Minimizer extraction in polynomial optimization is robust

In this article we present a robustness analysis of the extraction of optimizers in polynomial optimization. Optimizers can be extracted by solving moment problems using flatness and the Gelfand-Naimark-Segal (GNS) construction. Here a modification of the GNS construction is presented that applies even to non-flat data, and then its sensitivity under perturbations is studied. The … Read more

Constrained trace-optimization of polynomials in freely noncommuting variables

The study of matrix inequalities in a dimension-free setting is in the realm of free real algebraic geometry (RAG). In this paper we investigate constrained trace and eigenvalue optimization of noncommutative polynomials. We present Lasserre’s relaxation scheme for trace optimization based on semidefinite programming (SDP) and demonstrate its convergence properties. Finite convergence of this relaxation … Read more

Rational sums of hermitian squares of free noncommutative polynomials

In this paper we consider polynomials in noncommuting variables that admit sum of hermitian squares and commutators decompositions. We recall algorithms for finding decompositions of this type that are based on semidefinite programming. The main part of the article investigates how to find such decomposition with rational coefficients if the original polynomial has rational coefficients. … Read more

Algorithmic aspects of sums of hermitian squares of noncommutative polynomials

This paper presents an algorithm and its implementation in the software package NCSOStools for finding sums of hermitian squares and commutators decompositions for polynomials in noncommuting variables. The algorithm is based on noncommutative analogs of the classical Gram matrix method and the Newton polytope method, which allows us to use semidefinite programming. Throughout the paper … Read more

An exact duality theory for semidefinite programming based on sums of squares

Farkas’ lemma is a fundamental result from linear programming providing linear certificates for infeasibility of systems of linear inequalities. In semidefinite programming, such linear certificates only exist for strongly infeasible linear matrix inequalities. We provide nonlinear algebraic certificates for all infeasible linear matrix inequalities in the spirit of real algebraic geometry: A linear matrix inequality … Read more


In this paper we study constrained eigenvalue optimization of noncommutative (nc) polynomials, focusing on the polydisc and the ball. Our three main results are as follows: (1) an nc polynomial is nonnegative if and only if it admits a weighted sum of hermitian squares decomposition; (2) (eigenvalue) optima for nc polynomials can be computed using … Read more


Abstract. NCSOStools is a Matlab toolbox for – symbolic computation with polynomials in noncommuting variables; – constructing and solving sum of hermitian squares (with commutators) programs for polynomials in noncommuting variables. It can be used in combination with semidefi nite programming software, such as SeDuMi, SDPA or SDPT3 to solve these constructed programs. This paper provides … Read more

The tracial moment problem and trace-optimization of polynomials

The main topic addressed in this paper is trace-optimization of polynomials in noncommuting (nc) variables: given an nc polynomial f, what is the smallest trace f(A) can attain for a tuple of matrices A? A relaxation using semidefinite programming (SDP) based on sums of hermitian squares and commutators is proposed. While this relaxation is not … Read more

The matricial relaxation of a linear matrix inequality

Given linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) L_1 and L_2, it is natural to ask: (Q1) when does one dominate the other, that is, does L_1(X) PsD imply L_2(X) PsD? (Q2) when do they have the same solution set? Such questions can be NP-hard. This paper describes a natural relaxation of an LMI, based on substituting matrices … Read more

On the nonexistence of sum of squares certificates for the BMV conjecture

The algebraic reformulation of the BMV conjecture is equivalent to a family of dimensionfree tracial inequalities involving positive semidefinite matrices. Sufficient conditions for these to hold in the form of algebraic identities involving polynomials in noncommuting variables have been given by Markus Schweighofer and the second author. Later the existence of these certificates has been … Read more