Nonlinear multigrid solvers exploiting AMGe coarse spaces with approximation properties

Max la Cour Christensen, Panayot S. Vassilevski, Umberto Villa*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper introduces a nonlinear multigrid solver for mixed finite element discretizations based on the Full Approximation Scheme (FAS) and element-based Algebraic Multigrid (AMGe). The AMGe coarse spaces with approximation properties used in this work enable us to overcome the difficulties in evaluating the nonlinear coarse operators and the degradation in convergence rates that characterized previous attempts to extend FAS to algebraic multilevel hierarchies on general unstructured grids. Specifically, the AMGe technique employed in this paper allows to derive stable and accurate coarse discretizations on general unstructured grids for a large class of nonlinear partial differential equations, including saddle point problems. The approximation properties of the coarse spaces ensure that our FAS approach for general unstructured meshes leads to optimal mesh-independent convergence rates similar to those achieved by geometric FAS on a nested hierarchy of refined meshes. In the numerical results, Newton’s method and Picard iterations with state-of-the-art inner linear solvers are compared to our FAS algorithm for the solution of a nonlinear saddle point problem arising from porous media flow applications. Our approach outperforms – both in terms of number of iterations and computational time – traditional methods in all the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Computational and Applied Mathematics
Pages (from-to)691-708
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Nonlinear multigrid (FAS)
  • Element-based algebraic multigrid (AMGe)
  • Nonlinear saddle point problems
  • Multilevel numerical upscaling
  • Mixed finite element method (MFEM)
  • Flow in porous media


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