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2, MARCH 2002

421

for the 3-D Boundary-Element Method

Stefan Kurz, Member, IEEE, Oliver Rain, and Sergej Rjasanow

method (BEM) yields fully populated matrices. Their manipulation is cumbersome with respect to memory consumption and computational costs. This paper describes a novel approach where the

matrices are split into collections of blocks of various sizes. Those

blocks which describe remote interactions are adaptively approximated by low rank submatrices. This procedure reduces the algorithmic complexity for matrix setup and matrix-by-vector products to approximately ( ). The proposed method has been examined in a testing environment and implemented into an existing

BEM-finite-element method (FEM) code for electromagnetic and

electromechanical problems. The advantages of the new method

are demonstrated by means of several examples.

Index TermsBoundary-element methods, fast methods, finiteelement methods.

I. INTRODUCTION

(BEM) for the solution of linear electromagnetic problems

has many advantages. Only the boundaries of the considered

domains need to be discretized, open boundary problems pose

no additional difficulties, and problems including motion can

be treated elegantly. However, application of the BEM leads to

dense matrices. The storage requirements and computational

, where

is the number of unknowns,

costs are of

when a preconditioned iterative solver is applied. This means

that only relatively small problems can be solved on usual PCs

or workstations. One remedy could be the exploitation of the

parallelism inherent to the BEM [1].

In this paper, a different approach is presented, which

reduces the algorithmic complexity for matrix setup and ma. This approach

trix-by-vector products to approximately

is called adaptive cross approximation (ACA) and will be

explained in detail in Section II. The first part of Section III

is devoted to the solution of the Laplace equation by means

of the ACA-BEM. These computations have been performed

in an ACA testing environment to collect informations about

memory requirements, compression rates and CPU times. In

a second step, the ACA algorithm has been implemented into

an existing BEM-finite-element method (FEM) code for the

solution of electromagnetic and electromechanical problems.

The second part of Section III reports results obtained by this

S. Kurz and O. Rain are with the Robert Bosch GmbH, 70049 Stuttgart, Germany (e-mail: stefan.kurz2@de.bosch.com; oliver.rain@de.bosch.com).

S. Rjasanow is with the Universitt des Saarlandes, Fachbereich Mathematik,

66041 Saarbrcken, Germany (e-mail: rjasanow@num.uni-sb.de).

Publisher Item Identifier S 0018-9464(02)02351-8.

Fig. 1. Clustering for a simple example with ten collocation points. A large

distance between two collocation points results in a large difference of the

respective equation numbers.

methods for the BEM can be found in Section IV.

II. THE ADAPTIVE CROSS APPROXIMATION

Large dense matrices coming from integral equations have

no explicit structure in general. However, it is possible to find a

permutation so that the matrix with permuted rows and columns

contains rather large blocks close to some low-rank matrices

[2][5].

To find a suitable permutation, a cluster tree is constructed by

recursively partitioning the collocation points according to some

geometrical criterion. A simple example for such a clustering is

given in Fig. 1. A large distance between two collocation points

results in a large difference of the respective equation numbers.

Next, cluster pairs which are geometrically well separated are

identified. They will be regarded as admissible cluster pairs,

e.g., the clusters {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} and {8, 9, 10} in Fig. 1. The

cluster tree together with the set of admissible cluster pairs

allows to split the matrix into a collection of blocks of various

sizes. The block structure for the simple example is shown in

Fig. 2. Since the off-diagonal blocks which describe remote interactions are close to some low-rank matrices, it might be a

good idea to approximate them by low-rank matrices. We are,

thus, led to the following matrix approximation problem for the

individual blocks of the given matrix.

and an accuracy

, find

Given a matrix

an approximant with

and provide the

.

minimal possible value for

422

Fig. 2. The permuted matrix for the example depicted in Fig. 1 contains rather

large off-diagonal blocks which describe remote interactions and which are

close to some low-rank matrices.

Here,

denotes the Frobenius norm of the matrix . The

solution of this problem is given by the singular-value decomposition (SVD) of the block

Fig. 3. TEAM problem 10. An exciting coil is set between two steel channels,

and a steel plate is inserted between the channels. The surfaces of this geometry

have been discretized by linear triangular elements to obtain an input mesh for

the ACA testing environment.

(1)

and denote the greatest singular triples of the

where

matrix and the rank is chosen so that the required accuracy

of the approximation is fulfilled.

Since the SVD requires the computation of the whole matrix

in advance and since SVD is rather expensive with respect

this analytical solution is not

to numerical work

practicable.

We present now the algorithm of ACA, which allows to generate only few rows and columns of the matrix and approximate the rest of the matrix using only this information.

and for

compute

Let

to

. Note that

contains the exact pivot rows and pivot

the approximation

. An appropriate stopping

columns of the matrix for all

criterion is given by

(2)

Since the matrix will not be generated completely only the

is available. This norm can be

norm of the approximation

computed recursively the following way:

(3)

The amount of numerical work required by the ACA algorithm

. Thus, if the numerical rank of the approxis

imation remains constant (which is usually the case), then the

total numerical work for the approximation and the memory re.

quirements are both of the order

III. EXAMPLES

A. Application to the Laplace Equation

, where

is a low-rank

matrix into a sum

matrix (

) and

denotes the error of the approximation. It is important to remark that neither the matrix

nor the error

will be computed completely. In the first

step of the algorithm, the row with index

of the matrix

will be generated and the corresponding row of the error

will be computed. During this computation the position and the

-row of

will be

value of the maximum element in the

determined (Step 2). This element will be called the pivot element. In Step 3, the

-row of

will be normalized and

. Since the position

of the pivot element

denoted by

in the

-row of

is known we are able to compute the corresponding column of this matrix and denote it as

(Step 4).

During the computation the position of the next pivot element in

-column will be fixed (

) in Step 5. The last step of

the

The aim of these computations is to examine the numerical

properties of the ACA algorithm rather than to solve a technical problem. The ACA testing environment deals with an ex.

terior Dirichlet problem for the Laplace equation

The considered boundary surface is discretized by linear triangular elements. The potential is represented by a singleand a double-layer potential (direct method). Nodal collocation

yields a linear system whose system matrices are approximated

by means of the ACA. The approximated system is solved iteratively by using the generalized minimum residual method

5

(GMRES). In all computations, we set the accuracy

10 .

First, we consider the geometry of testing electromagnetic

anaylsis methods (TEAM) problem 10 [6]. The coarsest mesh

5000 collocation points is shown in

with approximately

Fig. 3.

We perform two mesh refinements in order to get meshes

with about 20 000 and 80 000 collocation points, respectively.

TABLE I

MEMORY REQUIREMENTS USING THE ACA ALGORITHM

TABLE II

COMPUTATION TIMES USING THE ACA ALGORITHM

The values refer to a 1.2-GHz AMD Athlon PC. Note that the table shows the wallclock

time and not the CPU time. Therefore, it includes the swap time which the computer needed

during the computation for the finest mesh. Still, even the wallclock time does not grow like

423

TABLE III

MEMORY REQUIREMENTS USING THE ACA ALGORITHM

TABLE IV

COMPUTATION TIMES USING THE ACA ALGORITHM

The size of the approximants and their relative size are given

in Table III. The average scaling factors due to the mesh refinements are 5.7 and 4.8, respectively. Thus, we again observe

the asymptotically linear behavior of the memory consumption.

Analogously to the first example we give the time spent generating the approximants as well as the costs of an iteration step

in Table IV.

The numerical examples above show that the memory usage

of the BEM matrices computed by the ACA method grows almost linearly with the number of unknowns on the boundary.

The same behavior is observable with respect to the time of

approximant generation and the matrix vector multiplication.

Hence, by using the ACA method we are able to handle BEM

problems whose solution by application of standard BEM would

be impossible with the same resources.

Fig. 4. Electromechanical relay. The magnetic circuit consists of a pole core,

a magnetic yoke, and a movable armature. Again, the surfaces have been

discretized by linear triangular elements to obtain an input mesh for the ACA

testing environment.

as well as the costs of the matrix vector multiplication would

grow after each refinement step with ratio 16. Table I shows the

memory requirements using the ACA algorithm for the three

TEAM meshes. There are the real size of the approximants

given as well as their relative size compared to the full storage.

Taking into account available resources, application of the standard BEM would be possible on the coarsest mesh only.

We can observe the almost linear behavior of the memory

usage. The average scaling factor of the matrix size after the first

mesh refinement is equal to 6.0 and decreases to 5.2 after the

second one. Thus, we see that the ratio the matrix size is growing

with gets closer to linear for large . Also, the time needed for

an iteration step of GMRES and for generation of the approximants grows almost linearly, because the costs of the corresponding matrix vector multiplication performed in GMRES directly depend on the matrix size. These data are given in Table II.

The second mesh sequence is based on the geometry of an

electromechanical relay as shown in Fig. 4 and explained in

more detail in [1] and [7].

Again, we consider three meshes and study the behavior of

the memory usage and costs of the matrix vector multiplication.

B. Application to a BEM-FEM-Code

Electromagnetic devices can be analyzed by the coupled

BEM-FEM method, where the conducting and magnetic parts

are discretized by finite elements. In contrast, the surrounding

space is described with the BEM. This discretization scheme is

well suited for problems including moving parts and has been

described in detail elsewhere [7][9].

In the air domain, the BEM is applied to solve the equa, where is the Coulomb gauged magnetic

tion

vector potential and an impressed source current density. This

vector equation decouples into three scalar equations for the

Cartesian components of , so that we are left with the same

situation as in the ACA testing environment. We implemented

the ACA algorithm into the BEM-FEM code and performed

computations for the examples depicted in Figs. 3 and 4. However, quadratic six-noded triangles in connection with quadratic

ten-noded tetrahedra have been employed for this analysis.

TEAM problem 10 has been treated as a magnetostatic

problem (for details, see [10]). The symmetry of the problem

has intentionally been disregarded. Some results are collected

in Table V.

The difference of the flux densities with and without ACA

(0.5%) is much smaller than the difference to the measured value

of 1.67 T (3.4%) which is due to the still relatively coarse mesh.

However, the computer resources for ACA-BEM dropped to

about half the amount needed for the standard BEM.

424

TABLE V

MESH AND COMPUTATIONAL DATA FOR TEAM PROBLEM 10

TABLE VI

MESH AND COMPUTATIONAL DATA FOR THE RELAY

tions [5], multipole decomposition [11]) is that only the original entries of the system matrix are used for its approximation.

Thus, the already-developed procedures for the generating of

the BEM matrices can be used after some minor modifications.

The ACA algorithm is not difficult to implement in contrast to

practical implementation of the Taylor series or spherical harmonics used in the multipole method. On the other hand, the

multipole method allows the rapid computation of fields and potentials in the BEM domain once the problem has been solved

[12].

The second advantage of the ACA-BEM is that any arbitrary accuracy of the approximation can easily be reached. In

the worst case, the whole matrix will be generated without any

error. Using the sequence of the less and less accurate approximations of the same coarse discretization we are able to fix the

bound of the acceptable approximation error. Then, an obvious

reduction of this bound due to the increased dimension of the

matrix can be used for the final computations on the fine grid.

REFERENCES

As a final example, the closing process of the electromechanical relay has been studied, where only half of the mesh shown in

Fig. 4 was considered by taking advantage of the symmetry (for

details, see [1] and [7]). Results of this computation are given

in Table VI.

This example requires an enormous amount of CPU time,

because there are many time steps and the BEM matrices have

to be reprocessed frequently due to the motion of the armature.

The ACA implementation for problems with symmetry is not

yet optimized. Despite that fact the memory requirement could

still be reduced to 50% of the previous value.

IV. CONCLUSION

The memory consumption of the standard BEM turns out to

be the limiting factor in many practical applications. The above

results show that the ACA-BEM is a feasible means to overcome

these limitations.

The main advantage of the ACA method over the other fast

BEM techniques (H-Matrices [4], pseudoskeleton approxima-

analysis of electromechanical devices using parallel BEM coupled to

FEM, IEEE Trans. Magn., vol. 36, pp. 13601363, July 2000.

[2] M. Bebendorf, Approximation of boundary element matrices, Numer.

Math., vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 565589, 2000.

[3] M. Bebendorf and S. Rjasanow, Matrix compression for the radiation

heat transfer in exhaust pipes, in Multifield Problems, A.-M. Sndig,

W. Schiehlen, and W. L. Wendland, Eds. Berlin, Germany: SpringerVerlag, 2000, pp. 183191.

[4] W. Hackbusch, A sparse matrix arithmetic based on H-matricesPart

I, Computing, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 89108, 1999.

[5] S. A. Goreinov, E. E. Tyrtyshnikov, and N. L. Zamarashkin, A theory

of pseudoskeleton approximations, Linear Algebra Applicat., vol. 261,

pp. 121, 1997.

[6] T. Nakata, N. Takahashi, and K. Fujiwara, Summary of results for benchmark problem 10 (steel plates around a coil),

COMPEL, pp. 335344, Sept. 1992. [Online]. Available: http://ics.eclyon.fr/team.html.

[7] S. Kurz, U. Becker, and H. Maisch, Dynamic simulation of electromechanical systemsFrom Maxwells theory to common rail diesel injection, Naturwissenschaften, 2001, to be published.

[8] S. Kurz, J. Fetzer, G. Lehner, and W. M. Rucker, A novel formulation

for 3D eddy current problems with moving bodies using a Lagrangian

description and BEM-FEM coupling, IEEE Trans. Magn., vol. 34, pp.

30683073, Sept. 1998.

, Numerical analysis of 3D eddy current problems with moving

[9]

bodies using BEM-FEM coupling, Surveys Math. Ind., vol. 9, pp.

131150, 1999.

[10] K. Preis et al., Numerical analysis of 3D magnetostatic fields, IEEE

Trans. Magn., vol. 27, pp. 37983803, Sept. 1991.

[11] V. Rokhlin, Rapid solution of integral equations of classical potential

theory, J. Comput. Phys., vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 187207, 1985.

[12] A. Buchau, W. Rieger, and W. M. Rucker, Fast field computations with

the fast multipole method, COMPEL, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 547561, 2001.

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