Sum-of-squares certificates for copositivity via test states

Author:

Markus Schweighofer, Luis Felipe Vargas

Keyword:

Mathematics, Algebraic Geometry, Algebraic Geometry (math.AG), Rings and Algebras (math.RA)

journal:

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date:

2023-10-18 16:00:00

Abstract

In 1995, Reznick showed an important variant of the obvious fact that any positive semidefinite (real) quadratic form is a sum of squares of linear forms: If a form (of arbitrary even degree) is positive definite then it becomes a sum of squares of forms after being multiplied by a sufficiently high power of the sum of its squared variables. If the form is just positive \emph{semi}definite instead of positive definite, this fails badly in general. In this work, we identify however two classes of positive semidefinite even quartic forms for which the statement continues to hold even though they have in general infinitely many projective real zeros. The first class consists of all even quartic positive semidefinite forms in five variables. This provides a natural certificate for a matrix of size five being copositive and answers positively a question asked by Laurent and the second author in 2022. The second class consists of certain quartic positive semidefinite forms that arise from graphs and their stability number. This shows finite convergence of a hierarchy of semidefinite approximations for the stability number of a graph proposed by de Klerk and Pasechnik in 2002. In both cases, the main tool for the proofs is the method of pure states on ideals developed by Burgdorf, Scheiderer and the first author in 2012. We hope to make this method more accessible by introducing the notion of a \emph{test state}.