Nonlinear Preconditioning and its Application in Multicomponent Problems

  • Lulu Liu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Multiplicative Schwarz Preconditioned Inexact Newton (MSPIN) algorithm is presented as a complement to Additive Schwarz Preconditioned Inexact Newton (ASPIN). At an algebraic level, ASPIN and MSPIN are variants of the same strategy to improve the convergence of systems with unbalanced nonlinearities; however, they have natural complementarity in practice. MSPIN is naturally based on partitioning of degrees of freedom in a nonlinear PDE system by field type rather than by subdomain, where a modest factor of concurrency can be sacrificed for physically motivated convergence robustness. ASPIN, originally introduced for decompositions into subdomains, is natural for high concurrency and reduction of global synchronization. The ASPIN framework, as an option for the outermost solver, successfully handles strong nonlinearities in computational fluid dynamics, but is barely explored for the highly nonlinear models of complex multiphase flow with capillarity, heterogeneity, and complex geometry. In this dissertation, the fully implicit ASPIN method is demonstrated for a finite volume discretization based on incompressible two-phase reservoir simulators in the presence of capillary forces and gravity. Numerical experiments show that the number of global nonlinear iterations is not only scalable with respect to the number of processors, but also significantly reduced compared with the standard inexact Newton method with a backtracking technique. Moreover, the ASPIN method, in contrast with the IMPES method, saves overall execution time because of the savings in timestep size. We consider the additive and multiplicative types of inexact Newton algorithms in the field-split context, and we augment the classical convergence theory of ASPIN for the multiplicative case. Moreover, we provide the convergence analysis of the MSPIN algorithm. Under suitable assumptions, it is shown that MSPIN is locally convergent, and desired superlinear or even quadratic convergence can be obtained when the forcing terms are picked suitably. Numerical experiments show that MSPIN can be significantly more robust than Newton methods based on global linearizations, and that MSPIN can be more robust than ASPIN, and maintain fast convergence even for challenging problems, such as high-Reynolds number Navier-Stokes equations.
Date of AwardDec 7 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorDavid Keyes (Supervisor)


  • non-linear equations
  • nonlinear preconditioning
  • field splitting
  • Newton method
  • multiplicative schwarz
  • local convergence

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