Convergence rates for inverse-free rational approximation of matrix functions

Carl Jagels, Thomas Mach, Lothar Reichel, Raf Vandebril

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article deduces geometric convergence rates for approximating matrix functions via inverse-free rational Krylov methods. In applications one frequently encounters matrix functions such as the matrix exponential or matrix logarithm; often the matrix under consideration is too large to compute the matrix function directly, and Krylov subspace methods are used to determine a reduced problem. If many evaluations of a matrix function of the form f(A)v with a large matrix A are required, then it may be advantageous to determine a reduced problem using rational Krylov subspaces. These methods may give more accurate approximations of f(A)v with subspaces of smaller dimension than standard Krylov subspace methods. Unfortunately, the system solves required to construct an orthogonal basis for a rational Krylov subspace may create numerical difficulties and/or require excessive computing time. This paper investigates a novel approach to determine an orthogonal basis of an approximation of a rational Krylov subspace of (small) dimension from a standard orthogonal Krylov subspace basis of larger dimension. The approximation error will depend on properties of the matrix A and on the dimension of the original standard Krylov subspace. We show that our inverse-free method for approximating the rational Krylov subspace converges geometrically (for increasing dimension of the standard Krylov subspace) to a rational Krylov subspace. The convergence rate may be used to predict the dimension of the standard Krylov subspace necessary to obtain a certain accuracy in the approximation. Computed examples illustrate the theory developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-310
Number of pages20
JournalLinear Algebra and Its Applications
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Approximation
  • Convergence rate
  • Iterative method
  • Matrix function
  • Rational Krylov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics

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