# Convergence to 0.001?

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 March 13, 2000, 15:30 Convergence to 0.001? #1 Sheng Guest   Posts: n/a Hi, experts It was stated on some papers: the convergence of solution is 0.001. What's the meaning? It is general for all euqations or just the mass? When using some CFD package for real industrial case, It seems the stop is most controlled by the setting number of iteration. If looking at the convergence line on the screen, it only comes to a stable level (may with high values). It is very difficult to reach the setting convergence criterion. Does it mean convergence? Thanks in advance! Sheng

 March 13, 2000, 16:04 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #2 John C. Chien Guest   Posts: n/a (1). If you monitor the important variables at several key locations, and print these values vs iteration numbers ,say single precision output, then you will see that these varibles eventually will remain unchanged. That is, you will get identical printed values regardless of any additional iterations. I have been doing this from time to time for almost 30 years. (2). There is a different name for that, sometimes, it is call " machine zero" convergence. At that point, the solution will remain the same, except the precision of the machine. (3). So, that has been done on the routine basis. (4). For the 3-D real world applications, I have been setting the normalized residuals limits to 1.0E-08. In most cases, all of the residuals will get below 1.0E-06, and they will stay flat at that level. Normally, I will take those solutions as converged solutions. (5). Sometimes, if I do not pay attention to the mesh distribution (large mesh size ratio between neighboring cells, or highly skewed, flat cells), then the solution residuals will stay flat at around 1.0E-04. Then I know that somewhere in the flow field, the solution is still oscillating. In this case, it depends on the area of oscillation. If the area of interest is still not stable, then the mesh has to be improved first. It is also possible that there are other problems with the handling of the boundary conditions. (6). In case, if it is very hard to lower the residuals, then one needs to look at the contour plots between iterations, to see if the solution is accepatble or not. For academic purposes, those contour plots should be identical on the top of each other. (7). This is very important, because even for very good agreement in pressure field, the wall properties can be miles off. (8). So, when the process is converging, the solutions will converge to machine zero. It's being done on the routine basis.

 March 13, 2000, 23:12 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #3 R.Sureshkumar Guest   Posts: n/a Dear John Do you mean that if the contours are overlapping then the convergence is achieved say for residuals less than 0.01 also. In my twophase flow simulations (Academic), i found that 0.001 was too strict! and 0.01 gave results comparable to experimental observations. any advice.

 March 14, 2000, 01:01 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #4 John C. Chien Guest   Posts: n/a (1). The convergence of the CFD results is a purely numerical issue. (2). The converged solution has nothing to do with the experimental observation at all. (3). If for some practical reasons it is hard to reach the strict convergence criterion, then you will have to make sure that the solution is always repeatable within certain error bands. (4). I think, it is problem dependent. But if you relax the requirement in the first place, then no one else can improve the quality of the solution for you. So, you really have to monitor the development of the flow parameters vs iteration number, even if the residual is already below 0.001 (5). As long as you are happy with your solutions, you are a happy person.

 March 14, 2000, 02:26 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #5 narayan Guest   Posts: n/a When you run a steady state calculation, you start with a initial guess and reiterate the solution. After a certain number of iterations you will see that the difference in the solution between the n-1 and nth iteration is negligible. This difference is dictated by setting the convergence limit. Most of the Cfd packages should have a way to set the convergence limit. Also, it is possible to monitor convergence by doing a plot of the residual v/s number of iterations. From this plot you should be clearly able to find out if your solution has converged or not. The convergence depends on the purticular type of problem, and how accurate you would want the solution to be. I usually set convergence limit to 10E-06, which seems to work fine for most cases. A convergence of 0.001 probably means that for the purticular problem this is a sufficient limit, &/or the solution settles down once this limit has reached.

 March 14, 2000, 03:02 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #6 RobertHeidmann Guest   Posts: n/a The problem is: there are different possibilities to calculate the "residuals" and you cannot compare numbers like 10e-06. In fluent with the default settings for example (sorry, wrong forum) you only get those numbers with perfectly meshed tubes without any separation. If you restart from a good guess, you will also fail the 10e-06. Robert

 March 14, 2000, 04:20 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #7 Sheng Guest   Posts: n/a Dear John, Did you use your own code or the CFD packages? When using own code, it is possible to reach the 1.0E-08 level (depending on the case). When using the package, it is hard to reach the level. For most of the cases, it is stoped after viewing the 'machine flat line'. In addition, the different equations of P, U,V,W,K,e,T will have quite big different level. Then, when reading some reference papers, I thouth what is the meaning of 'Convergence to 0.001'. This should be for all equations or just one of them. For example a combustion case for solving the Enthalpy, the value of H will be 1e+06. Then, if for the absolute residual, the convergence is very difficult to 0.001. Maybe in the paper, it is stated of the 'relatvie residual'. Thanks for your time! Sheng

 March 14, 2000, 05:28 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #8 Dr. Hrvoje Jasak Guest   Posts: n/a Hi guys, A nice question!! The thing I particularly like is how everybory is throwing numbers around, all of which mean absolutely NOTHING AT ALL: 1) 0.001 (or 1e-6) of what units??? Bananas? Furlongs per fortnight? The fact is that without reading the manual very carefully you'll never find out. In pressure-based segregated algorithms (which I know best), the iterative matrix solver returns the residual of the dimensions of the source term in the equations: for pressure it is the mass imbalance, for momentum force imbalance etc. This, in absolute terms means nothing - it depends whether you're solving for a waterfall or cooling of a microprocessor chip. Here is the first potential for "cheating": is the residual intensive or extensive (i.e. did I divide by total volume).... which brings me to the second point: 2) Normalisation. I had this described to me as "a bit of witchcraft". It is sort of traditional (and intuitive) to normalise the residual based on the inlet flux (mass, momentum...) but you don't always have an inlet (or, worse, it is tiny and unrepresentative)! The other possibility is to create an appropriate combination of the matrix diagonal and source, which will always work but is less intuitive. Not to mention that I can liberally sprinkle the whole thing with under-relaxation factors and similar for further loss of clarity. But even now the thing is not clear: 3) Equation behaviour is different: some are source-dominated (a typical example is the epsilon equation, which sometimes reports "huge" residuals and people exclude it from convergence checks) and some are sourceless. Also, the difference between deferred correcton and implicit implementation of convection will also influence the matter. 4) What about unsteadiness? It is fairly typical for a user to expect a "steady-state" solution from a CFD code for a probem which physically is not steady and then complain that the code "does not converge". If you're particularly (unlucky, you may even kill off the physical unsteadiness with a suitably diffusive discretisation and/or massive under-relaxation. So, the conclusion is: Forget about 0.001 or anything else like it, as this is not comparable over different codes (or, indeed, simulations) and learn what the residual level means in practical terms in the code you're using. My personal favourite would be to follow the change in the error estimate through iterations (this is a very different animal from the solver residual!). When the error estimate stabilises, you are "converged"; its distribution will probably tell you what's going on. Hrv

 March 14, 2000, 09:09 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #9 John C. Chien Guest   Posts: n/a (1). Both. My own codes and current commercial codes. (2). The only reason to set the normalized residuals to 1.0E-08 is to make sure that the residuals will get below the level of 1.0E-06. Sometimes, you are not going to see much of it in the display, because they are outside the graphical scale. (3). The best place to check the convergence is on the computed flow variables at several locations directly.

 March 14, 2000, 11:24 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #10 Wolfgang Schmidt Guest   Posts: n/a Perhpas a stupid comment, I'm no real expert. But, is it meaningful to iterate always to a change of the velocitys, pressure or whatsoever in the range of 1e-6..1e-8 (= (OldValue-NewValue)/Oldvalue) or below. In my opinion it is only necsessary to iterate as long, as you reach the range of the discretization error or a little bit below. E.g. a second order discretization scheme on a 100*100 grid will yield an error of 0.01^2*Length. I think it's not useful to have a solution like the following one for a normalized pressure p at the grid point(i,j) "p(i,j)_true := p(i,j) +/- 1e-8*p(i,j) +/- p(i,j)*0.01^2". Here true means computational truth not physical truth and it's "normalized" using a dimensionless formulation. Maybe I'm wrong and someone can enligthen me.

 March 14, 2000, 11:32 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #11 Sheng Guest   Posts: n/a Dear Dr. Hrvoje Jasak, Thanks for your time. I got the same feeling as you. However, as you know, when writing a paper, it always gets the question from the reviewers: What's your convergence? Is it a question to froce someone to 'cheating'? How can I give the frank and scientific answer? Best regards, Sheng

 March 14, 2000, 11:42 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #12 Amadou Sowe Guest   Posts: n/a You said that your favourite would be to follow the change in the error estimate through iterations. What kind of error estimate are you talking about?

 March 14, 2000, 12:41 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #13 narayan Guest   Posts: n/a I totally agree with you, it certainlly depends on the problem. There are other ways to track convergence, like the L2 error norm, or tracking indvidual variables (e.g. Pressure). I never meant 10E-06 as a universal solution, and in many cases it may be even difficult to acheive. thnx

 March 14, 2000, 16:27 Re: Convergence to 0.001? btw #14 John C. Chien Guest   Posts: n/a (1). By the way, many years ago, some people used to claim that the coarse mesh solution of the inviscid, transonic flow agreed better with the experimental data than that of the fine mesh viscous, transonic flow. (2). As a design tool, it is acceptable only if the tool is calibrated and validated for the specified range of applications.

 March 15, 2000, 04:48 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #15 Dr. Hrvoje Jasak Guest   Posts: n/a Hi, Well, I suppose I'm a bit weird when I set up my CFD code. I always use double precision and always iterate on the problem until the solver stops solving, i.e. my global convergence tolerance is the cut-off point for the solver, which is 1e-6 or 1e-7 in "my" residual level. This is partly because I'm under no pressure to produce converged results whithin the hour and partly because, as a numerics person, I am interested in precisely those cases where "it is impossible to converge the solution to arbitrary tight tolerance". When you're doing runs for publication it is always useful to be careful about tolerance and if you are, you have every right to reply to the reviewers with a meaningless number like 1e-6 (provided you're happy that the solution is indeed converged). I never had anyone come back to me and say "1e-6 whats?" and from my previous message it is obvious that we should have kept talking for at least 10 minutes after the initial "answer". Just to re-iterate: be careful with convergence because published papers are read by clever people and any fudging of the data will be found out but in at the end of the day it's about being careful about your work. Have fun, Hrv

 March 15, 2000, 05:04 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #16 Dr. Hrvoje Jasak Guest   Posts: n/a Now, this is going to confuse you, but let's just be careful about the terminology here: a) when you have a matrix and an iterative solver, you can calculate the "solution residual" by putting the current solution into the algebraic system of equations and calculating imbalance, right? This residual can be reduced to zero (mathematically) or machine tolerance EVERY TIME. In fact, if you used a direct solver, this is what you'd get. b) Now consider the finite elements. Here, the matrix is constructed by weighting the approximation (shape functions) with a weighting function (and you get a system of equations, see above). BUT, if you just take the current solution (i.e. shape functions with current nodal values) and substitute it into the governing equation (NOT THE MATRIX), you will find that the governing equation is not satisfied over the finite element. This "residual" is not reducible to zero, as it represents the discretisation error (in fact, it will be zero only if your numerical solution hits the analytical solution in every single point of the domain, which is fair enough). The point is that in a) you can reduce the solution residual arbitrarily (solving the system of algebraic equations) irrespective of everything else, whereas in b) you typically can't: the residual represents the discretisation error! This means that if you follow the b) residual, it will bottom out and when it goes "flat" there's no point solving any more because you're just shuffling the discretisation error around or the flow is genuinely unsteady (look at the disrtribution of the residual, it will tell you what's going on!). If for the same case you look at the a) residual, it will jump about and you can't be quite sure (read: it takes experience to know) what's going on. For us poor souls using the Finite Volume Method I have derived an equivalent to b) and called it (traditionally from FEM) the Residual Error Estimate. It's properly normalised (!), i.e. it's got the same units as the field you're solving for and thus is easy to understand. The paper is under review at the moment, but if you send me an E-mail, I can provide a pre-print. Hrv

 March 15, 2000, 06:37 Re: Convergence to 0.001? btw #17 Sheng Guest   Posts: n/a I did a simulation use k-e with very fine grid, however, viewing the flow patter, it is very hard to get good agreement with LDV measurement. Then, one day, I found a reference ( 15 years ago ). They also used the k-e model and with very coarse grid (same boundary..) But, their results is extremely fitting for the experimental data. Here, comes to the thinking like grid--turbulence--wall function... But anyway, they were very lucky. I must do the investigation on the wall function, grid size, differenent turbulent model... in order to get solution fit for the experiment. Regards, Sheng

 March 28, 2000, 09:31 Re: Convergence to 0.001? #20 Jack Keays Guest   Posts: n/a Hi! COuld anyone tell me the name of paper/s which talk about this 0.001 convergence criterion...I would be interested to better understand it. Thanks Jack.

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