[petsc-users] choosing a preconditioner

Matthew Knepley knepley at gmail.com
Sat Feb 20 09:26:56 CST 2010

The unfortunate part of the word "preconditioner" is that it is about as
precise as "justice".
All good preconditioners are problem specific. That said, my quick
suggestions are:

Block box PCs: Yousef Saad's "Iterative Methods etc." is a good overview

MG: Bill Brigg's "Multigrid Tutorial" is good, and so is "Multigrid..." by

Domain Decomp: Widlund and Tosseli's Title I can't remember is good

but most really good PCs come from special solutions, linearizations, frozen
recognizing strong vs. weak coupling, etc.


On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 6:21 AM, Craig Tanis <craig-tanis at utc.edu> wrote:

> >
> > Nobody can suggest anything unless you tell us something about the
> > problem you are solving.
> >
> This is a related question, and I apologize if it's too OT:  I often find
> myself just trying a bunch of -pc options to see what appears to work best.
>  I understand the concept of preconditioners, and simple ones like ILU,
> Jacobi,etc are clear enough.
> I am a bit lost when we start talking about eigenvalue methods or
> preconditioners that require some knowledge of how the matrix is
> constructed.. can anybody recommend a resource/book for unraveling the
> mysteries of preconditioners?
> thanks,
> Craig

What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their experiments
is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their experiments
-- Norbert Wiener
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