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IDENTITIES FOR

COMPLETE HOMOGENEOUS SYMMETRIC POLYNOMIALS

E. F. CORNELIUS, JR.

College of Engineering and Science, University of Detroit Mercy

Detroit, MI 48221-3038, USA

Email: efcornelius@comcast.net, frankcornelius@alum.mit.edu

Mailing address: 22955 Englehardt Street, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48080-2161

Telephone: 478-731-7643 Fax: 586-777-9502

Copyright c E. F. Cornelius, Jr. 2009

All rights reserved

Published in the JP Journal of Algebra, Number Theory and Applications,

Volume 21, Number 1, 2011, Pages 109-116, by the Pushpa Publishing House.

Published Online May 11, 2011. This paper is available online at

http://pphmj.com/journals/jpanta.htm. Use of all or any part of the article

requires attribution to the author and to the journal and its publisher.

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Abstract

Through use of the S-root basis for polynomials over an integral domain, it

is shown that the complete homogeneous symmetric polynomial of degree k

P
in n variables x1 ; : : : ; xn , hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = xi1 xin , can be ex-
1 i1 ::: ik n

n
X
Qn xn+k 1
pressed as the sum of rational functions, i
. Consequently
j=1;j6=i
(xi xj )
i=1

1
X n
X n 1
hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = 1
= Qnxi .
(1 x1 ) (1 xn ) (1 xi ) (xi xj )
j=1;j6=i
k=0 i=1

The article takes a di¤erent approach to reach some known results.

AMS Subject Classi…cation

11C08, 11C20, 13F20, 15A99, 16D40

Keywords

complete homogeneous symmetric polynomial, S-root basis, Vandermonde ma-

trix

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1 The S-Root Basis of D[x]n and the Evaluation

Map from D[x]n to Dn

Let s0 ; : : : ; sn 1 be a set of n 1 distinct elements of an integral domain

D. Then the n polynomials, de…ned as 0 (x) = 1; j (x) = j 1 (x)(x sj 1) for

j = 1; : : : ; n 1, form a basis of D[x]n , the free module of polynomials of degree

< n. The basis f j (x) : j = 0; : : : ; n 1g is called the S-root basis of D[x]n .

With respect to this basis, the evaluation map, eval : D[x]n ! Dn , de…ned as

eval(f (x)) = (f (s0 ); : : : ; f (sn 1 )) for f (x) 2 D[x]n , is a module monomorphism

which has a lower-triangular matrix Cn = (cij : i; j = 0; : : : ; n 1) with

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>
> 0 for 0 i<j n 1
>
>
<
cij = j (si ) = 1 for j = 0
>
>
>
> Qj
: 1
k=0 (si sk ) for n 1 i j 1

In [CS08] the authors computed Cn 1 = Bn = (bij : i; j = 0; : : : ; n 1) with

8
>
> 0 for 0 i<j n 1
>
>
<
bij = 1 for i = 0 = j
>
>
>
>
: Q i
1
for n 1 i j 1
k=0;k6=j (sj sk )

For purposes of division, D is viewed as a subring of its quotient …eld.

The inverse Cn 1 was computed through use of the following lemma, which

3
P
n
n
is a generalization of the well known combinatorial identity ( 1)i i = 1.
i=1

Lemma 1.1. Let d1 ; : : : ; dn be any n 1 non-zero elements from an integral

domain, and set d0 = 0. Then

n
X n
X i
Y
i (dn d0 )(dn d1 ) (dn di 1) i dn dj 1
( 1) d1 di = ( 1) ( dj ) = 1
i=1 i=1 j=1

Note that the lemma continues to hold when d1 ; : : : ; dn represent indeterminates

over a commutative ring with 1.

If the standard basis fxi : i = 0; : : : ; n 1g is used for D[x]n instead of the

S-root basis, then the matrix for eval is the familiar Vandermonde matrix, Vn =

sji : i; j = 0; : : : ; n 1 , with the convention that 00 = 1, which has inverse

[KA67, p. 572]

0 X 1
( 1)i sk 0 s kn 1 i
B 0 k0 <:::<kn n 1 C
B 1 i C
1 B k0 ;:::;kn 1 i 6=j C
Vn =B : i; j = 0; : : : ; n 1C
B Y
n 1
C
@ (sl sj ) A
l=0;l6=j

2 Transition Matrices Between the S-Root Basis

and the Standard Basis

The matrix of the transition from the S-root basis of D[x]n to the standard

basis fxi : i = 0; : : : ; n 1g is upper-triangular Mn = (mij : i; j = 0; : : : ; n 1)

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with mij = ( 1)j i
ej i (s0 ; : : : ; sj 1 ), where er (s0 ; : : : ; st ) is the elementary

X
symmetric polynomial sp0 spr 1 , with the conventions that
0 p0 <:::<pr 1 t

er (s0 ; : : : ; st ) = 0 for r < 0 and r > t, and e0 (s0 ; : : : ; st ) = 1. [M95, pp. 19-20].

When j = 0, e0 (s 1) = 1. The j th column of Mn consists of the coe¢ cients of

j (x) with respect to the standard basis of D[x]n . To illustrate n = 5, M5 =


0 1
1 s0 s0 s1 s0 s1 s2 s0 s1 s2 s3
B C
B C
B 0 1 (s0 + s1 ) s0 s1 + s0 s2 + s1 s2 (s0 s1 s2 + s0 s1 s3 + s0 s2 s3 + s1 s2 s3 ) C
B C
B C
B 0 0 1 (s0 + s1 + s2 ) s0 s1 + s0 s2 + s0 s3 + s1 s2 + s1 s3 + s2 s3 C
B C
B C
B C
B 0 0 0 1 (s0 + s1 + s2 + s3 ) C
@ A
0 0 0 0 1

Mn 1 , denoted by Nn = ( ij : i; j = 0; : : : ; n 1), is known to consist of

the complete homogeneous symmetric polynomials, hj i (s0 ; : : : ; si ) = ij , in

X
which hr (s0 ; : : : ; st ) = sq0 sqr 1 , with the conventions that
0 q0 ::: qr 1 t

hr (s0 ; : : : ; st ) = 0 for r < 0 and h0 (s0 ; : : : ; st ) = 1. [M95, pp. 21-22; KD73, p.

91]. Like Mn , Nn is upper-triangular with 1’s on the diagonal. A straightfor-

ward, purely algebraic proof that Nn is in fact Mn 1 is given infra.

3 The Identities

Cn and Vn represent eval with respect to di¤erent bases, so that Cn = Vn Mn

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or Bn = Cn 1 = Mn 1 Vn 1
= Nn Vn 1 , yielding Nn = Bn Vn . This relationship is

exploited to prove the results below.

Lemma 3.1. With Mn and Nn de…ned as above, Nn = Mn 1 .

Proof. Since Bn Vn = Nn , it su¢ ces to show that Bn Vn Mn = Nm Mn = In , the

n n identity matrix. Because the upper-triangular matrices form a ring and

both Mn and Nm have all 1’s on their diagonals, it further su¢ ces to con…rm

only that all entries of Bn Vn Mn = Nm Mn , which lie above the diagonal, are 0;

i.e., when 0 i<j n 1. With these simpli…cations, Bn Vn Mn = Nm Mn is

computed.

Pn 1
First, (Vn Mn )ij = l=0 sli mlj = j (si ) because the mlj ’s are simply the

Pn 1
nP1
coe¢ cients of j (x). Hence (Bn Vn Mn )ij = k=0 bik (Vn Mn )kj = bik j (sk ).
k=0

In this last expression, the upper limit for k can be replaced by i because

nP1 Pn 1
bik = 0 for k > i, so the expression bik j (sk ) reduces to k=0 bik j (sk ) =
k=0

Pi Pi
k=0 bik j (sk ). Now this latter expression reduces further to k=0 bik j (sk ) =

Pi
k=j bik j (sk ) because j (sk ) = 0 for k < j. But as noted at the outset, only

P
i
the cases i < j need be checked, so that only vacuous sums bik j (sk ) re-
k=j

main, which were obtained by deleting 0 terms. Thus all key terms are 0, and

the proof is complete.

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The result below was known to Jacobi [S99, Ex. 7.4]; the proof given here

uses matrices instead of the usual generating functions.

Theorem 3.2. The complete homogeneous symmetric polynomial of degree

X
k in n variables, x1 ; : : : ; xn , hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = xi1 xik , can be ex-
0 i1 ::: ik n

pressed as the sum of rational functions:

X n
X xn+k 1
hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = xi1 xik = Yn l

1 i1 ::: ik n l=1 (xl xm )


m=1;m6=l

Proof. For the integral domain D, let s0 ; : : : ; sn 1 ; hr (s0 ; : : : ; st ); Bn = (bij ) ;

Nn = ( ij ) ; and Vn = (sji ) be as previously de…ned. Nn = Bn Vn yields ij =

n
X1 i
X i
X sjl
bil sjl = bil sjl = Yi because Bn is lower-triangular.
l=0 l=0 l=0 (sl sm )
m=0;m6=l

i
X sjl
For 0 < i < j n 1, (i) Yi = 0 because Nn is upper-
l=0 (sl sm )
m=0;m6=l

X0
triangular. In the special case i = 0; b00 = 1, (ii) 0j = b0l sjl = b00 sj0
l=0

i
X sil
= sj0 . When i = j, (iii) 1 = Yi because ii = h0 (s0 ; : : : ; si )
l=0 (sl sm )
m=0;m6=l

= 1. Finally, for 0 < i < j n 1, (iv)

X i
X sjl
ij = hj i (s0 ; : : : ; si ) = sq0 sqj i 1 = Yi
0 q0 ::: qj i l=0 (sl sm )
i 1 m=0;m6=l

Observe that (iv) subsumes the case (v) j i = 1; see Remark 3.5 infra.

The proof is concluded by setting i = n 1 and j = n + k 1 in (iv)

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to obtain a su¢ ciently large matrix in which n 1;n+k 1 = hk (s0 ; : : : ; sn 1) =

X n
X1 sn+k 1
si0 sik 1
= Yn 1
l
. Changing the limits of
0 i0 ::: ik n 1 l=0 (sl sm )
1 m=0;m6=l

all indices by +1 and setting ti = si 1 for i = 1; : : : ; n yields (vi) hk (t1 ; : : : ; tn )

X n
X tn+k 1
= ti1 ti k = Yn l
. Setting ti = xi for i = 1;
0 i1 ::: ik n l=1 (tl tm )
m=1;m6=l

: : : ; n in (vi) completes the proof.

Corollary 3.3. For all positive integers n

1
X n
X n 1
hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = (1 1
= Qnxi
x1 ) (1 xn ) (1 xi ) (xi xj )
j=1;j6=i
k=0 i=1

Proof. The generating function for the complete homogeneous symmetric

polynomials hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) is Gn (z) = h0 (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) + h1 (x1 ; : : : ; xn )z +

P
1
1
h2 (x1 ; : : : ; xn )z 2 + : : : = hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn )z k = (1 x1 z) (1 xn z) , [KD73, p.
k=0
P
1
1
91; M95, p. 21], so that Gn (1) = hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = (1 x1 ) (1 xn ) .
k=0

P
1 P
1 P
n
xk+n 1
From Theorem 3.2, also hk (x1 ; : : : ; xn ) = Qn i
=
k=0 k=0 i=1 j=1;j6=i
(xi xj )

P
n P
1 P
n
xn 1
( Qn 1
)( xik+n 1
) = ( Qn 1
)( i
) =
(xi xj ) (xi xj ) 1 xi
i=1 j=1;j6=i k=0 i=1 j=1;j6=i

P
n n 1
Qnxi .
i=1 (1 xi ) j=1;j6=i
(xi xj )

Remark 3.4. Theorem 3.2 and Corollary 3.3 hold for polynomials over com-

mutative rings with 1.

Remark 3.5. N5 = B5 V5 =

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0 1
1 s0 s20 s30 s40
B C
B C
B 0 1 s0 + s1 s20 + s0 s1 + s21 s30 + s20 s1 + s0 s21 + s31 C
B C
B C
B 0 0 1 s0 + s1 + s2 2 2 2 C
s0 + s0 s1 + s0 s2 + s1 + s1 s2 + s2 C
B
B C
B C
B 0 0 0 1 s0 + s1 + s2 + s3 C
@ A
0 0 0 0 1

Exercise 33 [KD73, pp. 34-35] describes the lower-triangular and superdiago-

nal portions of the Bn Vn product, without the approach or terminology employ-

ed here. Cf. (i), (iii), and (v) in the proof of Theorem 3.2, supra. The proof

suggested in [KD73, pp. 471-472] for those limited portions appears far more

complicated than that presented here, which covers the entire Bn Vn matrix.

Remark 3.6. The relationship Vn = Cn Nn can, of course, be exploited to

obtain less succinct but perhaps nevertheless useful expressions.

Remark 3.7. This paper is based upon a talk entitled Module-Building With

Polynomials and Power Series, presented by the author at the 1st Joint Meeting

of the Amercian Mathematical Society and the New Zealand Mathematical So-

ciety at Victoria University of Wellington, December 12-15, 2007.

4 References

[CS08] Cornelius, E. F., Jr. & Schultz, P., “Root bases of polynomials over

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integral domains”, in Models, Modules, and Abelian Groups, Göbel, R.

& Goldsmith, B., eds., W. de Gruyter & Co., Berlin-New York, 2008,

235-248

[M95] Macdonald, I. G., Symmetric Functions and Hall Polynomials, 2nd ed.,

Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995

[KA67] Klinger, A., The Vandermonde Matrix, Amer. Math. Monthly, 1967,

571-574

[KD73] Knuth, D. E., "Fundamental Algorithms", Vol. 1 of The Art of Com-

puter Programming, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1973

[S99] Stanley, Richard, Enumerative Combinatorics, Vol. 2, Cambridge

University Press, 1999

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