 Research
 Open Access
 Published:
Galilean invariance and the conservative difference schemes for scalar laws
Advances in Difference Equations volume 2011, Article number: 53 (2011)
Abstract
Galilean invariance for general conservative finite difference schemes is presented in this article. Two theorems have been obtained for first and secondorder conservative schemes, which demonstrate the necessity conditions for Galilean preservation in the general conservative schemes. Some concrete application has also been presented.
1. Introduction
For gas dynamics, the noninvariance relative to Galilean transformation of a difference scheme which approximates the equations results in nonphysical fluctuations, that has been marked in the 1960s of the past century [1]. In 1970, Yanenko and Shokin [2] developed a method of differential approximations for the study of the group properties of difference schemes for hyperbolic systems of equations. They used the first differential approximation to perform a group analysis. A more recent series of articles was devoted to the Lie point symmetries of differential difference equations on [3]. In a series of more recent articles, the author of this article has used Lie symmetry analysis method to investigate some noteworthy properties of several difference schemes for nonlinear equations in shock capturing [4, 5].
It is well known that as for NavierStokes equations, the intrinsic symmetries, except for the scaling symmetries, are just macroscopic consequences of the basic symmetries of Newton's equations governing microscopic molecular motion (in classical approximation). Any physical difference scheme should inherit the elementary symmetries (at least for Galilean symmetry) from the NavierStokes equations. This means that Galilean invariance has been an important issue in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Furthermore, we stress that Galilean invariance is a basic requirement that is demanded for any physical difference scheme. The main purpose of this article is to make differential equations discrete while preserving their Galilean symmetries.
Two important questions on numerical analysis, especially important for shock capturing methods, are discussed from the point view of group theory below.

(1)
Galilean preservation in first secondorder conservative schemes;

(2)
Galilean symmetry preservation and Harten's entropy enforcement condition [6].
The structure of this article is as follows. First, the general remarks on scalar conservation law and its numerical approximation are very briefly discussed in Section 2, while Section 3 is devoted to the theory of symmetries of differential equations. The following sections are devoted to a complete development of Lie symmetry analysis method proposed here and its application to some special cases of interest. The final section contains concluding remarks.
2. Scalar conservation laws and its numerical approximation
In this article, we consider numerical approximations to weak solutions of the initial value problem (IVP) for hyperbolic systems of conservation laws [6, 7]
where u(x, t) is a column vector of m unknowns, and f(u), the flux, is a scalar valued function. Equation 2.1 can be written as
which asserts that u is constant along the characteristic curves x = x(t), where
The constancy of u along the characteristic combined with (2.3) implies that the characteristics are straight lines. Their slope, however, depends upon the solution and therefore they may intersect, and where they do, no continuous solution can exist. To get existence in the large, i.e., for all time, we admit weak solutions which satisfy an integral version of (2.1)
for every smooth test function w(x, t) of compact support.
If u is piecewise continuous weak solution, then it follows from (2.4) that across the line of discontinuity the RankineHugoniot relation
holds, where s is the speed of propagation of the discontinuity, and u _{L} and u _{R} are the states on the left and on the right of the discontinuity, respectively.
The class of all weak solutions is too wide in the sense that there is no uniqueness for the IVP, and an additional principle is needed for determining a physically relevant solution. Usually this principle identifies the physically relevant solution as a limit of solutions with some dissipation, namely
Oleinik [8] has shown that discontinuities of such admissible solutions can be characterized by the following condition:
for all u between u _{L} and u _{R}; this is called the entropy condition, or Condition E. Oleinik has shown that weak solutions satisfying Condition E are uniquely determined by their initial data. We shall discuss numerical approximations to weak solutions of (2.1) which are obtained by (2K+1) point explicit schemes in conservation form
where
where ${u}_{j}^{n}=u\left(j\text{\Delta}x,n\text{\Delta}t\right)$, and $\stackrel{\u0304}{f}$ is a numerical flux function. We require the numerical flux function to be consistent with the flux f(u) in the following sense:
We note that $\stackrel{\u0304}{f}$ is a continuous function of each of its arguments. Let
Equation 2.8 can be written as follows:
It follows from (2.14) that
Suppose that G is a smooth function of its all arguments, then
At last, one can derive the conservation form scheme approximation solutions of the viscous modified equation [9, 10]
where
We claim that, except in a trivial case, β(u, λ) ≥ 0 and β(u, λ) ≠ 0; this shows that the scheme in conservative form is of firstorder accuracy [9–11].
3. Mathematical preliminaries on Lie group analysis
All the problems to be addressed here can be described by a general system of nonlinear differential equations of the n th order
where v = 1,...,l and x = (x ^{1},...,x ^{p} ) ∈ X are independent variables, u = (u ^{1},...,u ^{q} ) ∈ U are dependent variables, and Δ_{ v }(x, u ^{(n)}) = (Δ_{1}(x, u ^{(n)}),..., Δ_{ l }(x, u ^{(n)})) is a smoothing function that depends on x, u and derivatives of u up to order n with respect to x ^{1},...,x ^{p} . If we define a jet space X × U ^{(n)}as a space whose coordinates are independent variables, dependent variables and derivatives of dependent variables up to order n then Δ is a smoothing mapping
Before studying the symmetries of difference schemes, let us briefly review the theory of symmetries for differential equations. For all details, proofs, and further information, we refer to the many excellent books on the subject, e.g., [12–14]. Here, we follow the style of [12], but the Lie symmetry description is made concise by emphasizing the significant points and results. In order to provide the reader with a relatively quick and painless introduction to Lie symmetry theory, some important concepts must be introduced.
The main tool used in Lie group theory and working with transformation groups is "infinitesimal transformation". In order to present this, we need first to develop the concept of a vector field on a manifold. We begin with a discussion of tangent vectors. Suppose C is a smooth curve on a manifold M, parameterized by
where I is a subinterval of R. In local coordinates x = x ^{1},...,x ^{p} , C is given by p smoothing functions
of the real variable ε. At each point x = ϕ(ε) of C the curve has a tangent vector, namely the derivative
In order to distinguish between tangent vectors and local coordinate expressions for a point on the manifold, we adopt the notation
for the vector tangential to C at x = ϕ(ε) The collection of all tangent vectors to all possible curves passing through a given point x in M is called the tangent space to M at x, and is denoted by TM. A vector field V on M assigns a tangent vector V ∈ TM to each point x ∈ M, with V varying smoothly from point to point. In local coordinates, a vector field has the form
where each ζ ^{i} (x) is a smoothing function of x.
If V is a vector field, we denote the parameterized maximal integral curve passing through x in M by Ψ(ε, x) and call Ψ the flow generated by V. Thus for each x in M, and ε in some interval I _{ x } containing 0, Ψ(ε, x) is a point on the integral curve passing through x in M. The flow of a vector field has the basic properties:
for all δ, ε ∈ R such that both sides of equation are defined,
and
for all ε where defined. We see that the flow generated by a vector field is the same as a local group action of the Lie group on the manifold M, often called a 'one parameter group of transformations'. The vector field V is called the infinitesimal generator of the action since by Taylor's theorem, in local coordinates
where ζ = (ζ ^{1},..., ζ ^{p} ) are the coefficients of V. The orbits of the oneparameter group action are the maximal integral curves of the vector field V.
Definition 1: A symmetry group of Equation 3.1 is a oneparameter group of transformations G, acting on X × U, such that if u = f(x) is an arbitrary solution of (3.1) and g _{ ε } ∈ G then g _{ ε } ·f(x) is also a solution of (3.1).
The infinitesimal generator of a symmetry group is called an infinitesimal symmetry. Infinitesimal generators are used to formulate the conditions for a group G to make it a symmetry group. Working with infinitesimal generators is simple. First, we define a prolongation of a vector field. The symmetry group of a system of differential equations is the largest local group of transformations acting on the independent and dependent variables of the system such that it can transform one system solution to another. The main goal of Lie symmetry theory is to determine a useful, systematic, computational method that explicitly determines the symmetry group of any given system of differential equations. The search for the symmetry algebra L of a system of differential equations is best formulated in terms of vector fields acting on the space X × U of independent and dependent variables. The vector field tells us how the variables x, u transform. We also need to know how the derivatives, that is u _{ x } , u _{ xx } ,..., transform. This is given by the prolongation of the vector field V. Combining these, we have [[12], p. 110, Theorem 2.36].
Theorem 1
Let
be a vector defined on an open subset M ⊂ X × U. The n th prolongation of the original vector filed is the vector field:
defined on the corresponding jet space M ^{(n)}⊂ X × U ^{(n)}. The second summation here is over all (unordered) multiindices J = (j _{1}, j _{2},...,j _{ k } ), with 1 ≤ j _{ k } ≤ p, 1 ≤ k ≤ n,. The coefficient functions ${\varphi}_{a}^{J}$ of pr ^{(n)} V are given by the following formula:
where ${u}_{i}^{a}=\frac{\partial {u}^{a}}{\partial {x}^{i}}$, and ${u}_{J,i}^{a}=\frac{\partial {u}_{J}^{a}}{\partial {x}^{i}}$, and D _{ J } are the total derivative of η with respect to x ^{j} .
In the following analysis, we only deal with onedimensional scalar differential equations that are assumed to be differentiable up to the necessary order.
Consider the special case, where p = 2, q = 1 in the prolongation formula, so that we are looking at a partial differential equation involving the function u = f(x, t). A general vector field on X × U ≅ R ^{2} × R then takes the form [[12], p. 114]
The first prolongation of V is the vector field:
where
and
The subscripts on η, ζ, τ denote partial derivatives. Similarly,
where
From here on analysis of difference equations only concerns modified equations, which have third prolongation of the vector field. From work in CFD, we know that the righthand side of the modified equation is written entirely in terms of x derivatives. So, investigation can be limited to the terms of the spatial derivatives in the following analysis. The coefficients of the various monomials in the thirdorder partial derivatives of u are given in the following:
where,
Suppose we are given an n th order system of differential equations, or, equivalently, a subvariety of the jet space M ^{(n)}⊂ X × U ^{(n)}. A symmetry group of this system is a local transformation G acting on M ⊂ X × U. which transforms solutions of the system to other solutions. We can reduce the important infinitesimals condition for a group G to be a symmetry group of a given system of differential equations. The following theorem [[12], p. 104, Theorem 2.31] provides the infinitesimal conditions for a group G to be a symmetry group.
Theorem 2
Suppose
is a system of differential equations of maximal rank defined over M ⊂ X × U. If G is a local group of transformations acting on M, and
whenever
for every infinitesimal generator V of G, then G is a symmetry group of the system.
In the following sections, this theorem is used to deduce explicitly different infinitesimal conditions for specific problems. It must be remembered, however, that, in all cases, though only the scalar differential problem is being discussed, Δ _{ v } is still used to denote different differential equations.
4. Galilean group and its prolongation
It is well known that as for NavierStokes equations, the intrinsic symmetries, except for the scaling symmetries, are just macroscopic consequences of the basic symmetries of Newton's equations governing microscopic molecular motion (in classical approximation). Any physical difference scheme should inherit the elementary symmetries (at least for Galilean symmetry) from the NavierStokes equations. This means that Galilean invariance has been an important issue in CFD. Furthermore, we stress that Galilean invariance is a basic requirement that is demanded for any physical difference scheme.
We have the Galilean transformation
Thus, the vector of the Galilean transformation is
According to Theorem 1, we have
5. Galilean invariance of firstorder conservative form scheme
The main prototype equation here is the modified equation. Equation 2.18 can be recast into
Based on the prolongation formula presented in Section 4, the Galilean invariance condition reads
Before beginning the group analysis, some detailed but mechanical calculations must be performed:
With these formulas, it is clear from Equation 5.3 that the invariance condition reduces into
Hence, we have
we can then write the model equation as
with
This manipulation yields the Burgers equation as following
where v _{1} = constant.
Based on the analysis of Equation 5.9, one have
where β _{0}, α are some parameters.
Here, it is useful to list some wellknown firstorder conservative schemes to show their unified character.
5.1. LaxFriedrichs scheme
5.2. 3point monotonicity scheme (Godunov, 1959)
5.3. General 3point conservation scheme
where
Here Q(x) is some function, which is often referred to as the coefficient of numerical viscosity.
Harten's lemma. Let Q(x) in (5.19) satisfy the inequalities
then finitedifference scheme is TVNI under the CFLlike restriction $\lambda \underset{j}{max}\mid {\mathit{\u0101}}_{j+\frac{1}{2}}\mid \le \mu .$
The coefficient of numerical viscosity could be expressed in terms of the β as follows
Therefore, one can have
If we choose
Then Equation 5.21 is consistence with the results of Harten's. In summary, we obtain
Theorem 3
If we let the coefficients in (2.18) satisfy the equality
where β _{0}, α is a dimensionless constant, then the firstorder conservative finite different scheme satisfies Galilean invariant condition.
6. Galilean invariance of secondorder conservative scheme
The same manipulation could be conducted for the case of the secondorder conservative scheme. The main prototype equation here is [15]
where
According to Theorem 2, one have
Before beginning the group analysis, some detailed but mechanical calculations must be performed:
The corresponding Galilean invariant condition reads:
The substitution leads
Hence, we have
It is clear that
After some manipulation, one could obtain the model equation as follows
In order to obtain the nonoscillation solution of shock, we could let the term of (u _{ x } )^{3} to be zero, then we have
This equation can be rewritten as below
or
The coefficient of the term of u _{ xxx } could be rewritten as
If we set
where a, b, m are some parameters. It is easy to show that
where γ _{0} = constant. In summary, we obtain
Theorem 4
If we let the coefficients in (6.1) satisfy the equality
where a, b, n, γ _{0} is a dimensionless constant, then the secondorder conservative finite different scheme satisfies Galilean invariant condition.
Here, we could give the details of the corresponding analysis by using the LaxWendroff scheme. It is well known that the LaxWendroff difference approximation to (2.1) is defined by
where
It is well known that the LaxWendroff scheme was designed to have the following desirable computational features [16–18]: conservation of form; to have a threepoint scheme; secondorder accuracy on smooth solutions. Numerical spikes and downstream oscillations are generated in the vicinity of the shock.
The numerical flux for LaxWendroff scheme can be written as
Using the general method presented in Section 2, one can obtain
and for the other case of the index r, s
Using the results of Theorem 4, we have
This leads the following corresponding relation for LaxWendroff scheme
The comparison of Equations 6.32 and 6.37 help us to draw some conclusion as follows: based on this analysis, we have known that the wellknown LaxWendroff scheme can recover the Galilean symmetry approximately.
7. Conclusions
It is known that the numerical solutions calculated by finite difference schemes are always associated with numerical dissipation and dispersion. Such errors can lead to undesirable numerical effects, especially for shock capturing. A full understanding of the nature of this odd numerical phenomenon is still lacking. Regardless of definition, spurious oscillations and overshoots are the most common symptoms of numerical stability. In one natural interpretation, these numerical phenomena are due to nonlinear stability, which links some symmetry breaking. This article uses a Lie symmetry analysis method to investigate Galilean invariance properties of several difference schemes for nonlinear equations. Two theorems have been obtained, which have demonstrated that the properties of Galilean invariance from a modification equation, can serve as the positive constrain condition for general conservative finite difference schemes.
It should be pointed out that the conclusions presented in this article have preliminary character and demand further study.
References
 1.
Harlow FH: The particleincell computing method for fluid dynamics. Methods Comput Phys 1964, 3: 319.
 2.
Yanenko NN, Shokin YI: On the group classification of difference schemes for systems of equations in gas dynamics. Proceedings of the second International Conference on Numerical Methods in Fluid Dynamics 1970.
 3.
Winternitz P: Symmetries of discrete system. Lecture presented at the CIMPA Winter School on Discrete Integrable System 2003.
 4.
Ran Z: Lie symmetries preservation and shock capturing methods. SIAM J Numer Anal 2007,46(1):325343.
 5.
Ran Z: Symmetry and nonphysical oscillation in shock capturing. Chin Quart Mech 2005, 26: 4. (In Chinese)
 6.
Harten A: High resolution schemes for hyperbolic conservation laws. J Comput Phys 1983, 49: 357393. 10.1016/00219991(83)901365
 7.
Harten A, Lax PD: A random choice finite difference scheme for hyperbolic conservation laws. SIAM J Numer Anal 1981, 18: 289315. 10.1137/0718021
 8.
Oleinik OA: Discontinuous solutions of nonlinear differential equations. Usp Mat Nauk 1957,12((3(75))):373. (in Russian)
 9.
Harten A, Lax PD, Leer BV: On upstream difference and Godunovtype schemes for hyperbolic conservation laws. SIAM Rev 1983,25(1):3561. 10.1137/1025002
 10.
Harten A, Hyman JM, Lax PD: On finite difference approximations and entropy conditions for shocks. Commun. Pure Appl Math 1976, 29: 297322. 10.1002/cpa.3160290305
 11.
Osher S, Chakravarthy S: High resolution schemes and the entropy condition. SIAM J Numer Anal 1984,21(5):955984. 10.1137/0721060
 12.
Olver PJ: Applications of Lie Group to Differential Equations. GTM 107. SpringerVerlag, New York; 1986.
 13.
Bluman GW, Kumei S: Symmetries and Differential Equations. In Applied Mathematical Sciences. Volume 81. SpringerVerlag, World Publishing Corp; 1991:194195.
 14.
Marsden JE, Ratiu TS: Introduction to Mechanics and Symmetry: A Basic Exposition of Classical Mechanical Systems. In Texts Appl Math. Volume 17. Springer Verlag, New York; 1994.
 15.
Shui HS: Finite Difference Methods for One Dimensional Fluid Dynamics. National Defence Industrial Press. Beijing; 1998.
 16.
Lax PD, Wendroff B: Systems of conservation laws. Commun Pure Appl Math 1960, 23: 217237.
 17.
Majda A, Osher S: A systematic approach for scalar conservation laws. Numer Math 1978, 30: 429452. 10.1007/BF01398510
 18.
Rubin EL, Burstein SZ: Difference methods for inviscid and viscous equations of compressible gas. J Comput Phys 1976, l2: 178196.
Acknowledgements
The author appreciates the numerous corrections and very useful comments from the referees on the manuscript. The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 90816013, 10572083), and also supported by the State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex System.
Author information
Additional information
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Rights and permissions
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
About this article
Cite this article
Ran, Z. Galilean invariance and the conservative difference schemes for scalar laws. Adv Differ Equ 2011, 53 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/16871847201153
Received:
Accepted:
Published:
Keywords
 difference scheme
 symmetry
 shock capturing method