Optimum interpolation functions for Boundary Element Method

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In the Boundary Element Method (BEM) the density functions are approximated by interpolation functions which are chosen to satisfy appropriate continuity requirements. The error of approximation inside an element depends upon the location of the collocation points that are used in constructing the interpolation functions. The location of collocation points also affects the nodal values of the density function and, hence, the total error in the analysis if boundary conditions are satisfied in a collocation sense. In this paper, we minimize the error inside the element using the L1 norm to obtain the optimum location of collocation points. Results show that irrespective of the continuity requirement at the element end, the location of collocation points computed by the algorithm presented in this paper results in an error that is less than the error corresponding to uniformly spaced collocation points. Results for optimum location of collocation points and the average error are presented for Lagrange polynomials up to order fifteen and for Hermite polynomials that ensure continuity up to the seventh order of derivative at the element end. The information of the optimum location of interpolation points for Lagrange and Hermite polynomials should be useful to other researchers in BEM who could incorporate it into their current programs without making significant changes that would be needed for incorporating the algorithm. The algorithm presented is independent of the BEM application in two-dimensions, provided that the density functions are approximated by polynomials and is applicable to direct and indirect formulations. Two numerical examples show the application of the algorithm to an elastostatic problem in which one boundary is represented by integrals of the Direct BEM while the other boundary by the Indirect BEM and a fracture mechanics problem by Direct method in which the crack is represented by displacement discontinuity density function.

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Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements