# [aspect-devel] Newton solver

Wolfgang Bangerth bangerth at tamu.edu
Fri Sep 25 15:09:05 PDT 2015

```On 09/25/2015 11:47 AM, Menno Fraters wrote:
> Thanks for your detailed response. I really like that you structured it in a
> way in which it can be implemented in small pieces.

Thanks for the kind words -- I don't have all that much time to program myself
any more, but I think I'm still pretty good with this sort of conceptual work
of designing code and laying out the steps to get there :-)

> My first question is if you could elaborate a bit on why the first option has

The problem with matrix free methods is always the issue with preconditioners.
and therefore don't have any easy way to define preconditioners that are based
on matrix entries. This is true for simple preconditioners like Jacobi or SSOR
as well as more complicated ones like algebraic multigrid (AMG). The only
option you have is to use geometric multigrid methods because there you can
assemble the level matrices as you need them on each level, just like you
would for the system matrix.

A second problem is that if you needed to assemble (cell-local) matrix
contributions many times over because you want to work matrix-free (where you
need to do assembly on every cell for every GMRES iteration and every inner CG
iteration), then you really need to be fast with assembly. deal.II has some
facilities that could be used for this, but the current scheme would almost
certainly be too slow for it. It would also make it a far bigger problem than
it currently is that some of the material models need to do a *lot* of work at
every quadrature point to compute coefficient values. This is not so much of a
problem in the current scheme where we do the assembly only once per timestep,
but it would become a major obstacle if you had to do it in every iteration.

> My second question is if it would be possible the make evaluating the
> derivative optional, because otherwise if I would implement this, I would need
> to implement the derivative for all current material models of which some work
> with quite complex rheologies and cut of the viscosity at a upper and lower
> threshold, which can make calculating the derivative very hard.

Correct: you'd make it optional at first and only allow using the Newton
solver for models that implement computing derivatives.

We could come up with ways to compute derivatives automatically using
automatic differentiation (see step-33 for an example). There clearly are also
cases where exact derivatives don't exist and in that case one would have to
run Newton methods with inexact derivatives -- quite a common thing to do, in
fact.

Best
W.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolfgang Bangerth               email:            bangerth at math.tamu.edu
www: http://www.math.tamu.edu/~bangerth/

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