On the Difficulty of Deciding Asymptotic Stability of Cubic Homogeneous Vector Fields

It is well-known that asymptotic stability (AS) of homogeneous polynomial vector fields of degree one (i.e., linear systems) can be decided in polynomial time e.g. by searching for a quadratic Lyapunov function. Since homogeneous vector fields of even degree can never be AS, the next interesting degree to consider is equal to three. In this … Read more

A Complete Characterization of the Gap between Convexity and SOS-Convexity

Our first contribution in this paper is to prove that three natural sum of squares (sos) based sufficient conditions for convexity of polynomials via the definition of convexity, its first order characterization, and its second order characterization are equivalent. These three equivalent algebraic conditions, henceforth referred to as sos-convexity, can be checked by semidefinite programming … Read more

Joint Spectral Radius and Path-Complete Graph Lyapunov Functions

We introduce the framework of path-complete graph Lyapunov functions for approximation of the joint spectral radius. The approach is based on the analysis of the underlying switched system via inequalities imposed among multiple Lyapunov functions associated to a labeled directed graph. Inspired by concepts in automata theory and symbolic dynamics, we define a class of … Read more

Joint Spectral Radius and Path-Complete Graph Lyapunov Functions

We introduce the framework of path-complete graph Lyapunov functions for approximation of the joint spectral radius. The approach is based on the analysis of the underlying switched system via inequalities imposed among multiple Lyapunov functions associated to a labeled directed graph. Inspired by concepts in automata theory and symbolic dynamics, we define a class of … Read more

NP-hardness of Deciding Convexity of Quartic Polynomials and Related Problems

We show that unless P=NP, there exists no polynomial time (or even pseudo-polynomial time) algorithm that can decide whether a multivariate polynomial of degree four (or higher even degree) is globally convex. This solves a problem that has been open since 1992 when N. Z. Shor asked for the complexity of deciding convexity for quartic … Read more

A convex polynomial that is not sos-convex

A multivariate polynomial $p(x)=p(x_1,…,x_n)$ is sos-convex if its Hessian $H(x)$ can be factored as $H(x)= M^T(x) M(x)$ with a possibly nonsquare polynomial matrix $M(x)$. It is easy to see that sos-convexity is a sufficient condition for convexity of $p(x)$. Moreover, the problem of deciding sos-convexity of a polynomial can be cast as the feasibility of … Read more