Author’s summary: A convergence proof is given for an abstract parabolic equation using general space decomposition techniques. The space decomposition technique may be a domain decomposition method, a multilevel method, or a multigrid method. It is shown that if the Euler or Crank-Nicolson scheme is used for the parabolic equation, then by suitably choosing the space decomposition, only
steps of iteration at each time level are needed, where
is the time-stepsize. Applications to overlapping domain decomposition and to a two-level method are given for a second-order parabolic equation. The analysis shows that only a one-element overlap is needed. Discussions about iterative and noniterative methods for parabolic equations are presented. A method that combines the two approaches and utilizes some of the good properties of the two approaches is tested numerically.