Towards standard testbeds for numerical relativity

Miguel Alcubierre, Gabrielle Allen, Carles Bona, David Fiske, Tom Goodale, F. Siddhartha Guzmán, Ian Hawke, Scott H. Hawley, Sascha Husa, Michael Koppitz, Christiane Lechner, Denis Pollney, David Rideout, Marcelo Salgado, Erik Schnetter, Edward Seidel, Hisa Aki Shinkai, Deirdre Shoemaker, Béla Szilágyi, Ryoji TakahashiJeff Winicour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, many different numerical evolution schemes for Einstein's equations have been proposed to address stability and accuracy problems that have plagued the numerical relativity community for decades. Some of these approaches have been tested on different spacetimes, and conclusions have been drawn based on these tests. However, differences in results originate from many sources, including not only formulations of the equations, but also gauges, boundary conditions, numerical methods and so on. We propose to build up a suite of standardized testbeds for comparing approaches to the numerical evolution of Einstein's equations that are designed to both probe their strengths and weaknesses and to separate out different effects, and their causes, seen in the results. We discuss general design principles of suitable testbeds, and we present an initial round of simple tests with periodic boundary conditions. This is a pivotal first step towards building a suite of testbeds to serve the numerical relativists and researchers from related fields who wish to assess the capabilities of numerical relativity codes. We present some examples of how these tests can be quite effective in revealing various limitations of different approaches, and illustrating their differences. The tests are presently limited to vacuum spacetimes, can be run on modest computational resources and can be used with many different approaches used in the relativity community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-613
Number of pages25
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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