A primal-dual finite element method for first-order transport problems

Chunmei Wang, Junping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article devises a new numerical method for first-order transport problems by using the primal-dual weak Galerkin (PD-WG) finite element method recently developed in scientific computing. The PD-WG method is based on a variational formulation of the modeling equation for which the differential operator is applied to the test function so that low regularity for the exact solution of the original equation is sufficient for computation. The PD-WG finite element method indeed yields a symmetric system involving both the original equation for the primal variable and its dual for the dual variable (also known as Lagrangian multiplier). For the linear transport problem, it is shown that the PD-WG method offers numerical solutions that conserve mass locally on each element. Optimal order error estimates in various norms are derived for the numerical solutions arising from the PD-WG method with weak regularity assumptions on the modelling equations. A variety of numerical results are presented to demonstrate the accuracy and stability of the new method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109571
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020


  • Conservative methods
  • Polytopal partitions
  • Primal-dual finite element method
  • Transport equation
  • Weak Galerkin
  • Weak regularity


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