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Comparison results for the Stokes equations

Abstract

This paper enfolds a medius analysis for the Stokes equations and compares different finite element methods (FEMs). A first result is a best approximation result for a P1 non-conforming FEM. The main comparison result is that the error of the P2-P0-FEM is a lower bound to the error of the Bernardi-Raugel (or reduced P2-P0) FEM, which is a lower bound to the error of the P1 non-conforming FEM, and this is a lower bound to the error of the MINI-FEM. The paper discusses the converse direction, as well as other methods such as the discontinuous Galerkin and pseudostress FEMs. Furthermore this paper provides counterexamples for equivalent convergence when different pressure approximations are considered. The mathematical arguments are various conforming companions as well as the discrete inf-sup condition

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