Quantitative Aspects of Sums of Squares and Sparse Polynomial Systems
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Computational algebraic geometry is the study of roots of polynomials and polynomial systems. We are familiar with the notion of degree, but there are other ways to consider a polynomial: How many variables does it have? How many terms does it have? Considering the sparsity of a polynomial means we pay special attention to the number of terms. One can sometimes profit greatly by making use of sparsity when doing computations by utilizing tools from linear programming and integer matrix factorization. This thesis investigates several problems from the point of view of sparsity. Consider a system F of n polynomials over n variables, with a total of n + k distinct exponent vectors over any local field L. We discuss conjecturally tight bounds on the maximal number of non-degenerate roots F can have over L, with all coordinates having fixed phase, as a function of n, k, and L only. In particular, we give new explicit systems with number of roots approaching the best known upper bounds. We also give a complete classification for when an n-variate n + 2-nomial positive polynomial can be written as a sum of squares of polynomials. Finally, we investigate the problem of approximating roots of polynomials from the viewpoint of sparsity by developing a method of approximating roots for binomial systems that runs more efficiently than other current methods. These results serve as building blocks for proving results for less sparse polynomial systems.
Phillipson, Kaitlyn Rose (2016). Quantitative Aspects of Sums of Squares and Sparse Polynomial Systems. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from