These lecture notes are designed for a one-semester course on finite-difference methods for parabolic equations. These equations which traditionally are used for describing diffusion and heat-conduction problems in Geology, Physics, and Chemistry have recently found applications in Finance Theory.
Among the special features of this book can be mentioned the presentation of a practical approach to reliable estimates of the global error, including warning signals if the reliability is questionable. The technique is generally applicable for estimating the discretization error in numerical approximations which depend on a step size, such as numerical integration and solution of ordinary and partial differential equations. An integral part of the error estimation is the estimation of the order of the method and can thus satisfy the inquisitive mind: Is the order what we expect it to be from theopry ? and how do boundary value approximations affect the overall order of the method. Knowledge of a reliable order and error estimate enables us to determine (near-)optimal step sizes to meet a prescribed error tolerance, and possibly to extrapolate to get (higher order and) better accuracy at a minimal expense.
Problems in two space dimensions are effectively handled using the Alternating Direction Implicit (ADI) technique. We present a systematic way of incorporating inhomogeneous terms and derivative boundary conditions in ADI methods as well as mixed derivative terms.
About the Author: Ole Østerby
Associate Professor (retired) Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University.
Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, 1973.