Persistent Laplacians: properties, algorithms and implications - Zhengchao Wan

21 May 2021
Zhengchao Wan

In this work we present a thorough study of the theoretical properties and devise efficient algorithms for the persistent Laplacian, an extension of the standard combinatorial Laplacian to the setting of simplicial pairs: pairs of simplicial complexes related by an inclusion, which was recently introduced by Wang, Nguyen, and Wei. 

In analogy with the non-persistent case, we establish that the nullity of the q-th persistent Laplacian equals the q-th persistent Betti number of any given simplicial pair which provides an interesting connection between spectral graph theory and TDA. 

We further exhibit a novel relationship between the persistent Laplacian and the notion of Schur complement of a matrix. This relation permits us to uncover a link with the notion of effective resistance from network circuit theory and leads to a persistent version of the Cheeger inequality.

This relationship also leads to a novel and fundamentally different algorithm for computing the persistent Betti number for a pair of simplicial complexes which can be significantly more efficient than standard algorithms. 

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  • Applied Topology Seminar