Matrix coefficient realization theory of noncommutative rational functions

Jurij Volčič

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Noncommutative rational functions, i.e., elements of the universal skew field of fractions of a free algebra, can be defined through evaluations of noncommutative rational expressions on tuples of matrices. This interpretation extends their traditionally important role in the theory of division rings and gives rise to their applications in other areas, from free real algebraic geometry to systems and control theory. If a noncommutative rational function is regular at the origin, it can be described by a linear object, called a realization. In this article we present an extension of the realization theory that is applicable to arbitrary noncommutative rational functions and is well-adapted for studying matrix evaluations. Of special interest are the minimal realizations, which compensate the absence of a canonical form for noncommutative rational functions. The non-minimality of a realization is assessed by obstruction modules associated with it; they enable us to devise an efficient method for obtaining minimal realizations. With them we describe the stable extended domain of a noncommutative rational function and define a numerical invariant that measures its complexity. Using these results we determine concrete size bounds for rational identity testing, construct minimal symmetric realizations and prove an effective local–global principle for linear dependence of noncommutative rational functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-437
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Algebra
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Division ring
  • Extended domain
  • Generalized series
  • Minimization
  • Noncommutative rational function
  • Rational identity
  • Realization
  • Symmetric noncommutative rational function
  • Universal skew field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Matrix coefficient realization theory of noncommutative rational functions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this