Journal of Scientific Computing

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 1169–1196 | Cite as

A Goal-Oriented Error Estimator for a Class of Homogenization Problems

  • Thomas CarraroEmail author
  • Christian Goll


We present a goal-oriented a posteriori error estimator for finite element approximations of a class of homogenization problems. As a rule, homogenization problems are defined through the coupling of a macroscopic solution and the solution of auxiliary problems. In this work we assume that the homogenized problem is known and that it depends on a finite number of auxiliary problems. The accuracy in the goal functional depends therefore on the discretization error of the macroscopic and the auxiliary solutions. We show that it is possible to compute the error contributions of all solution components separately and use this information to balance the different discretization errors. Additionally, we steer a local mesh refinement for both the macroscopic problem and the auxiliary problems. The high efficiency of this approach is shown by numerical examples. These include the upscaling of a periodic diffusion tensor, the case of a Stokes flow over a porous bed, and the homogenization of a fuel cell model which includes the flow in a gas channel over a porous substrate coupled with a multispecies nonlinear transport equation.


A posteriori error estimation Dual based adaptivity Finite element method Homogenization problems Stokes/Darcy coupling Fuel cell application 



TC was supported by the German Research Council (DFG) through project “Multiscale modeling and numerical simulations of Lithium ion battery electrodes using real microstructures” (CA 633/2-1).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Applied MathematicsHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany

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