Acta Numerica

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Acta Numerica (2009), 18:243-275 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

Research Article

Fast direct solvers for integral equations in complex three-dimensional domains

Leslie Greengarda1*, Denis Gueyffiera2, Per-Gunnar Martinssona3 and Vladimir Rokhlina4§

a1 Courant Instiute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA E-mail:
a2 Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA E-mail:
a3 Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 526 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0526, USA E-mail:
a4 Department of Mathematics and Department of Computer Science, Yale University, 10 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven CT 06511, USA E-mail:
Article author query
greengard l [Google Scholar]
gueyffier d [Google Scholar]
martinsson pg [Google Scholar]
rokhlin v [Google Scholar]


Methods for the solution of boundary integral equations have changed significantly during the last two decades. This is due, in part, to improvements in computer hardware, but more importantly, to the development of fast algorithms which scale linearly or nearly linearly with the number of degrees of freedom required. These methods are typically iterative, based on coupling fast matrix-vector multiplication routines with conjugate-gradient-type schemes. Here, we discuss methods that are currently under development for the fast, direct solution of boundary integral equations in three dimensions. After reviewing the mathematical foundations of such schemes, we illustrate their performance with some numerical examples, and discuss the potential impact of the overall approach in a variety of settings.


* This work was supported in part by the Applied Mathematical Sciences Program of the US Department of Energy under Contract DEFG0200ER25053.

† This work was supported by DARPA through the Protein Design Processes Program (DSO contract HR0011-05-1-0044). Present address: NASA GISS and Columbia University, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025.

‡ This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation grants DMS-0748488 and DMS-0610097.

§ This work was supported in part by AFOSR grant FA9550-07-1-0541.