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LifeV (to be read Life Five) is an open source library for the numerical solution of partial differential equations with the Finite Element Method (FEM). The choice of the FEM is motivated by its rigorous mathematical background, with a sound control of the accuracy, coupled with excellent flexibility in managing complex geometries.

LifeV is written in C++ and is entirely coded with an Object Oriented approach in mind, leveraging advanced programming features. The project started in 1999 from the collaboration of the Department of Mathematics at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, of the Department of Mathematics at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and the INRIA Rocquencourt, France, under the supervision of Alfio Quarteroni. Nowadays, LifeV is concurrently developed and maintained by CMCS@EPFL Lausanne, MOX@Politecnico di Milano, REO, ESTIME@INRIA, and the E(CM)2 group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory University, Atlanta (GA), USA.

As for now, the library includes solvers for incompressible fluid dynamics, (linear) structural problems, transport in porous media, fluid-structure interaction, electrical conduction in the heart. Even though this library is a research code oriented to the development and test of new numerical methods and algorithms, it is intended to be an effective tool for solving complex "real-life" engineering problems. One of the main field of applications (although not the only one) is cardiovascular mathematics.

Developers are:

  • Researchers

  • Post docs

  • PhD students

Target users are the developers themselves, master students, and other researchers. Medium term target is to make LifeV more accessible to external users.

There are two distributed versions of LifeV: one is parallel, for complex three dimensional engineering problems, the other is serial, for one, two and three dimensional problems (prototyping, testing).

Parallel linear algebra is based on Trilinos.

The public source code is distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and is downloadable from the repository lifev-release, cf also Copyright.

The development of LifeV has been funded over the years by a number of subjects including the European Commission, the Fondazione Politecnico, Siemens Medical Solutions Italy, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Italian Ministry for Education Universities and Research.

For new users, to get help please connect to the user community on the lifev-user google group.


Becoming a new developer

Using git

LifeV environment and installation

LifeV in Docker container

Development guidelines

stiling your cpp and hpp files

LifeV documentation

LifeV API Documentation

LifeV Modules

LifeV Tutorial

Other topics

Migration to Bitbucket tips


Old documents

FESpace classes in LifeV (2014)

Boundary conditions in LifeV and main issues (2014)

Slides on XFEM (2013)

CurrentFEManifold replacing CurrentBoundaryFE (2013)

Emory updates (2013)