MiS Preprint Repository

We have decided to discontinue the publication of preprints on our preprint server as of 1 March 2024. The publication culture within mathematics has changed so much due to the rise of repositories such as ArXiV ( that we are encouraging all institute members to make their preprints available there. An institute's repository in its previous form is, therefore, unnecessary. The preprints published to date will remain available here, but we will not add any new preprints here.

MiS Preprint

A highly accurate full subtraction approach for dipole modelling in EEG source analysis using the finite element method

Florian Drechsler, Carsten H. Wolters, Thomas Dierkes, Hang Si and Lars Grasedyck


A mathematical dipole is widely used as a model for the primary current source in electroencephalography (EEG) source analysis. In the governing Poisson-type differential equation, the dipole leads to a singularity on the right-hand side, which has to be treated specifically. In this paper, we will present a full subtraction approach where the total potential is divided into a singularity and a correction potential. The singularity potential is due to a dipole in an infinite region of homogeneous conductivity. The correction potential is computed using the finite element (FE) method. Special care is taken to appropriately evaluate the right-hand side integral with the objective of achieving highest possible convergence order for linear basis functions. Our new approach allows the construction of transfer matrices for fast computation of the inverse problem for volume conductors with arbitrary local and remote conductivity anisotropy. A constrained Delaunay tetrahedralisation (CDT) approach is used for the generation of high-quality FE meshes. We validate the new approach in a four-layer sphere model with anisotropic skull compartment. For radial and tangential sources with eccentricities up to 1mm below the cerebrospinal fluid compartment, we achieve a maximal relative error of 0.71% in a tetrahedra model with 360K nodes which is not locally refined around the source singularity. The combination of the full subtraction approach with the high quality CDT meshes leads to accuracies that, to the best of the authors knowledge, have not yet been presented before.

Oct 25, 2007
Oct 25, 2007
source reconstruction, electroencephalography, full subtraction approach, finite element method, constrained Delaunay tetrahedralisation, projected subtraction approach, transfer matrices, validation in four-layer sphere models, electronencephalography, dipole, validateion in four-layer sphere models

Related publications

2009 Repository Open Access
Florian Drechsler, Carsten H. Wolters, Thomas Dierkes, Hang Si and Lars Grasedyck

A full subtraction approach for finite element method based source analysis using constrained Delaunay tetrahedralisation

In: NeuroImage, 46 (2009) 4, pp. 1055-1065