WIAS Preprint No. 1968, (2014)

Minimal zeros of copositive matrices


  • Hildebrand, Roland

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 15A48 15A21


  • Copositive matrix, irreducibility, extreme ray




Let $A$ be an element of the copositive cone $coposn$. A zero $u$ of $A$ is a nonzero nonnegative vector such that $u^TAu = 0$. The support of $u$ is the index set $Suppu subset 1,dots,n$ corresponding to the positive entries of $u$. A zero $u$ of $A$ is called minimal if there does not exist another zero $v$ of $A$ such that its support $Suppv$ is a strict subset of $Suppu$. We investigate the properties of minimal zeros of copositive matrices and their supports. Special attention is devoted to copositive matrices which are irreducible with respect to the cone $S_+(n)$ of positive semi-definite matrices, i.e., matrices which cannot be written as a sum of a copositive and a nonzero positive semi-definite matrix. We give a necessary and sufficient condition for irreducibility of a matrix $A$ with respect to $S_+(n)$ in terms of its minimal zeros. A similar condition is given for the irreducibility with respect to the cone $NNMn$ of entry-wise nonnegative matrices. For $n = 5$ matrices which are irreducible with respect to both $S_+(5)$ and $NNM5$ are extremal. For $n = 6$ a list of candidate combinations of supports of minimal zeros which an exceptional extremal matrix can have is provided.

Appeared in

  • Linear Algebra and its Applications, 459 (2014) pp. 154--174.

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