# Introduction to Matrices

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1 Introduction to Matrices Tom Davis 1 Definitions A matrix (plural: matrices) is simply a rectangular array of things For now, we ll assume the things are numbers, but as you go on in mathematics, you ll find that matrices can be arrays of very general objects Pretty much all that s required is that you be able to add, subtract, and multiply the things Here are some examples of matrices Notice that it is sometimes useful to have variables as entries, as long as the variables represent the same sorts of things as appear in the other slots In our examples, we ll always assume that all the slots are filled with numbers All our examples contain only real numbers, but matrices of complex numbers are very common , ( ) 1 4 x 17, 2 x + y , ( ) x y z w 7 The first example is a square 3 3 matrix; the next is a 2 4 matrix (2 rows and 4 columns if we talk about a matrix that is m n we mean it has m rows and n columns) The final two examples consist of a single column matrix, and a single row matrix These final two examples are often called vectors the first is called a column vector and the second, a row vector We ll use only column vectors in this introduction Often we are interested in representing a general m n matrix with variables in every location, and that is usually done as follows: a 11 a 12 a 13 a 1n a 21 a 22 a 23 a 2n a m1 a m2 a m3 a mn The number in row i and column j is represented by a ij, where 1 i m and 1 j n Sometimes when there is no question about the dimensions of a matrix, the entire matrix can simply be referred to as: ( aij ) 11 Addition and Subtraction of Matrices As long as you can add and subtract the things in your matrices, you can add and subtract the matrices themselves The addition and subtraction occurs in the obvious way element by element Here are a couple of examples: e 2 15 π e π + 2 1

2 e 2 15 π e π 2 To find what goes in row i and column j of the sum or difference, just add or subtract the entries in row i and column j of the matrices being added or subtracted In order to make sense, both of the matrices in the sum or difference must have the same number of rows and columns It makes no sense, for example, to add a 2 4 matrix to a 3 4 matrix 12 Multiplication of Matrices When you add or subtract matrices, the two matrices that you add or subtract must have the same number of rows and the same number of columns In other words, both must have the same shape For matrix multiplication, all that is required is that the number of columns of the first matrix be the same as the number of rows of the second matrix In other words, you can multiply an m k matrix by a k n matrix, with the m k matrix on the left and the k n matrix on the right The example on the left below represents a legal multiplication since there are three columns in the left multiplicand and three rows in the right one; the example on the right doesn t make sense the left matrix has three columns, but the right one has only 2 rows If the matrices on the right were written in the reverse order with the 2 3 martix on the left, it would represent a valid matrix multiplication ( ) So now we know what shapes of matrices it is legal to multiply, but how do we do the actual multiplication? Here is the method: If we are multiplying an m k matrix by a k n matrix, the result will be an m n matrix The element in the product in row i and column j is gotten by multiplying termwise all the elements in row i of the matrix on the left by all the elements in column j of the matrix on the right and adding them together Here is an example: To find what goes in the first row and first column of the product, take the number from the first row of the matrix on the left: (1, 3, 2), and multiply them, in order, by the numbers in the first column of the matrix on the right: (4, 6, 5) Add the results: To get the 228 in the third row and second column of the product, the use the numbers in the third row of the left matrix: (6, 9, 8) and the numbers in the second column of the right matrix: (11, 1, 9) to get Check your understanding by verifying that the other elements in the product matrix are correct In general, if we multiply a general m k matrix by a general k n matrix to get an m n matrix as follows: a 11 a 12 a 1k b 11 b 12 b 1n c 11 c 12 c 1n a 21 a 22 a 2k b 21 b 22 b 2n c 21 c 22 c 2n a m1 a m2 a mk b k1 b k2 b kn c m1 c m2 c mn 2

3 Then we can write c ij (the number in row i, column j) as: c ij k a ip b pj p1 13 Square Matrices and Column Vectors Although everything above has been stated in terms of general rectangular matrices, for the rest of this tutorial, we ll consider only two kinds of matrices (but of any dimension): square matrices, where the number of rows is equal to the number of columns, and column matrices, where there is only one column These column matrices are often called vectors, and there are many applications where they correspond exactly to what you commonly use as sets of coordinates for points in space In the two-dimensional x-y plane, the coordinates (1, 3) represent a point that is one unit to the right of the origin (in the direction of the x-axis), and three units above the origin (in the direction of the y-axis) That same point can be written as the following column vector: ( 1 3) If you wish to work in three dimensions, you ll need three coordinates to locate a point relative to the (threedimensional) origin an x-coordinate, a y-coordinate, and a z-coordinate So the point you d normally write as (x, y, z) can be represented by the column vector: x y z Quite often we will work with a combination of square matrices and column matrices, and in that case, if the square matrix has dimensions n n, the column vectors will have dimension n 1 (n rows and 1 column) 1 14 Properties of Matrix Arithmetic Matrix arithmetic (matrix addition, subtraction, and multiplication) satisfies many, but not all of the properties of normal arithmetic that you are used to All of the properties below can be formally proved, and it s not too difficult, but we will not do so here In what follows, we ll assume that different matrices are represented by upper-case letters: M, N, P,, and that column vectors are represented by lower-case letters: v, w, We will further assume that all the matrices are square matrices or column vectors, and that all are the same size, either n n or n 1 Further, we ll assume that the matrices contain numbers (real or complex) Most of the properties listed below apply equally well to non-square matrices, assuming that the dimensions make the various multiplications and addtions/subtractions valid Perhaps the first thing to notice is that we can always multiply two n n matrices, and we can multiply an n n matrix by a column vector, but we cannot multiply a column vector by the matrix, nor a column vector by another In other words, of the three matrix multiplications below, only the first one makes sense Be sure you understand why We could equally well use row vectors to correspond to coordinates, and this convention is used in many places However, the use of column matrices for vectors is more common 3

4 Finally, an extremely useful matrix is called the identity matrix, and it is a square matrix that is filled with zeroes except for ones in the diagonal elements (having the same row and column number) Here, for example, is the 4 4 identity matrix: The identity matrix is usually called I for any size square matrix Usually you can tell the dimensions of the identity matrix from the surrounding context Associative laws: (MN)P M(NP ) (MN)v M(Nv) (M + N) + P M + (N + P ) (u + v) + w u + (v + w) Commutative laws for addition: M + N N + M v + w w + v Distributive laws: M(N ± P ) MN ± MP M(v ± w) Mv ± Mw (M ± N)P MP ± NP (M ± N)v Mv ± Nv The identity matrix: NI IN N Iv v Probably the most important thing to notice about the laws above is one that s missing multiplication of matrices is not in general commutative It is easy to find examples of matrices M and N where MN NM In fact, matrices almost never commute under multiplication Here s an example of a pair that don t: ( ) ( ) ( ) ; ( ) ( ) ( So the order of multiplication is very important; that s why you may have noticed the care that has been taken so far in describing multiplication of matrices in terms of the matrix on the left, and the matrix on the right The associative laws above are extremely useful, and to take one simple example, consider computer graphics As we ll see later, operations like rotation, translation, scaling, perspective, and so on, can all be represented by a matrix multiplication Suppose you wish to rotate all the vectors in your drawing and then to translate the results Suppose R and T are the rotation and translation matrices that do these jobs If your picture has a million points in it, you can take each of those million points v and rotate them, calculating Rv for each vector v Then, the result of that rotation can be translated: T (Rv), so in total, there are two million matrix multiplications to make your picture But the associative law tells us we can just multiply T by R once to get the matrix T R, and then multiply all million points by T R to get (T R)v, so all in all, there are only 1,,1 matrix multiplications one to produce T R and a million multiplications of T R by the individual vectors That s quite a savings of time The other thing to notice is that the identity matrix behaves just like 1 under multiplication if you multiply any number by 1, it is unchanged; if you multiply any matrix by the identity matrix, it is unchanged ) 4

5 2 Applications of Matrices This section illustrates a tiny number of applications of matrices to real-world problems Some details in the solutions have been omitted, but that s because entire books are written on some of the techniques Our goal is to make it clear how a matrix formulation may simplify the solution 21 Systems of Linear Equations Let s start by taking a look at a problem that may seem a bit boring, but in terms of practical applications is perhaps the most common use of matrices: the solution of systems of linear equations Following is a typical problem (although real-world problems may have hundreds of variables) Solve the following system of equations: x + 4y + 3z 7 2x + 5y + 4z 11 x 3y 2z 5 The key observation is this: the problem above can be converted to matrix notation as follows: x 7 y 11 (1) z 5 The numbers in the square matrix are just the coefficients of x, y, and z in the system of equations Check to see that the two forms the matrix form and the system of equations form represent exactly the same problem Ignoring all the difficult details, here is how such systems can be solved Let M be the 3 3 square matrix in equation (1) above, so the equation looks like this: M x y 7 11 (2) z 5 Suppose we can somehow find another matrix N such that NM I If we can, we can multiply both sides of equation (2) by N to obtain: x x x 7 NM y I y y N 11, z z z 5 so we can simply multiply our matrix N by the column matrix containing the numbers 7, 11, and 5 to get our solution Without explaining where we got it, the matrix on the left below is just such a matrix N Check that the multiplication below does yield the identity matrix: So we just need to multiply that matrix N by the column vector containing 7, 11, and 5 to get our solution: x y y 5

6 From this last equation we conclude that x 8, y 11, and z 15 is a solution to the original system of equations You can plug them in to check that they do indeed form a solution Although it doesn t happen all that often, somtimes the same system of equations needs to be solved for a variety of column vectors on the right not just one In that case, the solution to every one can be obtained by a single multiplication by the matrix N The matrix N is usually written as M 1, called M-inverse It is a multiplicative inverse in just the same way that 1/3 is the inverse of 3: 3 (1/3) 1, and 1 is the multiplicative identity, just as I is in matrix multiplication Entire books are written that describe methods of finding the inverse of a matrix, so we won t go into that here Remember that for numbers, zero has no inverse; for matrices, it is much worse many, many matrices do not have an inverse Matrices without inverses are called singular Those with an inverse are called non-singular Just as an example, the matrix on the left of the multiplication below can t possibly have an inverse, as we can see from the matrix on the right No matter what the values are of a, b,, i, it is impossible to get anything but zeroes in certain spots in the diagonal, and we need ones in all the diagonal spots: 1 a b c d e f a b c g h i If the set of linear equations has no solution, then it will be impossible to invert the associated matrix For example, the following system of equations cannot possibly have a solution, since x + y + z cannot possibly add to two different numbers (7 and 11) as would be required by the first two equations: x + y + z 7 x + y + z 11 x 3y 2z 5 So obviously the associated matrix below cannot be inverted: Computer Graphics Some computers can only draw straight lines on the screen, but complicated drawings can be made with a long series of line-drawing instructions For example, the letter F could be drawn in its normal orientation at the origin with the following set of instructions: 1 Draw a line from (, ) to (, 5) 2 Draw a line from (, 5) to (3, 5) 3 Draw a line from (, 3) to (2, 3) Imagine that you have a drawing that s far more complicated than the F above consisting of thousands of instructions similar to those above Let s take a look at the following sorts of problems: 1 How would you convert the coordinates so that the drawing would be twice as big? How about stretched twice as high (y-direction) and three times as wide (x-direction)? 6

7 2 Could you draw the mirror image through the y-axis? 3 How would you shift the drawing 4 units to the right and 5 units down? 4 Could you rotate it 9 counter-clockwise about the origin? Could you rotate it by an angle θ counterclockwise about the origin? 5 Could you rotate it by an angle θ about the point (7, 3)? 6 Ignoring the problem of making the drawing on the screen, what if your drawing were in three dimensions? Could you solve problems similar to those above to find the new (3-dimensional) coordinates after your object has been translated, scaled, rotated, et cetera? It turns out that the answers to all of the problems above can be achieved by multiplying your vectors by a matrix Of course a different matrix will solve each one Here are the solutions: Graphics Solution 1: To scale in the x-direction by a factor of 2, we need to multiply all the x coordinates by 2 To scale in the y-direction, we similarly need to multiply the y coordinates by the same scale factor of 2 The solution to scale any drawing by a factor s x in the x-direction and s y in the y-direction is to multiply all the input vectors by a general scaling matrix as follows: ( ) ( ) sx x s y y ( ) sx x s y y To uniformly scale everything to twice as big, let s x s y 2 To scale by a factor of 2 in the x-direction and 3 in the y-direction, let s x 2 and s y 3 We ll illustrate the general procedure with the drawing instructions for the F that appeared earlier The drawing commands are described in terms of a few points: (, ), (, 5), (3, 5), (, 3), and (2, 3) If we write all five of those points as column vectors and multiply all five by the same matrix (either of the two above), we ll get five new sets of coordinates for the points For example, in the case of the second example where the scaling is 2 times in x and 3 times in y, the five points will be converted by matrix multiplication to: (, ), (, 15), (6, 15), (, 9) and (4, 9) If we rewrite the drawing instructions using these transformed points, we get: 1 Draw a line from (, ) to (, 15) 2 Draw a line from (, 15) to (6, 15) 3 Draw a line from (, 9) to (6, 9) Follow the instructions above and see that you draw an appropriately stretched F In fact, do the same thing for each of the matrix solutions in this set to verify that the drawing is transformed appropriately Notice that if s x or s y is smaller than 1, the drawing will be shrunk not expanded Graphics Solution 2: A mirror image is just a scaling by 1 To mirror through the y-axis means that each x-coordinate will be replaced with its negative Here s a matrix multiplication that will do the job: ( ( ) ( ) 1 x sx x 1) y s y y Graphics Solution 3: 7

8 To translate points 4 to the right and 5 units down, you essentially need to add 4 to every x coordiante and to subtract 5 from every y coordinate If you try to solve this exactly as in the examples above, you ll find it is impossible To convince yourself it s impossible with any 2 2 matrix, consider what will happen to the origin: (, ) You want to move it to (4, 5), but look what happens if you multiply it by any 2 2 matrix (a, b, c, and d can be any numbers): ( ) ( ) ( ) a b c d In other words, no matter what a, b, c, and d are, the matrix will map the origin back to the origin, so translation using this scheme is impossible But there s a great trick 2 For every one of your two-dimensional vectors, add an artificial third component of 1 So the point (3, 6) will become (3, 6, 1), the origin will become (,, 1), et cetera The column vectors will now have three rows, so the transformation matrix will need to be 3 3 To translate by t x in the x-direction and t y in the y-direction, multiply the artifically-enlarged vector by a matrix as follows: 1 t x x 1 t y y x + t x y + t y The resulting vector is just what you want, and it also has the artificial 1 on the end that you can just throw away To get the particular solution to the problem proposed above, simply let t x 4 and t y 5 But now you re probably thinking, That s a neat trick, but what happens to the matrices we had for scaling? What a pain to have to convert to the artificial 3-dimensional form and back if we need to mix scaling and translation The nice thing is that we can always use the artifically extended form Just use a slightly different form of the scaling matrix: s x s y x y s xx s y y In the solutions that follow, we ll always add a 1 as the artifical third component 3 Graphics Solution 4: Convince yourself (by drawing a few examples, if necessary) that to rotate a point counter-clockwise by 9 about the origin, you will basically make the original x coordinate into a y coordinate, and vice-versa But not quite Anything that had a positive y coordinate will, after rotation by 9, have a negative x coordinate and vice-versa In other words, the new y coordinate is the old x coordinate, and the new x coordinate is the negative of the old y coordinate Convince yourself that the following matrix does the trick (and notice that we ve added the 1 as an artificial third component): 1 x y 1 y x The general solution for a rotation counter-clockwise by an angle θ is given by the following matrix multiplication: cos θ sin θ sin θ cos θ x x cos θ y sin θ y x sin θ + y cos θ In fact, it s a lot more than a trick it is really part of projective geometry 3 But in the world of computer graphics or projective geometry, it is often useful to allow values other than 1 in perspective transformations, for example 8

9 If you ve never seen anything like this before, you might consider trying it for a couple of simple angles, like θ 45 or θ 3 and put in the drawing coordinates for the letter F given earlier to see that it s transformed properly Graphics Solution 5: Here is where the power of matrices really comes through Rather than solve the problem from scratch as we have above, let s just solve it using the information we already have Why not translate the point (7, 3) to the origin, then do a rotation about the origin, and finally, translate the result back to (7, 3)? Each of those operations can be achieved by a matrix multiplication Here is the final solution: 1 7 cos θ sin θ 1 3 sin θ cos θ x y Notice carefully the order of the matrix multiplication The matrix closest to the (x, y, 1) column vector is the first one that s applied to it it should move (7, 3) to the origin To do that, we need to translate x coordinates by 7 and y coordinates by 3 The next operation to be done is the rotation by an arbitrary angle θ, using the matrix form from the previous problem Finally, to translate back to (7, 3) we have to translate in the opposite direction from what we did originally, and the matrix on the far left above does just that Remember that for any particular value of θ, sin θ and cos θ are just numbers, so if you knew the exact rotation angle, you could just plug the numbers in to the middle 3 3 matrix and multiply together the three matrices on the left Then to transform any particular point, there would be only one matrix multiplication involved To convince yourself that we ve got the right answer, why not put in a particular (simple) rotation of 9 into the matrices and work it out? cos 9 and sin 9 1, so the product of the three matrices on the left is: Try multiplying all the vectors from the F example by the single matrix on the right above and convince yourself that you ve succeeded in rotating the F by 9 counter-clockwise about the point (7, 3) Graphics Solution 6: The answer is yes Of course you ll have to add an artificial fourth dimension which is always 1 to your three-dimensional coordinates, but the form of the matrices will be similar On the left below is the mechanism for scaling by s x, s y, and s z in the x-, y-, and z-directions; on the right is a multiplication that translates by t x, t y, and t z in the three directions s x x 1 t x x s y y 1 t y y s z z 1 t z z Finally, to rotate by an angle of θ counter-clockwise about the three axes, multiply your vector on the left by the appropriate one of the following three matrices (left, middle, and right correspond to rotation about the x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis: 1 cos θ sin θ cos θ sin θ cos θ sin θ 1 sin θ cos θ sin θ cos θ sin θ cos θ

10 23 Gambler s Ruin Problem Consider the following questions: 1 Suppose you have \$2 and need \$5 for a bus ride home Your only chance to get more money is by gambling in a casino There is only one possible bet you can make at the casino you must bet \$1, and then a fair coin is flipped If heads results, you win \$1 (in other words, you get your original \$1 back plus an additional \$1), and if it s tails, you lose the \$1 bet The coin has exactly the same 5% probability of coming up heads or tails What is the chance that you will get the \$5 you need? What if you had begun with \$1? What if you had begun with \$3? 2 Same as above, except this time you start with \$4 and need \$1 for the bus ticket But this time, you can bet either \$1 or \$2 on each flip What s your best betting strategy? 3 Real casinos don t give you a fair bet Suppose the problem is the same as above, except that you have to make a \$1 bet on red or black on a roulette wheel A roulette wheel in the United States has 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers and 2 green numbers Winning a red or black bet doubles your money if you win (and you lose it all if you lose), but obviously you now have a slightly smaller chance of winning A red or black bet has a probability of 18/38 9/19 of winning on each spin of the wheel Answer all the questions above if your bets must be made on a roulette wheel All of these problems are known as the Gambler s Ruin Problem a gambler keeps betting until he goes broke, or until he reaches a certain goal, and there are no other possibilities The problem has many elegant solutions which we will ignore Let s just assume we re stupid and lazy, but we have a computer available to simulate the problem Here is a nice matrix-based approach for stupid lazy people At any stage in the process, there are six possible states, depending on your fortune You have either \$ (and you ve lost), or you have \$1, \$2, \$3, \$4 (and you re still playing), or you have \$5 (and you ve won) You know that when you begin playing, you are in a certain state (having \$2 in the case of the very first problem) After you ve played a while, lots of different things could have happened, so depending on how long you ve been going, you have various probabilities of being in the various states Call the state with \$ state, and so on, up to state 5 that represents having \$5 At any particular time, let s let p represent the probability of having \$, p 1 the probability of having \$1, and so on, up to of having won with \$5 We can give an entire probabalistic description of your state as a column vector like this: p p 1 Now look at the individual situations If you re in state, or in state 5, you will remain there for sure If you re in any other state, there s a 5% chance of moving up a state and a 5% chance of moving down a state Look at the following matrix multiplication: p p 1 p + 5p 1 5 5p (3)

11 Clearly, multiplication by the matrix above represents the change in probabilities of being in the various states, given an initial probabalistic distribution The chance of being in state after a coin flip is the chance you were there before, plus half of the chance that you were in state 1 Check that the others make sense as well So if the matrix on the left in equation (3) is called P, each time you multiply the vector corresponding to your initial situation by P, you ll find the probabilities of being in the various states So after 1 coin-flips, your state will be represented by P 1 v, where v is the vector representing your original situation (p p 1 and 1) But multiplying P by itself 1 times is a pain, even with a computer Here s a nice trick: If you multiply P by itself, you get P 2 But now, you can multiply P 2 by itself to get P 4 Then multiply P 4 by itself to get P 8, and so on With just 1 iterations of this technique, we can work out P 124, which could even be done by hand, if you were desperate enough Here s what the computer says we get when we calculate P 124 to ten digits of accuracy: For all practical purposes, we have: P Basically, if you start with \$, \$1,, \$5, you have probabilities of, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 1 of winning (reaching a goal of \$5), and the complementary probabilities of losing As we said above, this can be proven rigorously, but just multiplying the transition matrix by itself repeatedly strongly implies the result To solve the second problem, simply do the same calculation with either 6 states (a 6 6 matrix) or 11 states (an matrix) and find a high power of the matrix You ll find it doesn t make any difference which strategy you use On the final problem, you can use exactly the same technique, but this time the original matrix P will not have entries of 5, but rather of 9/19 and 1/19 But after you know what P is, the process of finding a high power of P is exactly the same In general, if you have a probability p of winning each bet and a probability of q 1 p of losing, here s the transition matrix calculation: 1 q q p q p q p p 1 p p 1 p + qp 1 q pp 1 + q p + q p p + 11

12 24 Board Game Design Imagine that you are designing a board game for little children and you want to make sure that the game doesn t take too long to finish or the children will get bored How many moves will it take, on average, for a child to complete the following games: 1 The game has 1 squares, and your marker begins on square 1 You roll a single die which turns up a number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, each with probability 1/6 You advance your marker that many squares When you reach square 1, the game is over You do not have to hit 1 exactly for example if you are on square 98 and throw a 3, the game is over 2 Same as above, but now you must hit square 1 exactly Is there any limit to how long this game could take? 3 Same as above, but certain of the squares have special markings: Square 7 says advance to square 55 Square 99 says go back to square 11 Square 58 says go back to square 45 Squares 33 and 72 say, lose a turn Square 5 says lose two turns In a sense, this is exactly the same problem as gambler s ruin above, but not quite so uniform, at least in the third example For the first problem, there are 1 states, representing the square you are currently upon So a column vector 1 items long can represent the probability of being in any of the 1 states, and a transition matrix of size 1 1 can represent the transition probabilities Rather than write out the entire 1 1 matrix for the game initially specified, let s write out the matrix for a game that s only 8 squares long You begin on square 1, and win if you reach square 8 let p 1 be the probability of being on square 1, et cetera Here s the transition matrix: 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 p 1 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 2/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 3/6 1/6 1/6 4/6 1/6 5/6 p 6 1 p 7 1 If you insist on landing exactly on square 8 to win, the transformation matrix changes to this: 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 p 1 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 2/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 3/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 4/6 1/6 1/6 p 6 5/6 1/6 p 7 1 In the situation where there are various go to squares, there is no chance of landing on them As the problem is originally stated, it is impossible to land on squares 7, 99, and 58, so there appear to be only 97 p 8 p 8 12

13 possible places to stop But there are really two states for each of squares 33 and 72 you either just landed there, or you landed there and have waited a turn There are 3 states for square 5 just landed there, waited one turn, and waited two turns Thus, the transition matrix contains 11 terms: Graph Routes Imagine a situation where there are 7 possible locations: 1, 2,, 7 There are one-way streets connecting various pairs For example, if you can get from location 3 to location 7, there will be a street labelled (3, 7) Here is a complete list of the streets: (1, 2), (1, 7), (2, 3), (2, 4), (2, 5), (3, 6), (4, 5), (4, 6), (5, 6), (5, 7), and (6, 7), (7, 1) If you begin on location 1, and take 16 steps, how many different routes are there that put you on each of the locations? (The discussion that follows will be much easier to follow if you draw a picture Make a circle of 7 dots, labelled 1 through 7, and for each of the pairs above, draw an arrow from the first dot of the pair to the second) This time, we can represent the number of paths to each location by a column vector: p 1 p 6 p 7 where p i is the number of paths to location i The initial vector for time has p 1 1 and p 6 p 7 In other words, after zero steps, there is exactly one path to location 1, and no paths to other locations You can see that if you multiply that initial vector by the matrix once, it will show exactly one path to 2 and one path to 7 and no other paths, The transition matrix looks like this: p 1 p 6 p 7 (4) which will generate the count of the number of paths in n + 1 steps if the input is the number of paths at step n If the matrix on the left of equation (4) is called P, then after 16 steps, the counts will be given by: P 16 p 1 p 6 p 7 13

14 From a computer, here is P 16 : Since initially p 1 1 and p 6 p 7, we have: p P , p p 7 so there are 481 routes to location 1, 288 routes to location 2, 188 routes to location 3, and so on This is, of course, very difficult to check Why don t you check the results for P 3 three step routes The corresponding equation for only 3 steps is: p P p p 7 So there is no way to get to location 1 in three steps, one way to get to location 2: ( ), no ways to get to locations 3 or 4, one way to get to location 5: ( ), three ways to get to location 6: ( ), ( ), and ( ), and finally, two ways to get to location 7: ( ) and ( ) Obviously, there is nothing special about the set of paths and number of locations in the problem above For any given setup, you just need to work out the associated transition matrix and you re in business Even if there are loops paths that lead from a location to itself there is no problem A loop will simply generate an entry of 1 in the diagonal of the transition matrix 14

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