A new smoothed aggregation multigrid method for anisotropic problems

Michael W. Gee, Jonathan J. Hu, Raymond S. Tuminaro

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40 Scopus citations


A new prolongator is proposed for smoothed aggregation (SA) multigrid. The proposed prolongator addresses a limitation of standard SA when it is applied to anisotropic problems. For anisotropic problems, it is fairly standard to generate small aggregates (used to mimic semi-coarsening) in order to coarsen only in directions of strong coupling. Although beneficial to convergence, this can lead to a prohibitively large number of non-zeros in the standard SA prolongator and the corresponding coarse discretization operator. To avoid this, the new prolongator modifies the standard prolongator by shifting support (non-zeros within a prolongator column) from one aggregate to another to satisfy a specified non-zero pattern. This leads to a sparser operator that can be used effectively within a multigrid V-cycle. The key to this algorithm is that it preserves certain null space interpolation properties that are central to SA for both scalar and systems of partial differential equations (PDEs). We present two-dimensional and three-dimensional numerical experiments to demonstrate that the new method is competitive with standard SA for scalar problems, and significantly better for problems arising from PDE systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-37
Number of pages19
JournalNumerical Linear Algebra with Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • AMG
  • Algebraic multigrid
  • Anisotropy
  • Multigrid
  • Smoothed aggregation


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