Most boundary element methods for two-dimensional boundary value problems are based on point collocation on the boundary and the use of splines as trial functions. Here we present a unified asymptotic error analysis for even as well as for odd degree splines subordinate to uniform or smoothly graded meshes and prove asymptotic convergence of optimal order. The equations are collocated at the breakpoints for odd degree and the internodal midpoints for even degree splines. The crucial assumption for the generalized boundary integral and integro-differential operators is strong ellipticity. Our analysis is based on simple Fourier expansions. In particular, we extend results by J. Saranen and W.L. Wendland from constant to variable coefficient equations. Our results include the first convergence proof of midpoint collocation with piecewise constant functions, i.e., the panel method for solving systems of Cauchy singular integral equations.
- Subject Classifications: AMS(MOS): 65R20, 65N99, 65N30, 65E05, 30C30, 73K30, 65N35, CR: G. 1.9