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Mathematics of Computation

Published by the American Mathematical Society since 1960 (published as Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation 1943-1959), Mathematics of Computation is devoted to research articles of the highest quality in computational mathematics.

ISSN 1088-6842 (online) ISSN 0025-5718 (print)

The 2020 MCQ for Mathematics of Computation is 1.78.

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Adaptive Fourier-Galerkin methods
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by C. Canuto, R. H. Nochetto and M. Verani PDF
Math. Comp. 83 (2014), 1645-1687 Request permission


We study the performance of adaptive Fourier-Galerkin methods in a periodic box in $\mathbb {R}^d$ with dimension $d\ge 1$. These methods offer unlimited approximation power only restricted by solution and data regularity. They are of intrinsic interest but are also a first step towards understanding adaptivity for the $hp$-FEM. We examine two nonlinear approximation classes, one classical corresponding to algebraic decay of Fourier coefficients and another associated with exponential decay typical of spectral approximation. We investigate the natural sparsity class for the operator range and find that the exponential class is not preserved, thus in contrast with the algebraic class. This entails a striking different behavior of the feasible residuals that lead to practical algorithms, influencing the overall optimality. The sparsity degradation for the exponential class is partially compensated with coarsening. We present several feasible adaptive Fourier algorithms, prove their contraction properties, and examine the cardinality of the activated sets. The Galerkin approximations at the end of each iteration are quasi-optimal for both classes, but inner loops or intermediate approximations are sub-optimal for the exponential class.
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Additional Information
  • C. Canuto
  • Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Matematiche, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
  • MR Author ID: 44965
  • ORCID: 0000-0002-8481-0312
  • Email:
  • R. H. Nochetto
  • Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742
  • MR Author ID: 131850
  • Email:
  • M. Verani
  • Affiliation: MOX-Dipartimento di Matematica, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
  • MR Author ID: 704488
  • Email:
  • Received by editor(s): December 20, 2011
  • Received by editor(s) in revised form: December 11, 2012
  • Published electronically: November 21, 2013
  • Additional Notes: The first and the third authors were partially supported by the Italian research fund PRIN 2008 “Analisi e sviluppo di metodi numerici avanzati per EDP”
    The second author was partially supported by NSF grants DMS-0807811 and DMS-1109325
  • © Copyright 2013 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: Math. Comp. 83 (2014), 1645-1687
  • MSC (2010): Primary 65M70, 65T40
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 3194125