Generalized Newton methods for the 2D-Signorini contact problem with friction in function space

Karl Kunisch, Georg Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 2D-Signorini contact problem with Tresca and Coulomb friction is discussed in infinite-dimensional Hubert spaces. First, the problem with given friction (Tresca friction) is considered. It leads to a constraint non-differentiable minimization problem. By means of the Fenchel duality theorem this problem can be transformed into a constrained minimization involving a smooth functional. A regularization technique for the dual problem motivated by augmented Lagrangians allows to apply an infinite-dimensional semi-smooth Newton method for the solution of the problem with given friction. The resulting algorithm is locally superlinearly convergent and can be interpreted as active set strategy. Combining the method with an augmented Lagrangian method leads to convergence of the iterates to the solution of the original problem. Comprehensive numerical tests discuss, among others, the dependence of the algorithm's performance on material and regularization parameters and on the mesh. The remarkable efficiency of the method carries over to the Signorini problem with Coulomb friction by means of fixed point ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-854
Number of pages28
JournalMathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Active sets
  • Augmented Lagrangians
  • Complementarity system
  • Coulomb and Tresca friction
  • Fenchel dual
  • Linear elasticity
  • Semi-smooth Newton method
  • Signorini contact problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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