Potential stability of sign pattern matrices




Grundy, David A.

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An n × n sign pattern A is potentially stable (PS) if there exists a real matrix A having the sign pattern A and with all its eigenvalues having negative real parts. The identification of non-trivial necessary and sufficient conditions for potential stability remains a long standing open problem. Here we review some of the previous results and give simplified proofs for some of these results. Three techniques are given for the construction of larger order PS sign patterns from given PS sign patterns. These techniques are: construction of a sign pattern that allows a nested sequence of properly signed principal minors (a nest), bordering of a PS sign pattern with additional rows and columns, and use of a similarity transformation of a matrix that is reducible with two diagonal blocks (one of which is a stable matrix and the other a negative scalar). The minimum number of nonzero entries in an irreducible minimally PS sign pattern is determined for n = 2, . . . , 6 and for an arbitrary sign pattern that allows a nest. We also determine lower bounds for the number of nonzero entries in irreducible minimally PS sign patterns having certain sign patterns for their diagonal entries. For irreducible PS sign patterns of order at least four, a bordering construction leads to a new upper bound for the minimum number of nonzero entries.



Potential stability, Sign pattern matrix, Eigenvalues, Digraphs