## The factor width rank of a matrix

**Abstract:**

A matrix is said to have factor width at most k if it can be written as a sum of positive semidefinite matrices that are non-zero only in a single k-by-k principal submatrix. We explore the “factor-width-k rank” of a matrix, which is the minimum number of rank-1 matrices that can be used in such a factor-width-at-most-k decomposition. We show that the factor width rank of a banded or arrowhead matrix equals its usual rank, but for other matrices they can differ. We also establish several bounds on the factor width rank of a matrix, including a tight connection between factor-width-k rank and the k-clique covering number of a graph, and we discuss how the factor width and factor width rank change when taking Hadamard products and Hadamard powers.

**Authors:**

- Nathaniel Johnston
- Shirin Moein
- Sarah Plosker

**Download:**

- Local preprint
- Preprint from arXiv:2405.11556 [math.CO]

**Cite as:**

- N. Johnston, S. Moein, and S. Plosker.
*The factor width rank of a matrix*. E-print: arXiv:2405.11556 [math.CO], 2024.