A posteriori error estimation for partial differential equations with random input data

This thesis is devoted to the derivation of error estimates for partial differential equations with random input data, with a focus on a posteriori error estimates which are the basis for adaptive strategies. Such procedures aim at obtaining an approximation of the solution with a given precision while minimizing the computational costs. If several sources of error come into play, it is then necessary to balance them to avoid unnecessary work. We are first interested in problems that contain small uncertainties approximated by finite elements. The use of perturbation techniques is appropriate in this setting since only few terms in the power series expansion of the exact random solution with respect to a parameter characterizing the amount of randomness in the problem are required to obtain an accurate approximation. The goal is then to perform an error analysis for the finite element approximation of the expansion up to a certain order. First, an elliptic model problem with random diffusion coefficient with affine dependence on a vector of independent random variables is studied. We give both a priori and a posteriori error estimates for the first term in the expansion for various norms of the error. The results are then extended to higher order approximations and to other sources of uncertainty, such as boundary conditions or forcing term. Next, the analysis of nonlinear problems in random domains is proposed, considering the one-dimensional viscous Burgers' equation and the more involved incompressible steady-state Navier-Stokes equations. The domain mapping method is used to transform the equations in random domains into equations in a fixed reference domain with random coefficients. We give conditions on the mapping and the input data under which we can prove the well-posedness of the problems and give a posteriori error estimates for the finite element approximation of the first term in the expansion. Finally, we consider the heat equation with random Robin boundary conditions. For this parabolic problem, the time discretization brings an additional source of error that is accounted for in the error analysis. The second part of this work consists in the analysis of a random elliptic diffusion problem that is approximated in the physical space by the finite element method and in the stochastic space by the stochastic collocation method on a sparse grid. Considering a random diffusion coefficient with affine dependence on a vector of independent random variables, we derive a residual-based a posteriori error estimate that controls the two sources of error. The stochastic error estimator is then used to drive an adaptive sparse grid algorithm which aims at alleviating the so-called curse of dimensionality inherent to tensor grids. Several numerical examples are given to illustrate the performance of the adaptive procedure.

Nobile, Fabio
Picasso, Marco
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis7260-1

 Record created 2016-10-25, last modified 2018-05-01

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