A posteriori error estimator and AMR for discrete ordinates nodal transport methods

Jose I. Duo, Yousry Y. Azmy, Ludmil T. Zikatanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In the development of high fidelity transport solvers, optimization of the use of available computational resources and access to a tool for assessing quality of the solution are key to the success of large-scale nuclear systems' simulation. In this regard, error control provides the analyst with a confidence level in the numerical solution and enables for optimization of resources through Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR). In this paper, we derive an a posteriori error estimator based on the nodal solution of the Arbitrarily High Order Transport Method of the Nodal type (AHOT-N). Furthermore, by making assumptions on the regularity of the solution, we represent the error estimator as a function of computable volume and element-edges residuals. The global L2 error norm is proved to be bound by the estimator. To lighten the computational load, we present a numerical approximation to the aforementioned residuals and split the global norm error estimator into local error indicators. These indicators are used to drive an AMR strategy for the spatial discretization. However, the indicators based on forward solution residuals alone do not bound the cell-wise error. The estimator and AMR strategy are tested in two problems featuring strong heterogeneity and highly transport streaming regime with strong flux gradients. The results show that the error estimator indeed bounds the global error norms and that the error indicator follows the cell-error's spatial distribution pattern closely. The AMR strategy proves beneficial to optimize resources, primarily by reducing the number of unknowns solved for to achieve prescribed solution accuracy in global L2 error norm. Likewise, AMR achieves higher accuracy compared to uniform refinement when resolving sharp flux gradients, for the same number of unknowns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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