Row echelon form1
Row echelon form
In linear algebra a matrix is in
row echelon form
if •All nonzero rows (rows with at least one nonzero element) are above any rows of all zeroes [All zero rows, if any,belong at the bottom of the matrix]•The leading coefficient (the first nonzero number from the left, also called the pivot) of a nonzero row is alwaysstrictly to the right of the leading coefficient of the row above it.•All entries in a column below a leading entry are zeroes (implied by the first two criteria).This is an example of 3×4 matrix in row echelon form:A matrix is in
reduced row echelon form
row canonical form
) if it satisfies the additional condition:•Every leading coefficient is 1 and is the only nonzero entry in its column, like in this example:Note that this does not always mean that the left of the matrix will be an identity matrix. For example, the followingmatrix is also in reduced row-echelon form:because the constants in the third column do not lead any rows.
Transformation to row echelon form
By means of a finite sequence of elementary row operations, any matrix can be transformed to row echelon form.Since elementary row operations preserve the row space of the matrix, the row space of the row echelon form is thesame as that of the original matrix.The resulting echelon form is not unique; for example, any multiple of a matrix in echelon form is also in echelonform. However, it has been proven that any matrix can be transformed to exactly one matrix in
row echelonform. This means that the nonzero rows of the reduced row echelon form are the unique reduced row echelongenerating set for the row space of the original matrix.