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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/cma

Franco Brezzi a,b,c, L. Donatella Marini d,

a

King Abdulaziz University, Dept. of Math., POBox 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

c

IMATI-CNR, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

d

Dipartimento di Matematica, Universit di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 19 June 2012

Accepted 18 September 2012

Available online 27 September 2012

Keywords:

High-order MFD

Plate bending problems

Virtual Elements

a b s t r a c t

We discuss the application of Virtual Elements to linear plate bending problems, in the KirchhoffLove formulation. As we shall see, in the Virtual Element environment the treatment of the C 1 -continuity condition is much easier than for traditional Finite Elements. The main difference consists in the fact that

traditional Finite Elements, for every element K and for every given set of degrees of freedom, require

the use of a space of polynomials (or piecewise polynomials for composite elements) for which the given

set of degrees of freedom is unisolvent. For Virtual Elements instead we only need unisolvence for a space

of smooth functions that contains a subset made of polynomials (whose degree determines the accuracy).

As we shall see the non-polynomial part of our local spaces does not need to be known in detail, and

therefore the construction of the local stiffness matrix is simple, and can be done for much more general

geometries.

2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

The Finite Element literature of the last 50 years contains a big

variety of H1 -conforming (in practice, C 0 ) elements of various

degrees, with different features. On the other hand, the list of available H2 -conforming (in practice, C 1 ) elements is much more slim.

Among the most commonly used are the composite Hsieh

CloughTocher element (with cubic accuracy) and its reduced version (with quadratic accuracy), the Argyris element (with quintic

accuracy) and its reduced Bell version (with quartic accuracy). But

a much bigger effort has been devoted to alternative formulations

that could avoid the use of C 1 nite elements, including mixed formulations (essentially, based on the HellingerReissner principle)

or the use of the ReissnerMindlin model for thin plates and shells

(instead of moderately thick). Dual hybrid elements of Pian and coauthors (see e.g. [32,33]) could be seen as intermediate C 1 formulations, as the displacements are indeed C 1 but they are dened only

at the interelement boundaries (see also [11] and in particular [17]).

And several among the most common and useful applications of

nonconforming elements (as for instance the Morley element) can

indeed be seen as an effort to bypass C 1 continuity.

Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy. Tel.: +39 0382 985638; fax: +39 0382 985602.

E-mail addresses: brezzi@imati.cnr.it (F. Brezzi), marini@imati.cnr.it

(L.D. Marini).

0045-7825/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cma.2012.09.012

mathematically oriented ones, to [18,10,9]) and to the references

therein.

In this paper we want to show that the newly born Virtual Element

method [4] is able to tackle the construction of C 1 -approximations in

a much swifter way, and on very general polygonal elements, and we

propose a few examples of elements that could surely be interesting

in the approximation of the solution of plate bending problems in the

KirchhoffLove formulation.

Virtual Element methods could be seen as an evolution of Mimetic Finite Differences and related methods (see e.g.

[23,25,28,29], or the more recent [8,19,20,37]). In particular they

are strictly related to the more theoretical versions of MFD

[26,14,16,15,12], and specially to their last versions concerning

higher order methods [31,22,3,2].

As we shall see, the basic idea consists in choosing rst some degrees of freedom at the interelement boundaries that could identify in a unique way the traces of globally C 1 functions that are

polynomials of degree 6 r on each edge, with normal derivative

of degree 6 s on each edge. Then we add a suitable amount of

internal degrees of freedom, and we dene the discrete subspace

inside the elements by means of a local plate bending problem.

Needless to say, the actual solution of these local problems will

not be required, not even in an approximate way.

Actually, we will show that, having constructed the discrete

subspace V h as above, if the boundary and internal degrees of

freedom are chosen properly, then

456

F. Brezzi, L.D. Marini / Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 253 (2013) 455462

contains the space Pk of polynomials of degree 6 k, where k

depends on r and s,

(b) for every polynomial pk 2 Pk K, and for every non-polynomial element v h of V h , the contribution of K to the energy

bilinear form apk ; v h can be computed exactly, using only

the degrees of freedom of v h (and not the fact that v h solves

a local plate problem),

(c) we can then easily complete the computation of the energy

bilinear form av h ; wh (when neither v h nor wh is a polynomial in Pk ) in an almost arbitrary way, in order to ensure

stability.

Note that, if we have (a)(c) we can ensure a sort of kth order

patch test, meaning that, on any patch of elements: if the true

solution is a global polynomial of degree 6 k, then our discrete

solution will coincide exactly with the true solution.

For other attempts to deal with elements of a general shape we

refer to [5,7,21,30,3436,38] and the references therein. We point

out, however, that here we do not use numerical integration.

An outline of the paper is as follows. In Section 2 we recall the

continuous problem and x some notation. In Section 3 we present

in an abstract framework the Virtual Element approach, state the

basic assumptions and prove a convergence theorem. In Section 4

we explicitly show how to construct a C 1 VEM-approximation of

the plate bending problem with the optimal convergence rate,

namely, order k, with k P 2 whenever the discrete space V h contains locally the polynomials of degree k.

Throughout the paper we shall use the common notation for the

Sobolev spaces Hm D for m a nonnegative integer and D an open

bounded domain. In particular (see e.g. [27,18]) the L2 D scalar

product and norm will be indicated by ; 0;D or ; D and k k0;D

or k kD , respectively. Moreover, for m a nonnegative integer, the

mth seminorm of the function u will be dened by

j2m;D

ju

2

jaj

X

@ u

:

a1 a2

@ x1 @ x2

jajm

1:1

0;D

Z

Z

aw; v D 1 m w=ij v =ij dx m DwDv dx :

X

In (2.4) v =i @ v =@xi ; i 1; 2, and we used the summation convention of repeated indices. Thus, for instance:

9 a > 0 such that av ; v P akv k2V

DD2 w f

in X;

2:1

the Young modulus, and m the Poissons ratio.

Assuming for instance the plate to be clamped all over the

boundary, Eq. (2.1) is supplemented with the boundary conditions

@w

w

0 on C:

@n

2:2

aw; v f ; v 8v 2

H20

X;

2:3

energy bilinear form a; is given by

u; v 2 V;

v 2 V:

2:6

2:7

2:8

that will be used later on. On a domain D R2 , with boundary @D,

we denote by n n1 ; n2 the outward unit normal vector to @D,

and by t t 1 ; t2 the unit tangent vector in the counterclockwise

ordering of the boundary. For v 2 H2 X, let M M ij v i; j 1; 2 be

the moment tensor given by the stressstrain relation

3

2

32

3

v =11

1 m 0

M 11

6

7

6

76

7

4 M 22 5 D4 m 1 0

54 v =22 5;

v =12

0 0 1m

M 12

2:9

Mnn v : Mij ni nj the normal bending moment, by Mnt v : M ij ni t j

the twisting moment, and by Q n v : Mij=i nj the normal shear force.

Always for a generic domain D we also set, as in (2.4)

Z

Z

aD w; v D 1 m w=ij v =ij dx m DwDv dx ;

D

2:10

After integrating by parts twice we have

usual jaj a1 a2 .

When D X the subscript D will often be omitted.

let C be its boundary, and let f 2 L2 X be a transversal load acting

on the plate. The KirchhoffLove model for thin plates (see e.g.

[18]) corresponds to look for the transversal displacement w solution of

2:5

conditions in V and to the Poincar inequality, this is indeed a norm

on V. Moreover

aD w; v

2:4

Z

@v

DD2 w v dx

M nn w

dt

@n

D

@D

Z

@Mnt w

Q n w

v dt:

@t

@D

2:11

to the boundary conditions (2.2), but (2.11) will be useful later on

when dealing with the discrete problem (and, in any case, whenever

boundary conditions of a different type are considered on some part

of the boundary). In the sequel we shall often use v =n and v =t for

@ v =@n and @ v =@t, respectively.

3. The discrete problem. Abstract framework

Let fT h gh be a sequence of decompositions of X into elements K,

and let E h be the set of edges e of T h . We want to construct a nite

dimensional space V h H20 X, a bilinear form ah ; : V h V h

! R, and an element fh 2 V 0h such that the discrete problem:

ah wh ; v h hfh ; v h i 8 v h 2 V h ;

3:1

Namely, if k P 2 is the target degree of accuracy, and the solution w

of (2.3) is smooth enough, we want to have

kw wh kV 6 C h

k1

jwjk1;X ;

3:2

constant independent of h. Note that (3.2), as written, implies our

k th order Patch-Test, since when w 2 Pk then jwjk1 0.

457

F. Brezzi, L.D. Marini / Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 253 (2013) 455462

Let us rst recall the basic assumptions that we need (see e.g.

[12]).

H0 - There exists an integer N and a positive real number c such

that for every h and for every K 2 T h :

the number of edges of K is 6 N,

the ratio between the shortest edge and the diameter hK of

K is bigger than c, and

K is star-shaped with respect to every point of a ball of

radius chK . h

ah u; v 6 a M kukV kv kV

in V h :

3:11

Theorem 3.1. Under the Assumptions H1H2 the discrete problem:

Find wh 2 V h such that

ah wh ; v h hfh ; v h i 8 v h 2 V h ;

3:12

V h and for every approximation wp of w that is piecewise in Pk , we

have

kw wh kV 6 C kw wI kV kw wp kh;V kf fh kV 0

h

notation, the norm in V 0h is dened as

V Kh restriction of V h to K

3:3

split as

ah uh ; v h

X

aKh uh ; v h 8 uh ; v h 2 V h ;

3:4

hf fh ; v h i

:

v h 2V h kv h kV

kf fh kV 0 : sup

h

3:13

Proof. Existence and uniqueness of the solution of (3.12) is a consequence of (3.8) and (2.7). Next, setting

dh : wh wI

where

is a bilinear symmetric form on V Kh V Kh ;

an element fh 2 V 0h . h

aKh

we have

au; v

X

aK u; v 8 u; v 2 V;

K

kv kV

X 2

jv jV;K

6 a adh ; dh 6 ah dh ; dh use 3:14

ah wh ; dh ah wI ; dh use 3:12 and 3:4

X

hfh ; dh i

aKh wI ; dh use wp

!1=2

8v 2 V:

3:5

hfh ; dh i

Q

H2 T h : K H2 K, we also need to dene a broken H2 semi-norm:

jv jh;V :

X 2

jv jV;K

3:14

!1=2

8v 2

hfh ; dh i

hfh ; dh i

X

K

X

K

X

aKh wI wp ; dh aKh wp ; dh use 3:7

aKh wI wp ; dh aK wp ; dh use w and 3:5

aKh wI wp ; dh aK wp w; dh aw; dh

H2 K:

3:15

3:6

a akdh k2V

6 hfh ; dh i

Together with H0 and H1 we further assume the following

properties.

H2 There exists an integer k P 2 (that will determine our order of accuracy) such that for all h, and for all K in T h ,

X

aKh wI wp ; dh aK wp w; dh f ; dh

hfh ; dh i f ; dh

X

aKh wI wp ; dh aK wp w; dh :

K

3:16

K

obtain

k-Consistency: 8p 2 Pk ; 8v h 2 V h

aKh p; v h aK p; v h :

3:7

and of K, such that

8v h 2 V h a aK v h ; v h 6 aKh v h ; v h 6 a aK v h ; v h :

kdh k2V 6 C kf fh kV 0 kwI wp kh;V kw wp kh;V kdh kV

h

3:17

for some constant C depending only on a,a ; a , and M. Then the result follows easily by the triangle inequality. h

3:8

K

We note that the symmetry of ah , (3.8) and the continuity of a easily imply the continuity of ah with

aKh u; v 6 aKh u; u

1=2

1=2

1=2 K

1=2

aKh v ; v

6 a aK u; u

a v ; v

6 a M kukV;K kv kV;K

in V h :

3:9

4. Construction of V h ; ah , and fh

We shall construct now a space V h , a bilinear form ah , and a

right-hand side fh satisfying assumptions H1H2. Our family of elements will depend on three integer indices r; s; m, related to the

degree of accuracy k P 2 by:

r maxf3; kg;

s k 1;

m k 4:

4:1

8v 2 V h a av ; v 6 ah v ; v 6 a av ; v :

and

3:10

related, respectively, to the polynomial degree of the functions in

V h , and to the polynomial degree of their normal derivative, on

458

F. Brezzi, L.D. Marini / Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 253 (2013) 455462

will be related (in a way to be made precise) to degrees of

freedominternal to each element. h

Remark 4.2. As it will be clear when constructing the spaces, condition (4.1) will not allow, for instance, to take the simple choice

r 5; s 3; m 0 and k 4

4:2

need is actually

r P maxf3; kg;

s P k 1;

m P k 4:

4:3

discretizations that depends only on one parameter (here, k). Choosing (4.3), instead, we should actually deal with a family of spaces V h

depending on four parameters r; s; m, and k, with a considerable

complication in the notation and little conceptual gain. However,

in developing our theory we should keep an eye on more general

cases, like (4.3) or other possible approaches for which our theory

would apply almost unchanged (but whose comprehensive treatment would imply a much more complicated notation). h

the d.o.f. (4.7)(4.11): for both elements we have that v 2 P3 e on

v 2 P e for k 2, and @ v 2 P e for k 3. These

each edge, but @@nje

1

2

@nje

elements are the extension to polygonal domains of the HsiehClough-Tocher triangle (k 3) and of its reduced version (k 2).

We note that the degrees of freedom (4.7) and (4.8) are always

needed to ensure C 1 -continuity at the vertices. Moreover, on each

edge, they provide v and v =t at the endpoints of the edge: enough

information to identify uniquely a polynomial of degree 6 3. This,

together with (4.9), explains the requirement r P 3. Indeed, to

identify a polynomial of degree r, together with (4.7) and (4.8)

we need r 3 additional information (as for instance (4.9)). At

the same time, conditions (4.8) provide, for every edge, v =n at the

endpoints of the edge, thus allowing to identify uniquely a polynomial of degree 6 1. For s > 1, to identify a polynomial of degree 6 s,

we would need the additional s 1 conditions (4.10). On the other

hand, the d.o.f. (4.11) are equivalent to prescribe PKm v in K, where,

for m a nonnegative integer,

We summarize the above discussion in the following Proposition.

determine a polynomial of degree 6 r on each edge of K, the degrees of

freedom (4.8) and (4.10) uniquely determine a polynomial of degree

6 s on each edge of K, and the d.o.f. (4.11) are equivalent to prescribe

PKm v in K. h

Let be the number of edges (and hence of vertices) of K, and let

GK be the set of degrees of freedom corresponding to K, whose total

number amounts to

Let K be a generic polygon in T h , let k P 2, and let r; s; m be given by (4.1). We dene V Kh (that will be the local version of our discretized space V h ) as

T : T @ T 0 ; with T @ f3 r 3 s 1g r s 1;

m 1m 2

m2 3m 2

and T 0

:

4:13

2

2

length hn , taken, for instance, as the average of the diameters of the

elements having n as a vertex. To an edge e we can attach, as characteristic length he the length jej of the edge itself, while to an element K we can attach as characteristic length hK its diameter. h

V Kh : fv 2 H2 K s:t: D2 v 2 Pm K; v je 2 Pr e; v =n je

2 P s e; 8e 2 @Kg:

4:4

integer, and e an edge with midpoint xe , we denote by Met the set

of t 1 normalized monomials

Met :

2

t )

x xe x xe

x xe

:

1;

;

;...;

he

he

he

4:5

barycenter xK we denote by MKt the set of t 1t 2=2 normalized monomials

(

b

x xK

K

Mt :

;

hK

jbj 6 t ;

4:6

jbj b1 b2 and xb xb11 xb22 . In K we dene the following degrees

of freedom:

Now we have to show how to associate to the above degrees of freedom a function in K. It is important to point out from the very

beginning that we do not need to be able to compute such a function, but just to show that it exists and it has certain properties.

Proposition 4.2. The degrees of freedom (4.7)(4.11) are unisolvent

in V Kh (as dened in (4.4)).

Proof. According to Proposition 4.1, to prove the proposition it is

enough to show that, for each K 2 T h , a function u in V Kh such that

u 0;

@u

0 on @K

@n

4:14

and

PKm u 0 in K

4:15

4:7

4:8

The values of hn v =1 n and hn v =2 n 8 vertex n:

Z

1

e

For r > 3; the moments

qnv ndn 8q 2 Mr4 ; 8 edge e: 4:9

h

Ze e

For s > 1; the moments qnv =n ndn 8q 2 Mes2 8 edge e: 4:10

e

Z

1

4:11

For m P 0; the moments 2 qxv xdx 8q 2 MKm ::

hK K

Note that all the quantities ((4.7)(4.11)) have the same dimension,

and hence in a homothetic blow up of K would scale in the same

manner.

Fig. 1. Local d.o.f. for the lowest-order element: k 2 (left), and next to the lowest

k 3 (right).

F. Brezzi, L.D. Marini / Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 253 (2013) 455462

K, which joined with (4.14) gives u 0. We rst solve, for every

q 2 Pm K, the following auxiliary problem: Find w wq 2 H20 K

such that:

aK w; v q; v 0;K

8v 2 H20 K;

4:16

DD2 w q in K;

wj@K

@w

0;

@n j@K

or else w DD20;K 1 q:

4:17

4:18

from Pm K into itself. Indeed, from (4.18) and the denition of P Km

we have, for every q 2 Pm K:

Rq; q0;K PKm DD20;K 1 q; q0;K PKm wq; q0;K wq; q0;K

459

in V h is then given by

G 3NV NE r 3 s 1 NK T 0 ;

4:28

internal edges, N K the number of elements, and T 0 is still given by

(4.13). Needless to say, in the construction of v h 2 V h one should

take into account the values of v h and v h=n at the boundary as well,

setting them equal to zero.

Remark 4.5. At this point we can order (in a rather arbitrary way)

the degrees of freedom of V h

g1 ; g2 ; . . . ; gG :

4:29

degree of freedom g i , depending on its nature, according to Remark

4.3. It is obvious that, in the computer code, we will have chosen,

once and for all, an orientation for the normal unit vector, say ne ,

to each internal edge e. h

aK wq; wq:

Since w 2 H20 K we have then that

4:19

4:20

and the proof is concluded.

x21

1

3

x31 n1

4:21

and so on. h

4.2. Global construction of V h

For every decomposition T h , and for every k P 2 we are now

ready to dene the space V h as

D2 v jK 2 Pm K8K 2 T h g;

4:30

e.g. [10]) and using a scaling argument to get around the variability

in the geometry (see e.g. [13]) it is not difcult to see that, for a and

b nonegative indices, we can prove that

kw wI ka;X 6 C h

@K

V h fv 2 V : v je 2 Pr e;

g i w wI 0 8i 1; 2; . . . ; G:

ba

jwjb;X

a 0; 1; 2; a 6 b 6 k 1

4:31

Remark 4.4. We point out once more that we will not try to compute the solutions of the local bi-harmonic problems involved in

the denition of (4.4). On the other hand we will always assume

that we can compute polynomials on @K, and hence also integral

of polynomials over K. Indeed, for instance,

Remark 4.6. It follows easily from the above construction that for

every smooth enough w there exists a unique element wI 2 V h such

that

@v

2 Ps e8e 2 E h ;

@n je

4:22

could be any triple that satises (4.3)). It follows from the above

discussion that the global degrees of freedom in V h could then be

taken as

The value of v n 8 internal vertex n

4:23

4:24

The values of hn v =1 n and hn v =2 n 8 internal vertex n

Z

1

e

qnv ndn 8q 2 Mr4 ; 8 internal edge e4:25

For r > 3; the moments

h

Ze e

qnv =n ndn 8q 2 Mes2 8 internal edge e 4:26

For s > 1; the moments

e

Z

1

qxv xdx 8q 2 MKm 8 element K:

4:27

For m P 0; the moments 2

hK K

framework. h

We point out that (as it happens also for the classical nite elements), different choices of degrees of freedom might be used for

the same space. However a different choice of the local degrees of

freedom can induce a different choice of the global degrees of freedom, that in turn could alter the continuity property of the resulting

functions, giving rise to a different global space. Let us see a couple of

examples that, in our opinion, are particularly meaningful. Let us

consider the value k 5 (and, according to (4.1), r; s; m

5; 4; 1), and the corresponding degrees of freedom in our construction (4.7)(4.11). They are: the values of w; wx ; wy at the vertices, plus, on every edge, the moments up to the order two of w

and of wn , plus the moments up to the order one of w inside the

element. Taking instead k 4 with r 5; s 3, and m 0 (using

this time (4.3)) we would have the same degrees of freedom minus

the moments of order one of wn on each edge. The two cases are

presented in Fig. 2, with obvious meaning of the symbols.

Note that, however, we could as well have used as local degrees

of freedom the ones in Fig. 3, where (with classical notation) the

circles at the vertices represent the six degrees of freedom values

of w; wx ; wy ; wxx ; wxy ; wyy at the vertices.

The theoretical treatment of the case of Fig. 3 could be done in a

way practically identical to the one followed here. As already

pointed out in Remark 4.2 we chose to skip the comprehensive

treatment of all possible cases allowed by our theory, in order to

avoid a too cumbersome notation.

4.3. Construction of ah

We are left to show how to construct a (computable!) symmetric bilinear form ah satisfying (3.7) and (3.8). We shall work on a

460

F. Brezzi, L.D. Marini / Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 253 (2013) 455462

restriction of V h to K. First of all, we observe that the local degrees

of freedom allow us to compute exactly aK p; v for any p 2 Pk K

and for any v 2 V Kh . Indeed, recalling (2.11), we have

D2 p v dx

Z

@v

@M nt p

M nn p

v dt:

Q n p

@t

@n

@K

aK p; v D

4:32

We note then that D2 p belongs to Pk4 K; for m P k 4, the integral over K that appears in (4.32) is then computable using only the

values of the internal degrees of freedom of v, without actually

knowing v. On the other hand, on each edge of K both M nn p (which

belongs to Pk2 e) and Q n p @Mnt p=@t (which belongs to

Pk3 e) are polynomials, as well as v and v =n . From the degrees of

freedom on the boundary we can easily compute both v and v =n ,

and in conclusion all the terms in the right-hand side of (4.32)

can be easily computed without knowing v inside.

b as the

Now for every u 2 C 0 K we dene its quasi-average u

constant function (over K) whose value

1X

b :

u

uxi

i1

4:33

ni , (i 1; 2; . . . ; ) of K. Next, we introduce the operator

PKk : V Kh ! Pk K V Kh dened as the solution of

aK PKk w; q aK w; q 8w 2 V Kh ; 8q 2 Pk K

d

K

d

b

P

rd

PKk w r

w:

k w w;

4:34

PKk v =ij v =ij for i; j 1; 2, that joined with the second equation

gives easily

PKk v v 8v 2 Pk K:

4:35

but not, in general, property (3.8). Hence we need to add a suitable

term capable to ensure (3.8). Let then SK u; v be a symmetric positive denite bilinear form, to be chosen to verify

c0 aK v ; v 6 SK v ; v 6 c1 aK v ; v ; 8v 2 V Kh with PKk v 0;

4:36

4:37

Proposition 4.3. The bilinear form (4.37) constructed with the above

procedure satises both the consistency property (3.7) and the

stability property (3.8).

Proof. Property (3.7) follows immediately from (4.35) and (4.34):

for p 2 Pk K, (4.35) implies SK p PKk p; v PKk v 0 8v , and

hence

element on the left and a Bell-like element on the right.

K

4:38

K

k w; q

0 for all q 2 Pk K

and for all w 2 V Kh , so that by Pythagoras theorem we have

4:39

Property (3.8) follows then easily from (4.36) and (4.39). Indeed

setting a : maxf1; c1 g we have

6 maxf1; c1 g aK PKk v ; PKk v aK v PKk v ; v PKk v

a aK v ; v ;

4:40

and similarly, setting a : minf1; c0 g:

aKh v ; v P minf1; c0 g aK PKk v ; PKk v aK v PKk v ; v PKk v

a aK v ; v :

4:41

4.4. Choice of SK

In general, the choice of the bilinear form SK might depend on the

problem and on the degrees of freedom. From (4.36) it is clear that

SK must scale like aK ; on the kernel of PKk . Since in (4.23)(4.27)

we took care to have degrees of freedom of the same dimension,

then all the elements of the canonical basis u1 ; . . . ; uT dened by

g i uj dij ;

i; j 1; T;

4:42

will scale in the same way (and in particular as the ones associated

to point value degrees of freedom). Hence the choice

SK v ; w D

T

X

g i v g i whi 2 ;

i1

Remark 4.7. Clearly, is we decide to use degrees of freedom

involving second derivatives, as the ones in Fig. 3, we should scale

2

them by hn in order to apply the above argument h

In order to build the loading term hfh ; v h i for v h 2 V h in a simple

and easy way it is convenient to have internal degrees of freedom

in V h , and this means, according to (4.1) and (4.11), that we need

k P 4. In this case we dene fh on each element K as the L2 K

projection of the load f onto the space of piecewise polynomials

of degree m k 4, that is,

Fig. 2. Local d.o.f. for the (5,4,1) element with k 5 (left), and for the (5,3,0)

element with k 4 (right).

fh PKk4 f

on each K 2 T h :

F. Brezzi, L.D. Marini / Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 253 (2013) 455462

hfh ; v h i

XZ

fh v h dx

K2T h

XZ

K

K2T h

XZ

K2T h

Acknowledgements

PKk4 f v h dx

f PKk4 v h dx

represent the internal moments, see (4.11).

For k > 4, that is, m k 4 P 1, standard L2 orthogonality and

approximation estimates on star-shaped domains yield

hfh ; v h i f ; v h

XZ

6C

P Kk4 f f v h PK1 v h dx

k3

hK jf jk3;K

2

hK k h k2;K

K2T h

6 Ch

k1

X

jf j2k3;K

1=2

kv h kV ;

4:43

K2T h

kf fh kV 0 6 Ch

k1

!1=2

jf j2k3;K

4:44

K2T h

k1

Hence, for k > 4 Theorem 3.1 ensures the optimal Oh error bound.

For k 6 4 we need some additional tricks. In view of Remark 4.4 we

assume that we are able to compute exactly the integral

Z

K

p1 q1 dx

4:45

case k 2; 3; 4 the term hfh ; v h i will then be dened by

hfh ; v h iK

Z

K

bk v h

ek f P

P

1

1

4:46

e k and P

b k are projectors on the space of polynomials of dewhere P

1

1

gree 6 1 that will change from one value of k to another.

For k 2 and for k 3 we take

e k f : PK f ;

fhjK P

k2

1

bk v h v

d

e h : v

ch k 2x xK r

P

vh

1

on each K:

4:47

e h 2 Pk2 K.

Note that for both values k 2 and k 3 we have that v

Hence on each K we have

fh K f ; v h K

hfh ; v h iK f ; v h K PKk2 f ; v

fh K f ; v

fh v h K

PKk2 f f ; v

k1

f ; v

4:48

e k f : PK f ;

fhjK P

1

1

bk v h v

e h : PK0 v h x xK

P

1

d

r

vh

grant No. (38-3-1432/HiCi). The authors, therefore, acknowledge

technical and nancial support of KAU. The authors acknowledge

as well support of MIUR (Italian Ministery of University and

Research), under project PRIN2008. The rst author also thanks

Ahmed Alsaedi and Bashir Ahmad for the fruitful conversations.

References

K2T h

461

on each K:

4:49

We have on each K

e h K f ; v h K

hfh ; v h iK f ; v h K PK1 f ; v

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e h v h K

PK1 f f ; v

e h v h K 6 Ch3K jf j1;K kv h k2;K

f PK0 f ; v

4:50

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