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The state of technological systems, such as reactions in a confined volume, are usually monitored with sensors within as well as outside the volume. To achieve the level of precision required by regulators, these data often need to be supplemented with the solution to a mathematical model of the process. The present work addresses an observed, and until now unexplained, convergence problem in the iterative solution in the application of the finite element method to boundary value problems. We use point group theory to clarify the cause of the non-convergence, and give rule problems. We use the appropriate and consistent orders of approximation on the boundary and within the volume so as to avoid non-convergence.
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