Numerische Mathematik

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 185–202 | Cite as

Some upwinding techniques for finite element approximations of convection-diffusion equations

  • Randolph E. Bank
  • Josef F. Bürgler
  • Wolfgang Fichtner
  • R. Kent Smith


A uniform framework for the study of upwinding schemes is developed. The standard finite element Galerkin discretization is chosen as the reference discretization, and differences between other discretization schemes and the reference are written as artificial diffusion terms. These artificial diffusion terms are spanned by a four dimensional space of element diffusion matrices. Three basis matrices are symmetric, rank one diffusion operators associated with the edges of the triangle; the fourth basis matrix is skew symmetric and is associated with a rotation by ϕ/2. While finite volume discretizations may be written as upwinded Galerkin methods, the converse does not appear to be true. Our approach is used to examine several upwinding schemes, including the streamline diffusion method, the box method, the Scharfetter-Gummel discretization, and a divergence-free scheme.

Subject classifications

AMS(MOS) 65N05 65N10 65N20 CR: G1.8 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randolph E. Bank
    • 1
  • Josef F. Bürgler
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Fichtner
    • 2
  • R. Kent Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Integrated Systems LaboratorySwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.AT & T Bell LaboratoriesMurray HillUSA

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