01 April 2011


Following up on some quasi-1D success I'm ready to calculate some 3D fields. I seed them by taking my 1D solution and add noise. This is purportedly a terrible way to kick off turbulence as the fluctuations have to be massive to ultimately take and transition into a correct field. I've been warned...

Needing a way to monitor the fluctuation strengths and being in coefficient-space for a mixed Fourier/B-Spline discretization, I'm trying out the L^2 norm of the fluctuating signal. By Parseval's theorem along with some minor linear algebra, this turns into a sum over the complex-valued coefficient magnitudes: Computation of the L^2 norm in a mixed Fourier/B-spline collocation discretization

Now, for the first case of the L^2 norm over all three directions I need the matrix M which computes the L^2 inner product of two functions given their B-spline coefficient expansions. The code to do this atop some old contributions to the GSL isn't bad, but testing that my banded derivative operator coefficients are correct is awful.

Happily, Mathematica 7 includes BSplineBasis which I can use to cook analytic results to test my implementation. Unhappily, BSplineBasis has issues computing derivatives and an awful amount of mucking around is required to get my analytical test cases: Finding Galerkin L^2-based Operators for B-spline discretizations

In the end, this is all The Right Thing ™ to do but man it eats time. Recognizing this particular rabbit hole and how often such things ensnare my little mind, I sent the following email to my wonderful wife today:

In case you ever wonder what I do with my days....

  1. I stare at things like this for far too long to work out the math.
  2. Then I sit and stare at the math for far too long to figure out the computer implementation.
  3. Then I stare at the computer implementation to test it and clean it up.
  4. Then I use the implementation at a single line within my thesis research code.
  5. Then I go talk to my advisor on Mondays and report that a single line now works this week that didn't work last week.

— Rhys

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