PURPOSE : An unconditionally positive definite finite difference scheme termed as UPFD has been derived to approximate a linear advection-diffusion-reaction equation which models exponential travelling waves and the coefficients of advection, diffusion and reactive terms have been chosen as one (Chen-Charpentier and Kojouharov, 2013). In this work, the author tests UPFD scheme under some other different regimes of advection, diffusion and reaction. The author considers the case when the coefficient of advection, diffusion and reaction are all equal to one and also cases under which advection or diffusion or reaction is more important. Some errors such as L1 error, dispersion, dissipation errors and relative errors are tabulated. Moreover, the author compares some spectral properties of the method under different regimes. The author obtains the variation of the following quantities with respect to the phase angle: modulus of exact amplification factor, modulus of amplification factor of the scheme and relative phase error. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : Difficulties can arise in stability analysis. It is important to have a full understanding of whether the conditions obtained for stability are sufficient, necessary or necessary and sufficient. The advection-diffusion-reaction is quite similar to the advection-diffusion equation, it has an extra reaction term and therefore obtaining stability of numerical methods discretizing advection-diffusion-reaction equation is not easy as is the case with numerical methods discretizing advection-diffusion equations. To avoid difficulty involved with obtaining region of stability, the author shall consider unconditionally stable finite difference schemes discretizing advection-diffusion-reaction equations. FINDINGS : The UPFD scheme is unconditionally stable but not unconditionally consistent. The scheme was tested on an advection-diffusion-reaction equation which models exponential travelling waves, and the author computed various errors such as L1 error, dispersion and dissipation errors, relative errors under some different regimes of advection, diffusion and reaction. The scheme works best for very small values of k as k → 0 (for instance, k = 0.00025, 0.0005) and performs satisfactorily at other values of k such as 0.001 for two regimes; a = 1, D = 1, κ = 1 and a = 1, D = 1, κ = 5. When a = 5, D = 1, κ = 1, the scheme performs quite well at k = 0.00025 and satisfactorily at k = 0.0005 but is not efficient at larger values of k. For the diffusive case (a = 1, D = 5, κ = 1), the scheme does not perform well. In general, the author can conclude that the choice of k is very important, as it affects to a great extent the performance of the method. ORIGINALITY/VALUE : The UPFD scheme is effective to solve advection-diffusion-reaction problems when advection or reactive regime is dominant and for the case, a = 1, D = 1, κ = 1, especially at low values of k. Moreover, the magnitude of the dispersion and dissipation errors using UPFD are of the same order for all the four regimes considered as seen from Tables 1 to 4. This indicates that if the author is to optimize the temporal step size at a given value of the spatial step size, the optimization function must consist of both the AFM and RPE. Some related work on optimization can be seen in Appadu (2013). Higher-order unconditionally stable schemes can be constructed for the regimes for which UPFD is not efficient enough for instance when advection and diffusion are dominant.
A short version of this paper was presented at the 10th International Symposium on Numerical Analysis of Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer, Numerical Fluids 2015 held in Rhodes, Greece from 23 to 29 September 2015 and published in Appadu (2016).