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Computational or Analytical?

Roozbeh Sanaei's picture

Computational or Analytical? 

Once you can describe a problem analytically, you should be able to solve the problem straightforward. Moreover, bookkeeping of the related variables is rather easy, enabling you to model your problem in an rather easy fashion. (During my undergraduate courses, I used to check my assignents by Excel). However, implementing such a strategy in software involves a certain amount of problem directed programming - i.e. your code may be valid for a given problem only.

Numerical algorithms on the other hand allow an approximation of a problem, where often no analytical solution can be obtained. Speaking of FEA, the solution approach is quite structured, but you need a basic understanding, whether you modelling approach is right - again a good point for the analytical approach.

Considering the possibility to apply a general software for most problems - under the condition that you have a solid understanding about the encountered problems in general and sufficient computational ressources, I'd vote for the numerical

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