In this paper, we study the facial structure of the linear image of a cone. We define the singularity degree of a face of a cone to be the minimum number of steps it takes to expose it using exposing vectors from the dual cone. We show that the singularity degree of the linear image of a cone is exactly the number of facial reduction steps to obtain the minimal face in a corresponding primal conic optimization problem. This result generalizes the relationship between the complexity of general facial reduction algorithms and facial exposedness of conic images under a linear transform by Drusvyatskiy, Pataki and Wolkowicz to arbitrary singularity degree. We present our results in the original form and also in its nullspace form. As a major application, we derive an upper bound for the singularity degree of generic frameworks or tensegrities in 2 or 3 dimensional space underlying certain graphical structure.

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