M. Oliver and S. Vasylkevych,
A new construction of modified equations for variational integrators,
submitted for publication.


The construction of modified equations is an important step in the backward error analysis of symplectic integrator for Hamiltonian systems. In the context of partial differential equations, the standard construction leads to modified equations with increasingly high frequencies which increase the regularity requirements on the analysis. In this paper, we consider the next order modified equations for the implicit midpoint rule applied to the semilinear wave equation to give a proof-of-concept of a new construction which works directly with the variational principle. We show that a carefully chosen change of coordinates yields a modified system which inherits its analytical properties from the original wave equation. Our method systematically exploits additional degrees of freedom by modifying the symplectic structure and the Hamiltonian together.
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