Module

for

Row Reduced Echelon Form

Background

An important technique for solving a system of linear equations    is to form the augmented matrix  and reduce    to reduced row echelon form.

Definition (Reduced Row Echelon Form).  A matrix is said to be in row-reduced echelon form provided that

(i)    In each row that does not consist of all zero elements, the first non-zero element in this row is a 1.  (called. a "leading 1).

(ii)    In each column that contains a leading 1 of some row, all other elements of this column are zeros.

(iii)    In any two successive rows with non-zero elements, the leading 1 of the the lower row occurs farther to the right than the leading 1 of the higher row.

(iv)    If there are any rows contains only zero elements then they are grouped together at the bottom.

Theorem (Reduced Row Echelon Form).   The reduced row echelon form of a matrix is unique.

Definition (Rank).   The number of nonzero rows in the reduced row echelon form of a matrix    is called the rank of    and is denoted by   .

Theorem.   Consider the  m × n  linear system  ,  where is the augmented matrix.

(i)    If     then the system has a unique solution.

(ii)    If     then the system has an infinite number of solution.

(iii)    If     then the system is inconsistent and has no solution.

Computer Programs  Row Reduced Echelon Form  Row Reduced Echelon Form

Mathematica Subroutine (Complete Gauss-Jordan Elimination).

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Example 1.  Solve the linear system of equations

Solution 1.

Example 2.  Solve the linear system of equations

Solution 2.

Example 3.  Solve the linear system

Solution 3.

Example 4.  Solve the linear system

Solution 4.

Free Variables

When the linear system is underdetermined, we needed to introduce free variables in the proper location. The following subroutine will rearrange the equations and introduce free variables in the location they are needed.  Then all that is needed to do is find the row reduced echelon form a second time.  This is done at the end of the next example.

Mathematica Subroutine (Under Determined Equations).

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Example 5.  Solve the linear system

Solution 5.

Row Reduced Echelon Form  Row Reduced Echelon Form  Internet hyperlinks to web sites and a bibliography of articles.

(c) John H. Mathews 2004