Modular vs. non-modular preconditioners for fluid-structure systems with large added-mass effect

Santiago Badia, Annalisa Quaini, Alfio Quarteroni

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101 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we address the numerical simulation of fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems featuring large added-mass effect. We analyze different preconditioners for the coupled system matrix obtained after space-time discretization and linearization of the FSI problem. The classical Dirichlet-Neumann preconditioner has the advantage of "modularity" because it allows to reuse existing fluid and structure codes with minimum effort (simple interface communication). Unfortunately, its performance is very poor in case of large added-mass effects. Alternatively, we consider two non-modular approaches. The first one consists in preconditioning the coupled system with a suitable diagonal scaling combined with an ILUT preconditioner. The system is then solved by a Krylov method. The drawback of this procedure is that the combination of fluid and structure codes to solve the coupled system is not straightforward. The second non-modular approach we consider is a splitting technique based on an inexact block-LU factorization of the linear FSI system. The resulting algorithm computes the fluid velocity separately from the coupled pressure-structure system at each iteration, reducing the computational cost. Independently of the preconditioner, the efficiency of semi-implicit algorithms (i.e., those that treat geometric and fluid nonlinearities in an explicit way) is highlighted and their performance compared to the one of implicit algorithms. All the methods are tested on three-dimensional blood-vessel systems. The algorithm combining the non-modular ILUT preconditioner with Krylov methods proved to be the fastest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4216-4232
Number of pages17
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number49-50
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Added-mass effect
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Hemodynamics
  • Partitioned procedures
  • Preconditioners
  • Semi-implicit coupling

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