on simulations using a structured mesh mapped into a toroidal geometry with a shaped poloidal cross-section, and a finite-volume spatial discretization of the partial differential equation model. We discretize the temporal dimension using a fully implicit or the backwards differentiation formula method, and solve the resulting nonlinear algebraic system using a standard inexact Newton-Krylov approach, provided by the sundials library. The focus of this paper is on the construction and performance of various preconditioning approaches for accelerating the convergence of the iterative solver algorithms. Effective preconditioners require information about the Jacobian entries; however, analytical formulae for these Jacobian entries may be prohibitive to derive/implement without error. We therefore compute these entries using automatic differentiation with OpenAD. We then investigate a variety of preconditioning formulations inspired by standard solution approaches in modern MHD codes, in order to investigate their utility in a preconditioning context. We first describe the code modifications necessary for the use of the OpenAD tool and sundials solver library. We conclude with numerical results for each of our preconditioning approaches in the context of pellet-injection fueling of tokamak plasmas. Of these, our optimal approach results in a speedup of a factor of 3 compared with non-preconditioned implicit tests, with that performance gap rapidly widening with increasing mesh refinement. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)014003
JournalComputational Science & Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 7 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Numerical Analysis


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