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# Block Wiedemann algorithm

The Block Wiedemann algorithm for computing kernel vectors of a matrix over a finite field is a generalisation of an algorithm due to Don Coppersmith.

Coppersmith's algorithm

Let M be an $n imes n$ square matrix over some finite field F, let $x_\left\{mathrm \left\{base$ be a random vector of length n, and let $x = M x_\left\{mathrm \left\{base$. Consider the sequence of vectors $S = left \left[x, Mx, M^2x, ldots ight\right]$ obtained by repeatedly multiplying the vector by the matrix M; let y be any other vector of length n, and consider the sequence of finite-field elements $S_y = left \left[y cdot x, y cdot Mx, y cdot M^2x ldots ight\right]$

We know that the matrix M has a minimal polynomial; by the Cayley-Hamilton Theorem we know that this polynomial is of degree (which we will call $n_0$) no more than n. Say $sum_\left\{r=0\right\}^\left\{n_0\right\} p_rM^r = 0$. Then $sum_\left\{r=0\right\}^\left\{n_0\right\} y cdot \left(p_r \left(M^r x\right)\right) = 0$; so the minimal polynomial of the matrix annihilates the sequence $S$ and hence $S_y$.

But the Berlekamp-Massey algorithm allows us to calculate relatively efficiently some sequence $q_0 ldots q_L$ with $sum_\left\{i=0\right\}^L q_i S_y \left[\left\{i+r\right\}\right] =0 forall r$. Our hope is that this sequence, which by construction annihilates $y cdot S$, actually annihilates $S$; so we have $sum_\left\{i=0\right\}^L q_i M^i x = 0$. We then take advantage of the initial definition of $x$ to say $M sum_\left\{i=0\right\}^L q_i M^i x_\left\{mathrm \left\{base = 0$ and so $sum_\left\{i=0\right\}^L q_i M^i x_\left\{mathrm \left\{base$ is a hopefully non-zero kernel vector of $M$.

The Block Wiedemann algorithm

The natural implementation of sparse matrix arithmetic on a computer makes it easy to compute the sequence S in parallel for a number of vectors equal to the width of a machine word - indeed, it will normally take no longer to compute for that many vectors than for one. If you have several processors, you can compute the sequence S for a different set of random vectors in parallel on all the computers.

It turns out, by a generalisation of the Berlekamp-Massey algorithm to provide a sequence of small matrices, that you can take the sequence produced for a large number of vectors and generate a kernel vector of the original large matrix. You need to compute $y_i cdot M^t x_j$ for some $i = 0 ldots i_max, j=0 ldots j_max, t = 0 ldots t_max$ where $i_max, j_max, t_max$ need to satisfy $t_max > frac\left\{d\right\}\left\{i_max\right\} + frac\left\{d\right\}\left\{j_max\right\} + O\left(1\right)$ and $y_i$ are a series of vectors of length n; but in practice you can take $y_i$ as a sequence of unit vectors and simply write out the first $i_max$ entries in your vectors at each time t.

References

Villard's 1997 research report 'A study of Coppersmith's block Wiedemann algorithm using matrix polynomials' (available at [http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/cache/papers/cs/4204/ftp:zSzzSzftp.imag.frzSzpubzSzCALCUL_FORMELzSzRAPPORTzSz1997zSzRR975.pdf/villard97study.pdf] - the cover material is in French but the content in English) is a reasonable description.

Thomé's paper 'Subquadratic computation of vector generating polynomials and improvement of the block Wiedemann algorithm' (available at [http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/rd/13850609%2C564537%2C1%2C0.25%2CDownload/http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/cache/papers/cs/27081/http:zSzzSzwww.lix.polytechnique.frzSzLabozSzEmmanuel.ThomezSzpubliszSzjsc.pdf/subquadratic-computation-of-vector.pdf] ) uses a more sophisticated FFT-based algorithm for computing the vector generating polynomials, and describes a practical implementation with $i_max = j_max = 4$ used to compute a kernel vector of a 484603x484603 matrix of entries modulo 2607-1, and hence to compute discrete logarithms in the field $GF\left(2^\left\{607\right\}\right)$.

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