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Concept# Generalized eigenvector

Summary

In linear algebra, a generalized eigenvector of an matrix is a vector which satisfies certain criteria which are more relaxed than those for an (ordinary) eigenvector.
Let be an -dimensional vector space and let be the matrix representation of a linear map from to with respect to some ordered basis.
There may not always exist a full set of linearly independent eigenvectors of that form a complete basis for . That is, the matrix may not be diagonalizable. This happens when the algebraic multiplicity of at least one eigenvalue is greater than its geometric multiplicity (the nullity of the matrix , or the dimension of its nullspace). In this case, is called a defective eigenvalue and is called a defective matrix.
A generalized eigenvector corresponding to , together with the matrix generate a Jordan chain of linearly independent generalized eigenvectors which form a basis for an invariant subspace of .
Using generalized eigenvectors, a set of linearly independent eigenvectors of can be extended, if necessary, to a complete basis for . This basis can be used to determine an "almost diagonal matrix" in Jordan normal form, similar to , which is useful in computing certain matrix functions of . The matrix is also useful in solving the system of linear differential equations where need not be diagonalizable.
The dimension of the generalized eigenspace corresponding to a given eigenvalue is the algebraic multiplicity of .
There are several equivalent ways to define an ordinary eigenvector. For our purposes, an eigenvector associated with an eigenvalue of an × matrix is a nonzero vector for which , where is the × identity matrix and is the zero vector of length . That is, is in the kernel of the transformation . If has linearly independent eigenvectors, then is similar to a diagonal matrix . That is, there exists an invertible matrix such that is diagonalizable through the similarity transformation . The matrix is called a spectral matrix for . The matrix is called a modal matrix for .

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Canonical basis

In mathematics, a canonical basis is a basis of an algebraic structure that is canonical in a sense that depends on the precise context: In a coordinate space, and more generally in a free module, it refers to the standard basis defined by the Kronecker delta. In a polynomial ring, it refers to its standard basis given by the monomials, . For finite extension fields, it means the polynomial basis. In linear algebra, it refers to a set of n linearly independent generalized eigenvectors of an n×n matrix , if the set is composed entirely of Jordan chains.

Eigenvalues and eigenvectors

In linear algebra, an eigenvector (ˈaɪgənˌvɛktər) or characteristic vector of a linear transformation is a nonzero vector that changes at most by a constant factor when that linear transformation is applied to it. The corresponding eigenvalue, often represented by , is the multiplying factor. Geometrically, a transformation matrix rotates, stretches, or shears the vectors it acts upon. The eigenvectors for a linear transformation matrix are the set of vectors that are only stretched, with no rotation or shear.

Modal matrix

In linear algebra, the modal matrix is used in the diagonalization process involving eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Specifically the modal matrix for the matrix is the n × n matrix formed with the eigenvectors of as columns in . It is utilized in the similarity transformation where is an n × n diagonal matrix with the eigenvalues of on the main diagonal of and zeros elsewhere. The matrix is called the spectral matrix for . The eigenvalues must appear left to right, top to bottom in the same order as their corresponding eigenvectors are arranged left to right in .

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