Inertia sets allowed by matrix patterns

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Adam H. Berliner
Dale D. Olesky
Pauline van den Driessche


Motivated by the possible onset of instability in dynamical systems associated with a zero eigenvalue, sets of inertias $\sn_n$ and $\SN{n}$ for sign and zero-nonzero patterns, respectively, are introduced. For an $n\times n$ sign pattern $\mc{A}$ that allows inertia $(0,n-1,1)$, a sufficient condition is given for $\mc{A}$ and every superpattern of $\mc{A}$ to allow $\sn_n$, and a family of such irreducible sign patterns for all $n\geq 3$ is specified. All zero-nonzero patterns (up to equivalence) that allow $\SN{3}$ and $\SN{4}$ are determined, and are described by their associated digraphs.

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