For a block upper triangular matrix, a necessary and sufficient condition has been given to let it be the sum of block upper rectangular matrices satisfying certain rank constraints; see H.Bart, A.P.M.Wagelmans (2000). The proof involves elements from integer programming and employs Farkas’ lemma. The algebra of block upper triangular matrices can be viewed as a matrix algebra determined by a pattern of zeros. The present note is concerned with the question whether the decomposition result referred to above can be extended to other zero pattern matrix algebras. It is shown that such a generalization does indeed hold for certain digraphs determining the pattern of zeros. The digraphs in question can be characterized in terms of forests, i.e., disjoint unions of rooted trees.

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Czechoslovak Mathematical Journal
Department of Econometrics

Bart, H., Ehrhardt, T., & Silbermann, B. (2016). Rank decomposition in zero pattern matrix algebras. Czechoslovak Mathematical Journal, 66(3), 987–1005. doi:10.1007/s10587-016-0305-7