Preprint 64/2016

Spectrahedral Containment and Operator Systems with finite-dimensional Realization

Tobias Fritz, Tim Netzer, and Andreas Thom

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Submission date: 27. Sep. 2016 (revised version: October 2017)
Pages: 20
published in: SIAM journal on applied algebra and geometry, 1 (2017) 1, p. 556-574 
DOI number (of the published article): 10.1137/16M1100642
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Link to arXiv: See the arXiv entry of this preprint.

Containment problems for polytopes and spectrahedra appear in various applications, such as linear and semidefinite programming, combinatorics, convexity and stability analysis of differential equations. This paper explores the theoretical background of a method proposed by Ben-Tal and Nemirovksi [?]. Their method provides a strengthening of the containment problem, that is algorithmically well tractable. To analyze this method, we study abstract operator systems, and investigate when they have a finite-dimensional concrete realization. Our results give some profound insight into their approach. They imply that when testing the inclusion of a fixed polyhedral cone in an arbitrary spectrahedron, the strengthening is tight if and only if the polyhedral cone is a simplex. This is true independent of the representation of the polytope. We also deduce error bounds in the other cases, simplifying and extending recent results by various authors.

24.11.2021, 02:19