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Developer(s) Wolfgang Bangerth, Timo Heister, Guido Kanschat, Matthias Maier et al.
Initial release 2000; 17 years ago (2000)
Stable release
8.5.0 / 6 April 2017; 7 months ago (2017-04-06)
Written in C++
Operating system Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Type Finite element analysis
License GNU Lesser General Public License 2.1 or later

deal.II is a free, open source library to solve partial differential equations using the finite element method.[1][2]  The current release is version 8.5.0 released in April 2017.[3] In 2007 the authors won the J. H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software for deal.II.[4]


The library features

  • dimension independent programming using C++ templates on locally adapted meshes,
  • a large collection of different finite elements of any order: continuous and discontinuous Lagrange elements, Nedelec elements, Raviart-Thomas elements, and combinations,
  • parallelization using multithreading through TBB and massively parallel using MPI. deal.II has been shown to scale to at least 16,000 processors[5]
  • multigrid method with local smoothing on adaptively refined meshes[6][7]
  • hp-FEM
  • extensive documentation and tutorial programs,
  • interfaces to several libraries including PETSc, Trilinos, METIS, VTK, p4est, BLAS, LAPACK, HDF5, NetCDF.


The software started from work at the Numerical Methods Group at Heidelberg University in Germany in 1998. The first public release was version 3.0.0 in 2000. Since then deal.II has gotten contributions from many different authors[8] and has been used in hundreds of research publications.[9]

The primary maintainers, coordinating the worldwide development of the library, are today located at Colorado State University, Clemson University, Heidelberg University and the University of Minnesota.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bangerth, W; Hartmann, R; Kanschat, G. (2007). "deal.II - a general purpose object oriented finite element library". ACM Trans. Math. Softw. 33. 
  2. ^ "deal.II Homepage". deal.II Homepage. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Arndt, Daniel; Bangerth, Wolfgang; Davydov, Denis; Heister, Timo; Heltai, Luca; Kronbichler, Martin; Maier, Matthias; Pelteret, Jean-Paul; Turcksin, Bruno (2017-09-26). "The deal.II library, version 8.5". Journal of Numerical Mathematics. 25 (3). doi:10.1515/jnma-2017-0058. ISSN 1569-3953. 
  4. ^ "Developers of Finite Element Library Receive Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software". Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Bangerth, W.; Burstedde, C.; Heister, T.; Kronbichler, M. (2011). "Algorithms and Data Structures for Massively Parallel Generic Finite Element Codes". ACM Trans. Math. Softw. 38. 
  6. ^ Janssen, B.; Kanschat, G. (2011). "Adaptive multilevel methods with local smoothing for H1- and Hcurl-conforming high order finite element methods". SIAM J. Sci. Comput. 33 (4). 
  7. ^ Kanschat, G. (2004). "Multi-level methods for discontinuous Galerkin FEM on locally refined meshes". Computers & Structures. 82. 
  8. ^ "deal.II Authors". Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "List of Publications". Retrieved 28 August 2014. 

External links[edit]