Error analysis of a FVEM for fractional order evolution equations with nonsmooth initial data

Samir Karaa, Amiya K. Pani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a finite volume element (FVE) method is considered for spatial approximations of time fractional diffusion equations involving a Riemann-Liouville fractional derivative of order α ∈ (0, 1) in time. Improving upon earlier results [Karaa et al., IMA J. Numer. Anal. 37 (2017) 945-964], error estimates in L2(Ω)- and H1(Ω)-norms for the semidiscrete problem with smooth and mildly smooth initial data, i.e., v ∈ H2(Ω) ∩ H10 (Ω) and v ∈ H10 (Ω) are established. For nonsmooth data, that is, v ∈ L2(Ω), the optimal L2(Ω)-error estimate is shown to hold only under an additional assumption on the triangulation, which is known to be satisfied for symmetric triangulations. Super-convergence result is also proved and as a consequence, a quasi-optimal error estimate is established in the L(Ω)-norm. Further, two fully discrete schemes using convolution quadrature in time generated by the backward Euler and the second-order backward difference methods are analyzed, and error estimates are derived for both smooth and nonsmooth initial data. Based on a comparison of the standard Galerkin finite element solution with the FVE solution and exploiting tools for Laplace transforms with semigroup type properties of the FVE solution operator, our analysis is then extended in a unified manner to several time fractional order evolution problems. Finally, several numerical experiments are conducted to confirm our theoretical findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-801
Number of pages29
JournalESAIM: Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Backward Euler and second-order backward difference methods
  • Convolution quadrature
  • Finite volume element method
  • Fractional order evolution equation
  • Laplace transform
  • Optimal error estimate
  • Smooth and nonsmooth data
  • Subdiffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Error analysis of a FVEM for fractional order evolution equations with nonsmooth initial data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this