Efficient Computation of the Characteristic Polynomial

J. Dumas, C. Pernet, Z. Wan


This article deals with the computation of the characteristic polynomial of dense matrices over small finite fields and over the integers. We first present two algorithms for the finite fields: one is based on Krylov iterates and Gaussian elimination. We compare it to an improvement of the second algorithm of Keller-Gehrig. Then we show that a generalization of Keller-Gehrig's third algorithm could improve both complexity and computational time. We use these results as a basis for the computation of the characteristic polynomial of integer matrices. We first use early termination and Chinese remaindering for dense matrices. Then a probabilistic approach, based on integer minimal polynomial and Hensel factorization, is particularly well suited to sparse and/or structured matrices.