# Preconditioner for linear solvers (markdown test)

When solving a system of equations

iteratively (using, e.g., the conjugate gradient method), the convergene speed is usually determined by the condition number $\kappa(A)$, where

Thus, if $\lambda_{\min}(\boldsymbol{A}) \propto \tfrac{1}{h^2}$, which happends for example when solving a Poison problem using a finite element approximation with meshsize $h$, iterative solvers have a very hard time to solve the system efficiently.

## Preconditioners

In order to archieve robustness w.r.t. $h$, one strategy is to apply preconditioning to the linear system. This means that instead of solving $\boldsymbol{A} \boldsymbol{x} = \boldsymbol{b}$, we now solve

where $\boldsymbol{M}$ is a positive-definite matrix. This system has the same solution but we choose $\boldsymbol{M}$ in such a way, that the preconditioned system matrix has a $a$. Also $\boldsymbol{M}$ should be easy-to-compute.

Preconditoning is very important. Wikipedia, e.g., states for the CG method:

In most cases, preconditioning is necessary to ensure fast convergence of the conjugate gradient method.

In the best case, one can show that the $\kappa(\boldsymbol{M}^{-1} \boldsymbol{A})$ is uniformly bounded in $h$, i.e.

where the constant $\mathsf{C}$ is independent of $h$. In this case, we would have archieved full robustness w.r.t. $h$.

2023-01-06