Generalization of Greater to matrices

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg20278] Generalization of Greater to matrices*From*: "Hermann Meier" <hmeier at webshuttle.ch>*Date*: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 02:19:53 -0400*Organization*: EUnet AG, Switzerland. A KPNQwest Company.*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Dear Mathematica Users, I tried to solve the following seemingly not to complicated problem, to no avail. M1, M2, M3 ... are matrices of equal dimensions. The task is to find the "greatest" among them. The elements of this matrix, say M2, should be (in principle) greater than all the corresponding elements of M1, M3, Mx.... Furthermore, a kind of a "slack variable" (s) should be introduced. (Requiring a matrix to be the "strictly greatest" one would be a condition too hard to meet in some of my practical applications.) A matrix should therefore be considered "greatest", if all but s elements (say 8 out of 10) are greater than the corresponding elements of the other matrices. (Such a matrix perhaps could be called "dominating".) The case of s = 0 is that of the "strictly greatest" matrix. Greater or GreaterEqual, Max ... do not work with matrices. Sort accepts {M1,M2,M3 ..}, but there seems to be no built-in functionality to arrive at my desired result. Therefore I tried to set up GreaterMatrix (rather than overloading Greater). GreaterMatrix should also work as an ordering relation in Sort. So Sort[{M1,M2,M3..}, GreaterMatrix] should rank M1, M2, M3 according to the above-mentioned criteria. GreaterMatrix can be (but has not to be) restricted to two-dimensional matrices. The following expressions may be pieces usable for a solution: Outer[Count[(#1 - #2), _?Positive, 2] &, {M1,M2,M3}, {M1,M2,M3}, 1] subtracts M1, M2, M3 from each other and counts the number of positive values in the resulting matrix. A positive value equal to dim (=Apply[Times,Dimensions[M1]]) at position {i,j}, say {2,3}, would indicate that matrix M2 is strictly greater than M3. Outer[Count[(#1 - #2), _?(#>=(dim-s)?), 2] &, {M1,M2,M3}, {M1,M2,M3}, 1] may indicate a matrix that is just "dominating" another one. FoldList[GreaterMatrix, M0, {M1, M2, M3}]]//Rest - with M0 a starting matrix like Table[-10^10, {First[dim]},{Last[dim]}] - may give a succession of "increasing" matrices. (For this also see Mathematica Book, Online Version, Further Examples to Max.) There is also TopologicalSort in package DiscreteMath`Combinatorica` which may or may not be useful in the present context. (I am not sure if TopologicalSort corresponds to the topological sort as explained in Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 1, 3rd ed., ch. 2.2.3, p. 261 - 271.) The problem looks like quite a challenge (to me as a mid-level user). I was not able to put my pieces of code together into a working program that would pass all my tests. I would appreciate contributions of Mathematica experts. Such contributions perhaps may even show - possible - extensions to Greater, GreaterEqual, Less, LessEqual, Max, Min ... for handling matrices in a future version of Mathematica. Yours sincerely, Hermann Meier

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