[SciPy-dev] Best interface for computing the logarithm of the determinant?

Warren Weckesser warren.weckesser@enthought....
Tue Feb 16 15:01:42 CST 2010

Nathaniel Smith wrote:
> So when you have a matrix whose determinant you want, it's often wise
> to compute the logarithm of the determinant instead of the determinant
> itself, because determinants involve lots and lots of multiplications
> and the result might otherwise underflow/overflow. Therefore, in
> scikits.sparse, I'd like to provide an API for doing this (and this is
> well-supported by the underlying libraries).
> But the problem is that for a general matrix, the determinant may be
> zero or negative.

For a general matrix, the determinant may be complex.  Or are you only 
considering real matrices?


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