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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.

What is MCQ? The Mathematical Citation Quotient (MCQ) measures journal impact by looking at citations over a five-year period. Subscribers to MathSciNet may click through for more detailed information.


Finite element error estimates on the boundary with application to optimal control
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by Thomas Apel, Johannes Pfefferer and Arnd Rösch PDF
Math. Comp. 84 (2015), 33-70 Request permission


This paper is concerned with the discretization of linear elliptic partial differential equations with Neumann boundary condition in polygonal domains. The focus is on the derivation of error estimates in the $L^2$-norm on the boundary for linear finite elements. Whereas common techniques yield only suboptimal results, a new approach in this context is presented which allows for quasi-optimal ones, i.e., for domains with interior angles smaller than $2\pi /3$ a convergence order two (up to a logarithmic factor) can be achieved using quasi-uniform meshes. In the presence of internal angles greater than $2\pi /3$ which reduce the convergence rates on quasi-uniform meshes, graded meshes are used to maintain the quasi-optimal error bounds.

This result is applied to linear-quadratic Neumann boundary control problems with pointwise inequality constraints on the control. The approximations of the control are piecewise constant. The state and the adjoint state are discretized by piecewise linear finite elements. In a postprocessing step approximations of the continuous optimal control are constructed which possess superconvergence properties. Based on the improved error estimates on the boundary and optimal regularity in weighted Sobolev spaces almost second order convergence is proven for the approximations of the continuous optimal control problem. Mesh grading techniques are again used for domains with interior angles greater than $2\pi /3$. A certain regularity of the active set is assumed.

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Additional Information
  • Thomas Apel
  • Affiliation: Universität der Bundeswehr München, 85577 Neubiberg, Germany
  • Email:
  • Johannes Pfefferer
  • Affiliation: Universität der Bundeswehr München, 85577 Neubiberg, Germany
  • Email:
  • Arnd Rösch
  • Affiliation: Universität Duisburg-Essen, Fakultät für Mathematik, Thea-Leymann-Str. 9, 45127 Essen, Germany
  • Email:
  • Received by editor(s): November 19, 2012
  • Received by editor(s) in revised form: May 16, 2013
  • Published electronically: June 27, 2014
  • © Copyright 2014 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: Math. Comp. 84 (2015), 33-70
  • MSC (2010): Primary 65N30, 49M25, 65N50, 65N15
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 3266952