Adaptive VEM: Stabilization-Free A Posteriori Error Analysis

Adaptive VEM: Stabilization-Free A Posteriori Error Analysis
Tuesday 16th November 2021
Beirao da Veiga, L.; Canuto, C.; Nochetto, R.H.; Vacca, G.; Verani, M.
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In the present paper we initiate the challenging task of building a mathematically sound theory for Adaptive Virtual Element Methods (AVEMs). Among the realm of polygonal meshes, we restrict our analysis to triangular meshes with hanging nodes in 2d -- the simplest meshes with a systematic refinement procedure that preserves shape regularity and optimal complexity. A major challenge in the a posteriori error analysis of AVEMs is the presence of the stabilization term, which is of the same order as the residual-type error estimator but prevents the equivalence of the latter with the energy error. Under the assumption that any chain of recursively created hanging nodes has uniformly bounded length, we show that the stabilization term can be made arbitrarily small relative to the error estimator provided the stabilization parameter of the scheme is sufficiently large. This quantitative estimate leads to stabilization-free upper and lower a posteriori bounds for the energy error. This novel and crucial property of VEMs hinges on the largest subspace of continuous piecewise linear functions and the delicate interplay between its coarser scales and the finer ones of the VEM space. Our results apply to H^1-conforming (lowest order) VEMs of any kind, including the classical and enhanced VEMs.