Condition pp 77-100 | Cite as

Probabilistic Analysis of Rectangular Matrices

  • Peter Bürgisser
  • Felipe Cucker
Part of the Grundlehren der mathematischen Wissenschaften book series (GL, volume 349)


We started Chap.  1 by stating a backward analysis for linear equation solving that was a particular case of a theorem of N.J. Higham. We may now quote this result in full.

Theotem 4.1Let \(A\in \mathbb {R}^{q\times n}\) have full rank, qn, \(b\in \mathbb {R}^{q}\), and suppose the least-squares problem min x bAxis solved using the Householder QR factorization method. The computed solution \(\tilde{x}\) is the exact solution to
$$\min_{x\in \mathbb {R}^n}\|\tilde{b}-\tilde{A}x\|, $$
where \(\tilde{A}\) and \(\tilde{b}\) satisfy the relative error bounds
$$\|\tilde{A}-A\|_F\leq n\gamma_{cq}\|A\|_F \quad\mbox{and}\quad \|\tilde{b}-b\|\leq n\gamma_{cq}\|b\| $$
where \(\gamma_{cq}:=\frac{cq\epsilon _{\mathsf {mach}}}{1- cq\epsilon _{\mathsf {mach}}}\) for a small constant c.  □
Replacing the Frobenius norm by the spectral norm, it follows from this backward stability result that the relative error for the computed solution \(\tilde{x}\) satisfies
$$ \frac{\|\tilde{x}-x\|}{\|x\|} \leq cn^{3/2} q\,\epsilon _{\mathsf {mach}}\mathsf {cond}(A,b) +o(\epsilon _{\mathsf {mach}}) $$
and the loss of precision is bounded by
$$ \mathsf {LoP}(A^\dagger b) \leq \log n^{3/2} q+\log \mathsf {cond}(A,b) + \log c+o(1), $$
where cond(A,b) is the normwise condition number for linear least squares (with respect to the spectral norm), which is defined as
$$\mathsf {cond}(A,b)=\lim_{\delta\to0} \sup_{\max\{\mathsf {RelError}(A),\mathsf {RelError}(b)\}\leq\delta} \frac{\mathsf {RelError}(A^{\dagger}b)}{\delta}. $$
This condition is bounded by a constant times κ(A)2 where κ(A)=∥A∥ ∥A −1∥. Consequently, to obtain expected bounds (or a smoothed analysis) for the loss of precision LoP(A b) from equation (**) it is enough to perform the corresponding analysis for logκ(A).

In this chapter we perform average and smoothed analyses of κ(A). It is worth noting that the bounds obtained are independent of n and depend only on the upper bound on the elongation n/q. Furthermore, surprisingly, they are also independent of σ.

These results indicate that for large reasonably elongated matrices, one may expect the loss of precision in the solution of least-squares problems to derive mostly from the backward error bounds of the algorithm used.


Frobenius Norm Spectral Norm Householder Transformation Tail Bound Gaussian Matrice 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Bürgisser
    • 1
  • Felipe Cucker
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für MathematikTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsCity University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong SAR

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