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Concept# Conical combination

Summary

Given a finite number of vectors in a real vector space, a conical combination, conical sum, or weighted sum of these vectors is a vector of the form
where are non-negative real numbers.
The name derives from the fact that a conical sum of vectors defines a cone (possibly in a lower-dimensional subspace).
The set of all conical combinations for a given set S is called the conical hull of S and denoted cone(S) or coni(S). That is,
By taking k = 0, it follows the zero vector (origin) belongs to all conical hulls (since the summation becomes an empty sum).
The conical hull of a set S is a convex set. In fact, it is the intersection of all convex cones containing S plus the origin. If S is a compact set (in particular, when it is a finite non-empty set of points), then the condition "plus the origin" is unnecessary.
If we discard the origin, we can divide all coefficients by their sum to see that a conical combination is a convex combination scaled by a positive factor.
Therefore, "conical combinations" and "conical hulls" are in fact "convex conical combinations" and "convex conical hulls" respectively. Moreover, the above remark about dividing the coefficients while discarding the origin implies that the conical combinations and hulls may be considered as convex combinations and convex hulls in the projective space.
While the convex hull of a compact set is also a compact set, this is not so for the conical hull; first of all, the latter one is unbounded. Moreover, it is not even necessarily a closed set: a counterexample is a sphere passing through the origin, with the conical hull being an open half-space plus the origin. However, if S is a non-empty convex compact set which does not contain the origin, then the convex conical hull of S is a closed set.

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In mathematics, an affine combination of x1, ..., xn is a linear combination such that Here, x1, ..., xn can be elements (vectors) of a vector space over a field K, and the coefficients are elements of K. The elements x1, ..., xn can also be points of a Euclidean space, and, more generally, of an affine space over a field K. In this case the are elements of K (or for a Euclidean space), and the affine combination is also a point. See for the definition in this case.

In mathematics, the affine hull or affine span of a set S in Euclidean space Rn is the smallest affine set containing S, or equivalently, the intersection of all affine sets containing S. Here, an affine set may be defined as the translation of a vector subspace. The affine hull aff(S) of S is the set of all affine combinations of elements of S, that is, The affine hull of the empty set is the empty set. The affine hull of a singleton (a set made of one single element) is the singleton itself.

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