# [GSoC] Week 8: Solving Ax = b and Determinant

Hi All,

Sorry, I couldn’t write a blog post last week. During past two weeks, I contributed in solving some of the bugs in CSymPy and the determinant of a Matrix. Also, I implemented the solutions of the system by using various decomposition methods.

# Determinant of a Matrix

I implemented determinant using two different methods, Bareiss’s method and Berkowitz algorithm.

## Bareiss’s algorithm

Bareiss’s algorithm[1] can be used to find the row echelon form or determinant of a Matrix. This is not a division free algorithm, but guarantees that all the divisions are exact, i.e. there is no remainder [2]. The algorithm is based on Sylvester’s identity and a transformation that yields the determinant after successive application. This can be also used to solve a system of equations. You can read more about the algorithm in [2].

## Berkowitz Algorithm

Berkowitz algorithm can also be used in calculating the determinant. This algorithms has various other applications as well, like calculating characteristic polynomial of a matrix, principal minors and Eigen values. I am yet to implement the calculation of characteristic polynomial and Eigen values using this algorithm but that won’t be a difficult thing. I wish to do it over the weekend.

# Ax = b

I used various matrix decompositions implemented earlier to solve the system . Only the fraction free LU decomposition was used earlier, but now we can solve linear systems using LU decomposition and LDL decomposition. QR and Cholesky decomposition can be enabled after figuring out a good way to do expression simplification in CSymPy.

I hope to work on Sparse matrices in upcoming weeks and do some benchmarks of CSymPy’s algorithms with GiNaC.

# References

[1] Erwin H. Bareiss, Sylvester’s Identity and Multi step Integer-Preserving Gaussian Elimination

[2] Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bareiss_algorithm

[3] Wolfram Mathworld article, http://mathworld.wolfram.com/SylvestersDeterminantIdentity.html

- Posted in: GSoC-2014-CSymPy
- Tagged: CSymPy, determinant, Linear Algebra, SymPy

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