Journal of Scientific Computing

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 1801–1831 | Cite as

Conservative High Order Positivity-Preserving Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Linear Hyperbolic and Radiative Transfer Equations

  • Dan Ling
  • Juan ChengEmail author
  • Chi-Wang Shu


We further investigate the high order positivity-preserving discontinuous Galerkin (DG) methods for linear hyperbolic and radiative transfer equations developed in Yuan et al. (SIAM J Sci Comput 38:A2987–A3019, 2016). The DG methods in Yuan et al. (2016) can maintain positivity and high order accuracy, but they rely both on the scaling limiter in Zhang and Shu (J Comput Phys 229:8918–8934, 2010) and a rotational limiter, the latter may alter cell averages of the unmodulated DG scheme, thereby affecting conservation. Even though a Lax–Wendroff type theorem is proved in Yuan et al. (2016), guaranteeing convergence to weak solutions with correct shock speed when such rotational limiter is applied, it would still be desirable if a conservative DG method without changing the cell averages can be obtained which has both high order accuracy and positivity-preserving capability. In this paper, we develop and analyze such a DG method for both linear hyperbolic equations and radiative transfer equations. In the one-dimensional case, the method uses traditional DG space \(P^k\) of piecewise polynomials of degree at most k. A key result is proved that the unmodulated DG solver in this case can maintain positivity of the cell average if the inflow boundary value and the source term are both positive, therefore the positivity-preserving framework in Zhang and Shu (2010) can be used to obtain a high order conservative positivity-preserving DG scheme. Unfortunately, in two-dimensions this is no longer the case. We show that the unmodulated DG solver based either on \(P^k\) or \(Q^k\) spaces (piecewise kth degree polynomials or piecewise tensor-product kth degree polynomials) could generate negative cell averages. We augment the DG space with additional functions so that the positivity of cell averages from the unmodulated DG solver can be restored, thereby leading to high order conservative positivity-preserving DG scheme based on these augmented DG spaces following the framework in Zhang and Shu (2010). Computational results are provided to demonstrate the good performance of our DG schemes.


Positivity-preserving Discontinuous Galerkin method Conservative schemes Linear hyperbolic equation Radiative transfer equation High order accuracy 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate SchoolChina Academy of Engineering PhysicsBeijingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Computational Physics, Institute of Applied Physics and Computational MathematicsBeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Applied Physics and TechnologyPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Division of Applied MathematicsBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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