Smoothed aggregation multigrid solvers for high-order discontinuous Galerkin methods for elliptic problems

Luke Olson, Jacob B. Schroder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a smoothed aggregation-based algebraic multigrid solver for high-order discontinuous Galerkin discretizations of the Poisson problem. Algebraic multigrid is a popular and effective method for solving the sparse linear systems that arise from discretizing partial differential equations. However, high-order discontinuous Galerkin discretizations have proved challenging for algebraic multigrid. The increasing condition number of the matrix and loss of locality in the matrix stencil as p increases, in addition to the effect of weakly enforced Dirichlet boundary conditions all contribute to the challenging algebraic setting. We propose a smoothed aggregation approach that addresses these difficulties. In particular, the approach effectively coarsens degrees-of-freedom centered at the same spatial location as well as degrees-of-freedom at the domain boundary. Moreover, the character of the near null-space, particularly at the domain boundary, is captured by interpolation. One classic prolongation smoothing step of weighted-Jacobi is also shown to be ineffective at high-order, and a more robust energy-minimization approach is used, along with block relaxation that more directly utilizes the block diagonal structure of the discontinuous Galerkin discretization. Finally, we conclude by examining numerical results in support our proposed method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6959-6976
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • AMG
  • Algebraic multigrid
  • Discontinuous Galerkin
  • High-order
  • Smoothed aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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