Unconstrained Parametric Minimization of a Polynomial: Approximate and Exact
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We consider a monic polynomial of even degree with symbolic coefficients. We give a method for obtaining an expression in the coefficients (regarded as parameters) that is a lower bound on the value of the polynomial, or in other words a lower bound on the minimum of the polynomial. The main advantage of accepting a bound on the minimum, in contrast to an expression for the exact minimum, is that the algebraic form of the result can be kept relatively simple. Any exact result for a minimum will necessarily require parametric representations of algebraic numbers, whereas the bounds given here are much simpler. In principle, the method given here could be used to find the exact minimum, but only for low degree polynomials is this feasible; we illustrate this for a quartic polynomial. As an application, we compute rectifying transformations for integrals of trigonometric functions. The transformations require the construction of polynomials that are positive definite.
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