A semi-implicit meshless method for incompressible flows in complex geometries

Shantanu Shahane, Surya Pratap Vanka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present an exponentially convergent semi-implicit meshless algorithm for the solution of Navier-Stokes equations in complex domains. The algorithm discretizes partial derivatives at scattered points using radial basis functions (RBF) as interpolants. Higher-order polynomials are appended to the polyharmonic splines (PHS-RBF) and a collocation method is used to derive the interpolation coefficients. The interpolating kernels are then differentiated and the partial-differential equations are satisfied by collocation at the scattered points. The PHS-RBF interpolation is shown to be exponentially convergent with discretization errors decreasing as a high power of a representative distance between points. We present here a semi-implicit algorithm for time-dependent and steady state fluid flows in complex domains. At each time step, several iterations are performed to converge the momentum and continuity equations. A Poisson equation for pressure corrections is formulated by imposing divergence free condition on the iterated velocity field. At each time step, the momentum and pressure correction equations are repeatedly solved until the velocities and pressure converge to a pre-specified tolerance. We have demonstrated the convergence and discretization accuracy of the algorithm for two model problems and simulated four other complex problems. In all cases, the algorithm is stable for Courant numbers in excess of ten. The algorithm has the potential to accurately and efficiently solve many fluid flow and heat transfer problems in complex domains. An open source code Meshless Multi-Physics Software (MeMPhyS) [1] is available for interested users of the algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111715
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Incompressible Navier-Stokes equation
  • Meshless method
  • Polyharmonic spline
  • Radial basis function based finite difference
  • Semi-implicit method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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