Interpolation by decomposable univariate polynomials

Joachim von zur Gathen, Guillermo Matera

The usual univariate interpolation problem of finding a monic polynomial f of degree n that interpolates n given values is well understood. This paper studies a variant where f is required to be composite, say, a composition of two polynomials of degrees d and e, respectively, with de=n, and therefore d+e-1 given values. Some special cases are easy to solve, and for the general case, we construct a homotopy between it and a special case. We compute a geometric solution of the algebraic curve presenting this homotopy, and this also provides an answer to the interpolation task. The computing time is polynomial in the geometric data, like the degree, of this curve. A consequence is that for almost all inputs, a decomposable interpolation polynomial exists.

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