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Acceleration of Multidimensional Discrete Ordinates Methods Via Adjacent-Cell Preconditioners

Y. Y. Azmy

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 136 / Number 2 / October 2000 / Pages 202-226


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The adjacent-cell preconditioner (AP) formalism originally derived in slab geometry is extended to multidimensional Cartesian geometry for generic fixed-weight, weighted diamond difference neutron transport methods. This is accomplished for the thick-cell regime (KAP) and thin-cell regime (NAP). A spectral analysis of the resulting acceleration schemes demonstrates their excellent spectral properties for model problem configurations, characterized by a uniform mesh of infinite extent and homogeneous material composition, each in its own cell-size regime. Thus, the spectral radius of KAP vanishes as the computational cell size approaches infinity, but it exceeds unity for very thin cells, thereby implying instability. In contrast, NAP is stable and robust for all cell sizes, but its spectral radius vanishes more slowly as the cell size increases. For this reason, and to avoid potential complication in the case of cells that are thin in one dimension and thick in another, NAP is adopted in the remainder of this work. The most important feature of AP for practical implementation in production level codes is that it is cell centered, reducing the size of the algebraic system comprising the acceleration stage compared to face-centered schemes. Boundary conditions for finite extent problems and a mixing formula across material and cell-size discontinuity are derived and used to implement NAP in a test code, AHOT, and a production code, TORT. Numerical testing for algebraically linear iterative schemes for the cases embodied in Burre's Suite of Test Problems demonstrates the high efficiency of the new method in reducing the number of iterations required to achieve convergence, especially for optically thick cells where acceleration is most needed. Also, for algebraically nonlinear (adaptive) methods, AP generally performs better than the partial current rebalance method in TORT and the diffusion synthetic acceleration method in TWODANT. Finally, application of the AP formalism to a simplified linear nodal (SLN) method similar, but not identical, to TORT's linear nodal option is shown to possess two eigenvalues that approach either one or infinity with increasing cell size regardless of the preconditioner parameters. This implies impossibility of unconditionally robust acceleration of SLN-type methods with cell-centered preconditioners that have a block-diffusion coupling stencil. Edge-centered acceleration methods, or methods that do not require the linear moments of the flux to converge, might have an advantage in this regard but at a significant penalty to computational efficiency due to the larger system solved or the inability to utilize the computed linear moments.

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