We consider degree-d forms on the Euclidean unit sphere. We specialize to our setting a genericity result by Nie obtained in a more general framework. We exhibit an homogeneous polynomial Res in the coeﬀicients of f, such that if Res(f) is not zero then all points that satisfy first- and second-order necessary optimality conditions are in fact local minima of f. Then we obtain obtain a simple and compact characterization of all local minima of generic degree-d forms, solely in terms of the value of (i) f, (ii) the norm of its gradient, and (iii) the first two smallest eigenvalues of its Hessian, all evaluated at the point. In fact this property also holds for twice continuous differentiable functions that are positively homogeneous. Finally we obtain a characterization of generic degree-d forms with no spurious local minimum by using a property of gradient ideals in algebraic geometry.
View Homogeneous polynomials and spurious local minima on the unit sphere