Sum of squares certificates for stability of planar, homogeneous, and switched systems

We show that existence of a global polynomial Lyapunov function for a homogeneous polynomial vector field or a planar polynomial vector field (under a mild condition) implies existence of a polynomial Lyapunov function that is a sum of squares (sos) and that the negative of its derivative is also a sum of squares. This result … Read more

On the local stability of semidefinite relaxations

In this paper we consider a parametric family of polynomial optimization problems over algebraic sets. Although these problems are typically nonconvex, tractable convex relaxations via semidefinite programming (SDP) have been proposed. Often times in applications there is a natural value of the parameters for which the relaxation will solve the problem exactly. We study conditions … Read more

Stability of Polynomial Differential Equations: Complexity and Converse Lyapunov Questions

We consider polynomial differential equations and make a number of contributions to the questions of (i) complexity of deciding stability, (ii) existence of polynomial Lyapunov functions, and (iii) existence of sum of squares (sos) Lyapunov functions. (i) We show that deciding local or global asymptotic stability of cubic vector fields is strongly NP-hard. Simple variations … Read more

Approximate cone factorizations and lifts of polytopes

In this paper we show how to construct inner and outer convex approximations of a polytope from an approximate cone factorization of its slack matrix. This provides a robust generalization of the famous result of Yannakakis that polyhedral lifts of a polytope are controlled by (exact) nonnegative factorizations of its slack matrix. Our approximations behave … Read more

Lifts of Convex Sets and Cone Factorizations

In this paper we address the basic geometric question of when a given convex set is the image under a linear map of an affine slice of a given closed convex cone. Such a representation or ‘lift’ of the convex set is especially useful if the cone admits an efficient algorithm for linear optimization over … 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

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

Convex Graph Invariants

The structural properties of graphs are usually characterized in terms of invariants, which are functions of graphs that do not depend on the labeling of the nodes. In this paper we study convex graph invariants, which are graph invariants that are convex functions of the adjacency matrix of a graph. Some examples include functions of … Read more

The Convex Geometry of Linear Inverse Problems

In applications throughout science and engineering one is often faced with the challenge of solving an ill-posed inverse problem, where the number of available measurements is smaller than the dimension of the model to be estimated. However in many practical situations of interest, models are constrained structurally so that they only have a few degrees … Read more