Stable Generalized Finite Element Method (SGFEM)

I. Babuška, U. Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


The Generalized Finite Element Method (GFEM) is a Partition of Unity Method (PUM), where the trial space of standard Finite Element Method (FEM) is augmented with non-polynomial shape functions with compact support. These shape functions, which are also known as the enrichments, mimic the local behavior of the unknown solution of the underlying variational problem. GFEM has been successfully used to solve a variety of problems with complicated features and microstructure. However, the stiffness matrix of GFEM is badly conditioned (much worse compared to the standard FEM) and there could be a severe loss of accuracy in the computed solution of the associated linear system. In this paper, we address this issue and propose a modification of the GFEM, referred to as the Stable GFEM (SGFEM). We show that SGFEM retains the excellent convergence properties of GFEM, does not require a ramp-function in the presence of blending elements, and the conditioning of the associated stiffness matrix is not worse than that of the standard FEM. Moreover, SGFEM is very robust with respect to the parameters of the enrichments. We show these features of SGFEM on several examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-111
Number of pages21
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Approximation
  • Condition number
  • Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM)
  • Generalized Finite Element Method (GFEM)
  • Partition of Unity (PU)
  • Validation and verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications


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