A simple, but versatile, algorithm called the direct sensitivity coefficient (DSC) method has been developed to deal with multidimensional inverse heat conduction (IHC) problems. Different sensitivity coefficients have been used to assess the physical responses of the domain considered under unit loading conditions. The concept of the finite-element discretization has been applied to evaluate the global responses under total loading conditions. The method developed is capable of dealing with unknown surface heat flux, surface temperature, heal transfer coefficient, or any combination of them. In this article the formulation as well as the theory adopted is discussed. The finite-element procedures for solving a two-dimensional steady-state problem art specifically illustrated. Analysis for several selected benchmark problems is then presented, emphasizing accuracy estimations. Both linear and nonlinear problems are considered. Recommendations for further work are also included in this article.
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