A method and apparatus for modeling interactions can accurately model tribological and other properties and accommodate topological disruptions. Two portions of a problem space are represented, a first with a Lagrangian mesh and a second with an ALE mesh. The ALE and Lagrangian meshes are constructed so that each node on the surface of the Lagrangian mesh is in a known correspondence with adjacent nodes in the ALE mesh. The interaction can be predicted for a time interval. Material flow within the ALE mesh can accurately model complex interactions such as bifurcation. After prediction, nodes in the ALE mesh in correspondence with nodes on the surface of the Lagrangian mesh can be mapped so that they are once again adjacent to their corresponding Lagrangian mesh nodes. The ALE mesh can then be smoothed to reduce mesh distortion that might reduce the accuracy or efficiency of subsequent prediction steps. The process, from prediction through mapping and smoothing, can be repeated until a terminal condition is reached.