Mesh Topology Based Data Mapping
between Simplex Finite Element Meshes

Daniel Rypl

Department of Mechanics
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Czech Technical University in Prague
Thákurova 7, 166 29 Prague, Czech Republic


This paper deals with the transfer of finite element data between mutually different, simplex finite element meshes discretizing the same geometrical model. The work focuses on a construction of the localization map defining for each node of the target mesh, onto which the data are to be transferred, the closest element of the original source mesh. Instead of adopting commonly applied strategies constructing the map using a spatial index based on various tree or dynamic cell data structures, a different approach utilising the topology of the mesh is introduced. The actual localization is performed using a walking algorithm, which is based on the traversal between neighbouring elements of the source mesh from an initial element towards the processed node. The order in which the individual nodes of the target mesh are processed is driven by the nodal connectivity of the target mesh and is implemented via an advancing front. This ensures that only those target nodes that have as neighbour already processed node, are ready for localization. To make the algorithm efficient and reliable, the implementation also relies on the classification of the processed meshes to the underlying geometrical model. The performance of the proposed approach is demonstrated on a three-dimensional real-world example.