Supertropical linear algebra

Zur Izhakian, Manfred Knebusch, Louis Rowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The objective of this paper is to lay out the algebraic theory of supertropical vector spaces and linear algebra, utilizing the key antisymmetric relation of "ghost surpasses". Special attention is paid to the various notions of "base", which include d-base and s-base, and these are compared to other treatments in the tropical theory. Whereas the number of elements in various d-bases may differ, it is shown that when an s-base exists, it is unique up to permutation and multiplication by scalars, and can be identified with a set of "critical" elements. Then we turn to orthogonality of vectors, which leads to supertropical bilinear forms and a supertropical version of the Gram matrix, including its connection to linear dependence. We also obtain a supertropical version of a theorem of Artin, which says that if g-orthogonality is a symmetric relation, then the underlying bilinear form is (supertropically) symmetric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-75
Number of pages33
JournalPacific Journal of Mathematics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Change of base semirings
  • Gram matrix.
  • Linear algebra
  • Linear and bilinear forms
  • Supertropical vector spaces
  • Tropical algebra


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