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Assessment of Discretization Uncertainty Estimators Based on Grid Refinement Studies

AuthorsEça, L., Vaz, G., Hoekstra, M., Doebling, S., Singleton, R. L. Jr., Srinivasan, G., Weirs, G., Phillips,T., Roy, C.
Conference/JournalJournal of Verification, Validation and Uncertainty Quantification
Date1 Dec 2021
This paper presents the assessment of the performance of nine discretization uncertainty estimates based on grid refinement studies including methods that use grid triplets and others that use a largest number of data points, which in this study was set to five. The uncertainty estimates are performed for the dataset proposed for the 2017 ASME Workshop on Estimation of Discretization Errors Based on Grid Refinement Studies including functional and local (boundary and interior) flow quantities from the two-dimensional flows of an incompressible fluid over a flat plate and the NACA 0012 airfoil. The data were generated with a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) solver using three eddy-viscosity turbulence models with double precision and sufficiently tight iterative convergence criteria to ensure that the numerical error is dominated by the discretization error. The use of several geometrically similar grid sets with different near-wall cell sizes for the same flow conditions lead to a wide range of convergence properties for the selected flow quantities, which enables the assessment of the numerical uncertainty estimators in conditions that are representative of the so-called practical applications.The evaluation of uncertainty estimates is based on the ratio of the uncertainty estimate over the “exact error” that is obtained from an “exact solution” obtained from extra grid sets significantly more refined than those used to generate the Workshop data. Although none of the methods tested fulfilled the goal of bounding the exact error 95 times out of 100 that was tested, the results suggest that the methods tested are useful tools for the assessment of the numerical uncertainty of practical numerical simulations even for cases where it is not possible to generate data in the “asymptotic range.”


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Serge Toxopeus

Team leader CFD development / Senior Researcher

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