# Demo - 1D Poisson’s equation¶

- Authors
Mikael Mortensen (mikaem at math.uio.no)

- Date
Nov 14, 2019

*Summary.* This is a demonstration of how the Python module shenfun can be used to solve Poisson’s
equation with Dirichlet boundary conditions in one dimension. Spectral convergence, as
shown in Figure Convergence of 1D Poisson solvers for both Legendre and Chebyshev modified basis function, is demonstrated.
The demo is implemented in
a single Python file dirichlet_poisson1D.py, and
the numerical method is is described in more detail by J. Shen [She94] and [She95].

## Model problem¶

### Poisson’s equation¶

Poisson’s equation is given as

where \(u(x)\) is the solution, \(f(x)\) is a function and \(a, b\) are two possibly non-zero constants.

To solve Eq. (1) with the Galerkin method we need smooth continuously differentiable basis functions, \(v_k\), that satisfy the given boundary conditions. And then we look for solutions like

where \(N\) is the size of the discretized problem, \(\hat{\mathbf{u}} = \{\hat{u}_k\}_{k=0}^{N-1}\) are the unknown expansion coefficients, and the basis is \(\text{span}\{v_k\}_{k=0}^{N-1}\).

The basis functions can, for example, be constructed from Chebyshev, \(T_k(x)\), or Legendre, \(L_k(x)\), polynomials and we use the common notation \(\phi_k(x)\) to represent either one of them. It turns out that it is easiest to use basis functions with homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions

for \(k=0, 1, \ldots N-3\). This gives the basis \(V^N_0 = \text{span}\{v_k(x)\}_{k=0}^{N-3}\). We can then add two more linear basis functions (that belong to the kernel of Poisson’s equation)

which gives the inhomogeneous basis \(V^N = \text{span}\{v_k\}_{k=0}^{N-1}\). With the two linear basis functions it is easy to see that the last two degrees of freedom, \(\hat{u}_{N-2}\) and \(\hat{u}_{N-1}\), now are given as

and, as such, we only have to solve for \(\{\hat{u}_k\}_{k=0}^{N-3}\), just like for a problem with homogeneous boundary conditions (for homogeneous boundary condition we simply have \(\hat{u}_{N-2} = \hat{u}_{N-1} = 0\)). We now formulate a variational problem using the Galerkin method: Find \(u \in V^N\) such that

Note that since we only have \(N-3\) unknowns we are only using the homogeneous test functions from \(V^N_0\).

The weighted integrals, weighted by \(w(x)\), are called inner products, and a common notation is

The integral can either be computed exactly, or with quadrature. The advantage of the latter is that it is generally faster, and that non-linear terms may be computed just as quickly as linear. For a linear problem, it does not make much of a difference, if any at all. Approximating the integral with quadrature, we obtain

where \(\{w(x_j)\}_{j=0}^{N-1}\) are quadrature weights. The quadrature points \(\{x_j\}_{j=0}^{N-1}\) are specific to the chosen basis, and even within basis there are two different choices based on which quadrature rule is selected, either Gauss or Gauss-Lobatto.

Inserting for test and trialfunctions, we get the following bilinear form and matrix \(A\in\mathbb{R}^{N-3\times N-3}\) for the Laplacian (using the summation convention in step 2)

Note that the sum in \(a_{jk} \hat{u}_{k}\) runs over \(k=0, 1, \ldots, N-3\) since the second derivatives of \(v_{N-1}\) and \(v_{N}\) are zero. The right hand side linear form and vector is computed as \(\tilde{f}_j = (f, v_j)_w^N\), for \(j=0,1,\ldots, N-3\), where a tilde is used because this is not a complete transform of the function \(f\), but only an inner product.

The linear system of equations to solve for the expansion coefficients of \(u(x)\) is given as

Now, when the expansion coefficients \(\hat{\mathbf{u}}\) are found by solving this linear system, they may be transformed to real space \(u(x)\) using (3), and here the contributions from \(\hat{u}_{N-2}\) and \(\hat{u}_{N-1}\) must be accounted for. Note that the matrix \(A\) (different for Legendre or Chebyshev) has a very special structure that allows for a solution to be found very efficiently in order of \(\mathcal{O}(N)\) operations, see [She94] and [She95]. These solvers are implemented in shenfun for both bases.

### Method of manufactured solutions¶

In this demo we will use the method of manufactured
solutions to demonstrate spectral accuracy of the `shenfun`

Dirichlet bases. To
this end we choose an analytical function that satisfies the given boundary
conditions:

where \(k\) is an integer and \(a\) and \(b\) are constants. Now, feeding \(u_e\) through the Laplace operator, we see that the last two linear terms disappear, whereas the first term results in

Now, setting \(f_e(x) = \nabla^2 u_e(x)\) and solving for \(\nabla^2 u(x) = f_e(x)\), we can compare the numerical solution \(u(x)\) with the analytical solution \(u_e(x)\) and compute error norms.

## Implementation¶

### Preamble¶

We will solve Poisson’s equation using the shenfun Python module. The first thing needed is then to import some of this module’s functionality plus some other helper modules, like Numpy and Sympy:

```
from shenfun import inner, div, grad, TestFunction, TrialFunction, Function, \
project, Dx, Array, Basis
import numpy as np
from sympy import symbols, cos, sin, exp, lambdify
```

We use `Sympy`

for the manufactured solution and `Numpy`

for testing.

### Manufactured solution¶

The exact solution \(u_e(x)\) and the right hand side \(f_e(x)\) are created using
`Sympy`

as follows

```
a = -1
b = 1
k = 4
x = symbols("x")
ue = sin(k*np.pi*x)*(1-x**2) + a*(1 + x)/2. + b*(1 - x)/2.
fe = ue.diff(x, 2)
# Lambdify for faster evaluation
ul = lambdify(x, ue, 'numpy')
fl = lambdify(x, fe, 'numpy')
```

These solutions are now valid for a continuous domain. The next step is thus to discretize, using a discrete mesh \(\{x_j\}_{j=0}^{N-1}\) and a finite number of basis functions.

Note that it is not mandatory to use `Sympy`

for the manufactured solution. Since the
solution is known (14), we could just as well simply use `Numpy`

to compute \(f_e\) at \(\{x_j\}_{j=0}^{N-1}\). However, with `Sympy`

it is much
easier to experiment and quickly change the solution.

### Discretization¶

We create a basis with a given number of basis functions, and extract the computational mesh from the basis itself

```
N = 32
SD = Basis(N, 'Chebyshev', bc=(a, b))
#SD = Basis(N, 'Legendre', bc=(a, b))
X = SD.mesh(N)
```

Note that we can either choose a Legendre or a Chebyshev basis.

### Variational formulation¶

The variational problem (12) can be assembled using `shenfun`

’s
`TrialFunction`

, `TestFunction`

and `inner()`

functions.

```
u = TrialFunction(SD)
v = TestFunction(SD)
# Assemble left hand side matrix
A = inner(v, div(grad(u)))
# Assemble right hand side
fj = Array(SD, buffer=fl(X))
f_hat = Function(SD)
f_hat = inner(v, fj, output_array=f_hat)
```

Note that `fl(X)`

returns a Numpy array of the correct shape and type of
the left hand side of (3), evaluated on all quadrature points `X`

.
We wrap this Numpy array in an `Array`

class
(`fj = Array(SD, buffer=fl(X))`

), because an Array
is required as input to the `inner()`

function.

### Solve linear equations¶

Finally, solve linear equation system and transform solution from spectral \(\{\hat{u}_k\}_{k=0}^{N-1}\) vector to the real space \(\{u(x_j)\}_{j=0}^{N-1}\) and then check how the solution corresponds with the exact solution \(u_e\).

```
u_hat = A.solve(f_hat)
uj = SD.backward(u_hat)
ue = ul(X)
print("Error=%2.16e" %(np.linalg.norm(uj-ue)))
assert np.allclose(uj, ue)
```

### Convergence test¶

A complete solver is given in Sec. Complete solver. This solver is created such that it takes in two commandline arguments and prints out the \(l_2\)-errornorm of the solution in the end. We can use this to write a short script that performs a convergence test. The solver is run like

```
>>> python dirichlet_poisson1D.py 32 legendre
Error=6.5955040031498912e-10
```

for a discretization of size \(N=32\) and for the Legendre basis. Alternatively,
change `legendre`

to `chebyshev`

for the Chebyshev basis.

We set up the solver to run for a list of \(N=[12, 16, \ldots, 48]\), and collect the errornorms in arrays to be plotted. Such a script can be easily created with the subprocess module

```
import subprocess
N = range(12, 50, 4)
error = {}
for basis in ('legendre', 'chebyshev'):
error[basis] = []
for i in range(len(N)):
output = subprocess.check_output("python dirichlet_poisson1D.py {} {}".format(N[i], basis), shell=True)
exec(output) # Error is printed as "Error=%2.16e"%(np.linalg.norm(uj-ua))
error[basis].append(Error)
```

The error can be plotted using matplotlib, and the generated figure is shown in the summary’s Fig. Convergence of 1D Poisson solvers for both Legendre and Chebyshev modified basis function. The spectral convergence is evident and we can see that after \(N=40\) roundoff errors dominate as the errornorm trails off around \(10^{-14}\).

```
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
plt.figure(figsize=(6, 4))
for basis, col in zip(('legendre', 'chebyshev'), ('r', 'b')):
plt.semilogy(N, error[basis], col, linewidth=2)
plt.title('Convergence of Poisson solvers 1D')
plt.xlabel('N')
plt.ylabel('Error norm')
plt.savefig('poisson1D_errornorm.png')
plt.legend(('Legendre', 'Chebyshev'))
plt.show()
```

### Complete solver¶

A complete solver, that can use either Legendre or Chebyshev bases, chosen as a command-line argument, can be found here.

- PSS18
Ambrish Pandey, Janet D. Scheel, and Jörg Schumacher. Turbulent superstructures in rayleigh-bénard convection.

*Nature Communications*, 9(1):2118, 2018. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04478-0.