A real analogue of the Bezout inequality and connected components of sign conditions

Algebra Seminar
Monday, September 16, 2013 - 15:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 005
Georgia Tech

Joint work with Saugata Basu sbasu@math.purdue.edu&nbsp; On a real analogue of Bezout inequality and the number of connected components of sign conditions.&nbsp; <a href="http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.1577" title="http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.1577">http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.1577</a>

It is a classical problem in real algebraic geometry to try to obtain tight bounds on the number of connected components of semi-algebraic sets, or more generally to bound the higher Betti numbers, in terms of some measure of complexity of the polynomials involved (e.g., their number, maximum degree, and number of variables or so-called dense format).  Until recently, most of the known bounds relied ultimately on the Oleinik-Petrovsky-Thom-Milnor bound of d(2d-1)^{k-1} on the number of connected components of an algebraic subset of R^k defined by polynomials of degree at most d, and hence the resulting bounds depend on only the maximum degree of the polynomials involved.  Motivated by some recent results following the Guth-Katz solution to one of Erdos' hard problems, the distinct distance problem in the plane, we proved that in fact a more refined dependence on the degrees is possible, namely that the number of connected components of sign conditions, defined by k-variate polynomials of degree d, on a k'-dimensional variety defined by polynomials of degree d_0, is bounded by (sd)^k' d_0^{k−k'} O(1)^k.  Our most recent work takes this refinement of the dependence on the degrees even further, obtaining what could be considered a real analogue to the classical Bezout inequality over algebraically closed fields.