Accelerating crack growth simulations through adaptive model order reduction

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Accurate numerical modeling of fracture in solids is a challenging undertaking that often involves the use of computationally demanding modeling frameworks. Model order reduction techniques can be used to alleviate the computational effort associated with these models. However, the traditional offline-online reduction approach is unsuitable for complex fracture phenomena due to their excessively large parameter spaces. In this work, we present a reduction framework for fracture simulations that leaves out the offline training phase and instead adaptively constructs reduced solutions spaces online. We apply the framework to the thick level set (TLS) method, a novel approach for modeling fracture able to model crack initiation, propagation, branching, and merging. The analysis starts with a fully-solved load step, after which two consecutive reduction operations—the proper orthogonal decomposition and the empirical cubature method—are performed. Numerical features specific to the TLS method are used to define an adaptive domain decomposition scheme that allows for three levels of model reduction coexisting on the same finite element mesh. Special solutions are proposed that allow the framework to deal with enriched nodes and a dynamic number of integration points. We demonstrate and assess the performance of the framework with a number of numerical examples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2173
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Volume121 (2020)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • adaptivity
  • fracture
  • hyper-reduction
  • model order reduction
  • thick level set


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