An adaptive GMsFEM for high-contrast flow problems

Eric T. Chung*, Yalchin Efendiev, Guanglian Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


In this paper, we derive an a-posteriori error indicator for the Generalized Multiscale Finite Element Method (GMsFEM) framework. This error indicator is further used to develop an adaptive enrichment algorithm for the linear elliptic equation with multiscale high-contrast coefficients. The GMsFEM, which has recently been introduced in [13], allows solving multiscale parameter-dependent problems at a reduced computational cost by constructing a reduced-order representation of the solution on a coarse grid. The main idea of the method consists of (1) the construction of snapshot space, (2) the construction of the offline space, and (3) the construction of the online space (the latter for parameter-dependent problems). In [13], it was shown that the GMsFEM provides a flexible tool to solve multiscale problems with a complex input space by generating appropriate snapshot, offline, and online spaces. In this paper, we study an adaptive enrichment procedure and derive an a-posteriori error indicator which gives an estimate of the local error over coarse grid regions. We consider two kinds of error indicators where one is based on the L2-norm of the local residual and the other is based on the weighted H -1-norm of the local residual where the weight is related to the coefficient of the elliptic equation. We show that the use of weighted H -1-norm residual gives a more robust error indicator which works well for cases with high contrast media. The convergence analysis of the method is given. In our analysis, we do not consider the error due to the fine-grid discretization of local problems and only study the errors due to the enrichment. Numerical results are presented that demonstrate the robustness of the proposed error indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-76
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Sep 15 2014


  • A-posteriori error estimate
  • Adaptive enrichment
  • High contrast flow problem
  • Multiscale finite element method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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