A quantitative comparison is made between the Finite Element Method and four variants of the Transfer Matrix Method, as applied to free vibration analysis of rotor systems. The results are as follows: The Finite Element Method is the most robust method and can identify the largest number of natural frequencies. The finite-element-based Transfer Matrix Method is the most accurate method and uses the least amount of memory. The Polynomial Transfer Matrix Method is the fastest. The Riccati Transfer Matrix Method performed well but did not live up to its superior reputation. The Lund Transfer Matrix Method also performed well except on processing speed where it fell far short of the other methods.

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