In this paper, we will introduce composite finite elements for solving elliptic boundary value problems with discontinuous coefficients. The focus is on problems where the geometry of the interfaces between the smooth regions of the coefficients is very complicated.
On the other hand, efficient numerical methods such as, e.g., multigrid methods, wavelets, extrapolation, are based on a multi-scale discretization of the problem. In standard finite element methods, the grids have to resolve the structure of the discontinuous coefficients. Thus, straightforward coarse scale discretizations of problems with complicated coefficient jumps are not obvious.
In this paper, we define composite finite elements for problems with discontinuous coefficients. These finite elements allow the coarsening of finite element spaces independently of the structure of the discontinuous coefficients. Thus, the multigrid method can be applied to solve the linear system on the fine scale.
We focus on the construction of the composite finite elements and the efficient, hierarchical realization of the intergrid transfer operators. Finally, we present some numerical results for the multigrid method based on the composite finite elements (CFE–MG).