The Expected Characteristic and Permanental Polynomials of the Random Gram Matrix

  • Jacob G. Martin
  • E. Rodney Canfield
Keywords: Characteristic and Permanental Polynomials


A $t \times n$ random matrix $A$ can be formed by sampling $n$ independent random column vectors, each containing $t$ components. The random Gram matrix of size $n$, $G_{n}=A^{T}A$, contains the dot products between all pairs of column vectors in the randomly generated matrix $A$, and has characteristic roots coinciding with the singular values of $A$. Furthermore, the sequences $\det{(G_{i})}$ and $\text{perm}(G_{i})$ (for $i = 0, 1, \dots, n$) are factors that comprise the expected coefficients of the characteristic and permanental polynomials of $G_{n}$. We prove theorems that relate the generating functions and recursions for the traces of matrix powers, expected characteristic coefficients, expected determinants $E(\det{(G_{n})})$, and expected permanents $E(\text{perm}(G_{n}))$ in terms of each other. Using the derived recursions, we exhibit the efficient computation of the expected determinant and expected permanent of a random Gram matrix $G_{n}$, formed according to any underlying distribution. These theoretical results may be used both to speed up numerical algorithms and to investigate the numerical properties of the expected characteristic and permanental coefficients of any matrix comprised of independently sampled columns.

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