The inverse of a banded matrix

  1. Hello all,

    I have say 512-by-512 matrix, but based on the structure of this matrix most elements not on the diagonals between -5 to +5 (- stand for diagonal below the main diagonal, and + for diagonal above the main diagonal) are small relative to the elements of the mentioned diagonals. So, I create a 512-by-512 banded matrix, where I null all other elements not on the mentioned diagonals.

    Now the question is: will there be a huge complexity saving if I want the inverse of the matrix by inverting its banded version instead of the original matrix?

  2. jcsd
  3. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,248
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    In computer calculations, "inverting a matrix" is almost always the wrong thing to do, even if you have a nice looking math equation with an inverse matrix in it.

    In this case there will be a huge "complexity" increase, because the inverse matrix will be fully populated, not banded.

    What you really want to do is probably solve a set of equations or something similar. If you decompose your banded matrix as A = LDU or something similar, where L and U are lower and upper triangular and have the same bandwidth as A, you preserve the efficiency by not needing to process all the zero terms in L and U.
  4. Could you please tell me more about this process?
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