Critical exponents of graphs
Abstract
The study of entrywise powers of matrices was originated by Loewner in the pursuit of the Bieberbach conjecture. Since the work of FitzGerald and Horn (1977), it is known that $A^{\circ \alpha} := (a_{ij}^\alpha)$ is positive semidefinite for every entrywise nonnegative $n \times n$ positive semidefinite matrix $A = (a_{ij})$ if and only if $\alpha$ is a positive integer or $\alpha \geq n2$. This surprising result naturally extends the Schur product theorem, and demonstrates the existence of a sharp phase transition in preserving positivity. In this paper, we study when entrywise powers preserve positivity for matrices with structure of zeros encoded by graphs. To each graph is associated an invariant called its "critical exponent", beyond which every power preserves positivity. In our main result, we determine the critical exponents of all chordal/decomposable graphs, and relate them to the geometry of the underlying graphs. We then examine the critical exponent of important families of nonchordal graphs such as cycles and bipartite graphs. Surprisingly, large families of dense graphs have small critical exponents that do not depend on the number of vertices of the graphs.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 April 2015
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1504.04069
 Bibcode:
 2015arXiv150404069G
 Keywords:

 Mathematics  Combinatorics;
 Mathematics  Functional Analysis;
 05C50 (primary);
 15B48 (secondary)
 EPrint:
 21 pages