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Lecture# Stationary Points and Saddle Points

Description

This lecture covers the concept of stationary points and saddle points in mathematical optimization. It explains the necessary and sufficient conditions for identifying these points, including the Hessian determinant and eigenvalues. The lecture also delves into symmetric matrices and diagonalization, providing insights into the nature of stationary points. Additionally, it discusses the orthogonal properties of matrices and the implications for identifying critical points. The presentation concludes with a detailed examination of specific examples and the practical application of these concepts in optimization problems.

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Related concepts (93)

Mathematical optimization

Mathematical optimization (alternatively spelled optimisation) or mathematical programming is the selection of a best element, with regard to some criterion, from some set of available alternatives. It is generally divided into two subfields: discrete optimization and continuous optimization. Optimization problems arise in all quantitative disciplines from computer science and engineering to operations research and economics, and the development of solution methods has been of interest in mathematics for centuries.

Saddle point

In mathematics, a saddle point or minimax point is a point on the surface of the graph of a function where the slopes (derivatives) in orthogonal directions are all zero (a critical point), but which is not a local extremum of the function. An example of a saddle point is when there is a critical point with a relative minimum along one axial direction (between peaks) and at a relative maximum along the crossing axis. However, a saddle point need not be in this form.

Combinatorial optimization

Combinatorial optimization is a subfield of mathematical optimization that consists of finding an optimal object from a finite set of objects, where the set of feasible solutions is discrete or can be reduced to a discrete set. Typical combinatorial optimization problems are the travelling salesman problem ("TSP"), the minimum spanning tree problem ("MST"), and the knapsack problem. In many such problems, such as the ones previously mentioned, exhaustive search is not tractable, and so specialized algorithms that quickly rule out large parts of the search space or approximation algorithms must be resorted to instead.

Inflection point

In differential calculus and differential geometry, an inflection point, point of inflection, flex, or inflection (rarely inflexion) is a point on a smooth plane curve at which the curvature changes sign. In particular, in the case of the graph of a function, it is a point where the function changes from being concave (concave downward) to convex (concave upward), or vice versa.

Convex optimization

Convex optimization is a subfield of mathematical optimization that studies the problem of minimizing convex functions over convex sets (or, equivalently, maximizing concave functions over convex sets). Many classes of convex optimization problems admit polynomial-time algorithms, whereas mathematical optimization is in general NP-hard.

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