Multidimensional Test Problems
This chapter is concerned with tests for assessing numerical solutions to multidimensional problems. The assessment of the numerical methods to be used in practical computations, prior to their actual application, is of considerable importance and cannot be emphasised enough. There are four classes of test problems that can be used, namely (A) tests with exact solution, (B) tests with reliable numerical solution to equivalent one—dimensional equations obtained under the assumption of symmetry for instance, (C) tests for which other numerical solutions are available and (D) tests for which experimental results are available. In the first three categories of test problems one solves the same or equivalent governing partial differential equations and thus one seeks complete agreement in the comparisons. Care is required in class (D) when experimental results are used. The governing PDEs might themselves not be an accurate description of the physical problem being solved. Typical questions to be asked are: will viscosity and heat conduction be important in the problem, will the equation of state be a correct description of the thermodynamics, will turbulence be important, etc. If one can isolate these effects, or account for their influence, then comparison between numerical and experimental results is useful in assessing the performance of the numerical methods. If the numerical solution is reliable, then one would expect the comparison with experimental results to be a way of verifying the validity of the governing equations as a suitable model of the physics. A useful reference here is the report by Albone .
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