On structural decompositions of finite frames

Alice Z.Y. Chan, Martin S. Copenhaver, Sivaram K. Narayan, Logan Stokols, Allison Theobold

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A frame in an n-dimensional Hilbert space Hn is a possibly redundant collection of vectors {fi}i∈I that span the space. A tight frame is a generalization of an orthonormal basis. A frame {fi}i∈I is said to be scalable if there exist nonnegative scalars {ci}i∈I such that {cifi}i∈I is a tight frame. In this paper we study the combinatorial structure of frames and their decomposition into tight or scalable subsets by using partially-ordered sets (posets). We define the factor poset of a frame {fi}i∈I to be a collection of subsets of I ordered by inclusion so that nonempty J⊆I is in the factor poset iff {fj}j∈J is a tight frame for Hn. We study various properties of factor posets and address the inverse factor poset problem, which inquires when there exists a frame whose factor poset is some given poset P. We then turn our attention to scalable frames and present partial results regarding when a frame can be scaled to have a given factor poset; in doing so we present a bridge between erasure resilience (as studied via prime tight frames) and scalability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-756
Number of pages36
JournalAdvances in Computational Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Erasure resilience
  • Erasures
  • Frame decompositions
  • Frames
  • Prime frames
  • Tight frames


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