Minimal indices and minimal bases via filtrations

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D. Steven Mackey


A new way to formulate the notions of minimal basis and minimal indices is developed in this paper, based on the concept of a filtration of a vector space. The goal is to provide useful new tools for working with these important concepts, as well as to gain deeper insight into their fundamental nature. This approach also readily reveals a strong minimality property of minimal indices, from which follows a characterization of the vector polynomial bases in rational vector spaces. The effectiveness of this new formulation is further illustrated by proving several fundamental properties: the invariance of the minimal indices of a matrix polynomial under field extension, the direct sum property of minimal indices, the polynomial linear combination property, and the predictable degree property.

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