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Idempotent Matrix

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A matrix is defined as a rectangular array of numbers that are arranged in rows and columns. The size of a matrix can be determined by the number of rows and columns in it. A matrix is said to be an “m by n” matrix when it has “m” rows and “n” columns and is written as an “m × n” matrix. For example, a matrix of order “5 × 6” has five rows and six columns. We have different types of matrices like rectangular matrices, square matrices, null matrices, triangular matrices, symmetric matrices, etc.

Idempotent Matrix Definition

An idempotent matrix is defined as a square matrix that remains unchanged when multiplied by itself. Consider a square matrix “P” of any order, and the matrix P is said to be an idempotent matrix if and only if P2 = P. Idempotent matrices are singular and can have non-zero entries. Every identity matrix is also an idempotent matrix, as the identity matrix gives the same matrix when multiplied by itself.

Examples of Idempotent Matrix

The matrix given below is an idempotent matrix of order “2 × 2.”

A_{2,2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 4 & -1\\ 12 & -3 \end{array}\right]

The matrix given below is an idempotent matrix of order “3 × 3.”

B_{3,3} = \left[\begin{array}{ccc} 2 & -3 & -5\\ -1 & 4 & 5\\ 1 & -3 & -3 \end{array}\right]

Idempotent Matrix Formula

Let us consider a “2 × 2” square matrix P = \left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right]  . As P is an idempotent matrix, P2 = P.

\left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right]\times\left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right] = \left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right]

\left[\begin{array}{cc} a^{2}+bc & ab+bd\\ ac+cd & bc+d^{2} \end{array}\right] = \left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right]

Now, comparing the terms on each side, we get

1) a2 + bc = a

bc = a − a2

2) ab + bd = b

ab + bd − b = 0

b (a + d − 1) = 0

b = 0 or a + d − 1 = 0

d = 1 − a

So, if a matrix P = \left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right]   is said to be an idempotent matrix, if bc = a − a2 and d = 1 − a.

Properties of Idempotent Matrix

The following are some important properties of an idempotent matrix:

  • Every idempotent matrix is a square matrix.
  • All idempotent matrices are singular matrices, apart from the identity matrix.
  • The determinant of an idempotent matrix is either one or zero.
  • The non-diagonal entries of an idempotent matrix can be non-zero entries.
  • The trace of an idempotent matrix is always an integer and equal to the rank of the matrix.
  • The eigenvalues of an idempotent matrix are either zero or one.
  • The following is the relationship between idempotent and involuntary matrices: A square matrix “A” is said to be an idempotent matrix if and only if P = 2A − I is an involuntary matrix. 

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Solved Examples on Idempotent Matrix

Example 1: Verify whether the matrix given below is idempotent or not.

P = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 3 & 2\\ -3 & -2 \end{array}\right]

Solution:

To prove that the given matrix is idempotent, we have to prove that P2 = P.

P^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 3 & 2\\ -3 & -2 \end{array}\right] \times\left[\begin{array}{cc} 3 & 2\\ -3 & -2 \end{array}\right]

P^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 9-6 & 6-4\\ -9+6 & -6+4 \end{array}\right]

P^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 3 & 2\\ -3 & -2 \end{array}\right] = P

Hence, verified.

So, the given matrix P is an idempotent matrix.

Example 2: Verify whether the matrix given below is idempotent or not.

B = \left[\begin{array}{ccc} 2 & -2 & -4\\ -1 & 3 & 4\\ 1 & -2 & -3 \end{array}\right]

Solution:

To prove that the given matrix is idempotent, we have to prove that B2 = B.

B^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{ccc} 2 & -2 & -4\\ -1 & 3 & 4\\ 1 & -2 & -3 \end{array}\right] \times\left[\begin{array}{ccc} 2 & -2 & -4\\ -1 & 3 & 4\\ 1 & -2 & -3 \end{array}\right]

B^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{ccc} (4+2-4) & (-4-6+8) & (-8-8+12)\\ (-2-3+4) & (2+9-8) & (4+12-12)\\ (2+2-3) & (-2-6+6) & (-4-8+9) \end{array}\right]

B^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{ccc} 2 & -2 & -4\\ -1 & 3 & 4\\ 1 & -2 & -3 \end{array}\right]= B

Hence, verified.

So, the given matrix B is an idempotent matrix.

Example 3: Give an example of an idempotent matrix of order 2 × 2.

Solution:

We know that a matrix A = \left[\begin{array}{cc} a & b\\ c & d \end{array}\right]   is said to be an idempotent matrix, if bc = a − a2 and d = 1 − a.

Let us consider that a = 5

We have, d = 1 − a

d = 1 − 5 = −4

bc = a − a2

bc = 5 − 25 = −20

Now, let b = 4 and c = −5

So, the matrix is A = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 5 & 4\\ -5 & -4 \end{array}\right]

Example 4: Prove that an identity matrix is an idempotent matrix.

Solution:

To prove that the given matrix is idempotent, we have to prove that I2 = I.

Let us consider an identity matrix of order 2 × 2, i.e., I = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 1 & 0\\ 0 & 1 \end{array}\right]

I^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 1 & 0\\ 0 & 1 \end{array}\right]\times\left[\begin{array}{cc} 1 & 0\\ 0 & 1 \end{array}\right]

I^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} (1\times1+0\times0) & (1\times0+0\times1)\\ (0\times1+1\times0) & (0\times0+1\times1) \end{array}\right]

I^{2} = \left[\begin{array}{cc} 1 & 0\\ 0 & 1 \end{array}\right] = I

Hence, proved.

So, an identity matrix is an idempotent matrix.

FAQs on Idempotent Matrix

Question 1: What is meant by an idempotent matrix?

Answer:

An idempotent matrix is defined as a square matrix that remains unchanged when multiplied by itself.

Question 2: How to prove that a matrix is idempotent?

Answer:

Any square matrix “P” is said to be an idempotent matrix if and only if P2 = P. So, to prove that a matrix is idempotent, then the matrix must satisfy the above condition.

Question 3: Does the inverse of an idempotent matrix exist?

Answer:

We know that the inverse of a square “A” (A-1) = Adj A/ |A| 

If the given idempotent matrix is singular, then its inverse does not exist as its determinant is zero.

Question 4: What is the relationship between an idempotent matrix and an involuntary matrix?

Answer:

The following is the relationship between idempotent and involuntary matrices: A square matrix “A” is said to be an idempotent matrix if and only if P = 2A − I is an involuntary matrix.



Last Updated : 09 Jan, 2023
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