The main emphasis of this thesis is to study a posteriori error analysis of discontinuous Galerkin (DG) methods for the elliptic variational inequalities. The DG methods have become very pop-ular in the last two decades due to its nature of handling complex geometries, allowing irregular meshes with hanging nodes and different degrees of polynomial approximation on different ele-ments. Moreover they are high order accurate and stable methods. Adaptive algorithms reﬁne the mesh locally in the region where the solution exhibits irregular behaviour and a posteriori error estimates are the main ingredients to steer the adaptive mesh reﬁnement.
The solution of linear elliptic problem exhibits singularities due to change in boundary con-ditions, irregularity of coefﬁcients and reentrant corners in the domain. Apart from this, the solu-tion of variational inequality exhibits additional irregular behaviour due to occurrence of the free boundary (the part of the domain which is a priori unknown and must be found as a component of the solution). In the lack of full elliptic regularity of the solution, uniform reﬁnement is inefﬁcient and it does not yield optimal convergence rate. But adaptive reﬁnement, which is based on the residuals ( or a posteriori error estimator) of the problem, enhance the efﬁciency by reﬁning the mesh locally and provides the optimal convergence. In this thesis, we derive a posteriori error estimates of the DG methods for the elliptic variational inequalities of the ﬁrst kind and the second kind.
This thesis contains seven chapters including an introductory chapter and a concluding chap-ter. In the introductory chapter, we review some fundamental preliminary results which will be used in the subsequent analysis. In Chapter 2, a posteriori error estimates for a class of DG meth-ods have been derived for the second order elliptic obstacle problem, which is a prototype for elliptic variational inequalities of the ﬁrst kind. The analysis of Chapter 2 is carried out for the general obstacle function therefore the error estimator obtained therein involves the min/max func-tion and hence the computation of the error estimator becomes a bit complicated. With a mild assumption on the trace of the obstacle, we have derived a signiﬁcantly simple and easily com-putable error estimator in Chapter 3. Numerical experiments illustrates that this error estimator indeed behaves better than the error estimator derived in Chapter 2. In Chapter 4, we have carried out a posteriori analysis of DG methods for the Signorini problem which arises from the study of the frictionless contact problems. A nonlinear smoothing map from the DG ﬁnite element space to conforming ﬁnite element space has been constructed and used extensively, in the analysis of Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. Also, a common property shared by all DG methods allows us to carry out the analysis in uniﬁed setting. In Chapter 5, we study the C0 interior penalty method for the plate frictional contact problem, which is a fourth order variational inequality of the second kind. In this chapter, we have also established the medius analysis along with a posteriori analy-sis. Numerical results have been presented at the end of every chapter to illustrate the theoretical results derived in respective chapters. We discuss the possible extension and future proposal of the work presented in the Chapter 6. In the last chapter, we have documented the FEM codes used in the numerical experiments.
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