A variational multiscale method derived from an adaptive stabilized conforming finite element method via residual minimization on dual norms

Juan F. Giraldo, Victor M. Calo

This paper interprets the stabilized finite element method via residual minimization as a variational multiscale method. We approximate the solution to the partial differential equations using two discrete spaces that we build on a triangulation of the domain; we denote these spaces as coarse and enriched spaces. Building on the adaptive stabilized finite element method via residual minimization, we find a coarse-scale approximation in a continuous space by minimizing the residual on a dual discontinuous Galerkin norm; this process allows us to compute a robust error estimate to construct an on-the-fly adaptive method. We reinterpret the residual projection using the variational multiscale framework to derive a fine-scale approximation. As a result, on each mesh of the adaptive process, we obtain stable coarse- and fine-scale solutions derived from a symmetric saddle-point formulation and an a-posteriori error indicator to guide automatic adaptivity. We test our framework in several challenging scenarios for linear and nonlinear convection-dominated diffusion problems to demonstrate the framework's performance in providing stability in the solution with optimal convergence rates in the asymptotic regime and robust performance in the pre-asymptotic regime. Lastly, we introduce a heuristic dual-term contribution in the variational form to improve the full-scale approximation for symmetric formulations (e.g., diffusion problem).

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