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Educational value of the algebraic numerical methods in electromagnetism

Fabio Freschi (Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Luca Giaccone (Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Maurizio Repetto (Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)



The aim of this paper is to highlight the educational value of algebraic numerical methods with respect to traditional numerical techniques based on differential formulation.


Algebraic formulations of electromagnetic fields are gaining a new interest in the research community. One common characteristic of these methods is that they impose field equations, for instance charge or mass conservation, directly in algebraic form as a sum of partial contributes, without using differential operators like the divergence one. This feature leads directly to a system of linear equations without requiring any intermediate differential formulation as in finite element method. In addition, these systems of linear equations can be efficiently expressed as a product of matrices related to problem topology and material characteristics.


Owing to these features, a MATLAB implementation of these theoretical frameworks is particularly efficient and simple and can be used by electrical engineering students which, even if with a basic mathematical background, have a good practice with network theory and its computer implementation. Following this way of thinking, a MATLAB based environment has been created and here it is presented and discussed.


The implementation of the algebraic formulation can be done by using very basic mathematical tools, therefore the algebraic method becomes also a good way to introduce the numerical field analysis to undergraduate students.



Freschi, F., Giaccone, L. and Repetto, M. (2008), "Educational value of the algebraic numerical methods in electromagnetism", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 1343-1357.



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