Solving the Fluid Pressure Poisson Equation Using Multigrid - Evaluation and Improvements

Christian Dick, Marcus Rogowsky, Rüdiger Westermann
Department of Informatics, Technische Universität München, Germany


In many numerical simulations of fluids governed by the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, the pressure Poisson equation needs to be solved to enforce mass conservation. Multigrid solvers show excellent convergence in simple scenarios, yet they can converge slowly in domains where physically separated regions are combined at coarser scales. Moreover, existing multigrid solvers are tailored to specific discretizations of the pressure Poisson equation, and they cannot easily be adapted to other discretizations. In this paper we analyze the convergence properties of existing multigrid solvers for the pressure Poisson equation in different simulation domains, and we show how to further improve the multigrid convergence rate by using a graph-based extension to determine the coarse grid hierarchy. The proposed multigrid solver is generic in that it can be applied to different kinds of discretizations of the pressure Poisson equation, by using solely the specification of the simulation domain and pre-assembled computational stencils. We analyze the proposed solver in combination with finite difference and finite volume discretizations of the pressure Poisson equation. Our evaluations show that, despite the common assumption, multigrid schemes can exploit their potential even in the most complicated simulation scenarios, yet this behavior is obtained at the price of higher memory consumption.

Associated Publication

Solving the Fluid Pressure Poisson Equation Using Multigrid—Evaluation and Improvements
C. Dick, M. Rogowsky, R. Westermann
IEEE Transactions of Computer Graphics and Visualization (2016), to appear, preprint available