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Guaranteed upper bounds for the velocity error of pressure-robust Stokes discretisations

Philip L. Lederer EMAIL logo and Christian Merdon


This paper aims to improve guaranteed error control for the Stokes problem with a focus on pressure-robustness, i.e., for discretisations that compute a discrete velocity that is independent of the exact pressure. A Prager–Synge type result relates the velocity errors of divergence-free primal and perfectly equilibrated dual mixed methods for the velocity stress. The first main result of the paper is a framework with relaxed constraints on the primal and dual method. This enables to use a recently developed mass conserving mixed stress discretisation for the design of equilibrated fluxes and to obtain pressure-independent guaranteed upper bounds for any pressure-robust (not necessarily divergence-free) primal discretisation. The second main result is a provably efficient local design of the equilibrated fluxes with comparably low numerical costs. Numerical examples verify the theoretical findings and show that efficiency indices of our novel guaranteed upper bounds are close to one.

JEL Classification: 65N15; 65N30; 76D07; 76M10


Philip L. Lederer has been funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) through the research program ‘Taming complexity in partial differential systems’ (F65) – project ‘Automated discretization in multiphysics’ (P10).


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Received: 2021-06-21
Revised: 2021-09-20
Accepted: 2021-09-28
Published Online: 2022-12-09
Published in Print: 2022-12-16

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