Factoring Differential Operators in n Variables

Mark Giesbrecht, Albert Heinle, Viktor Levandovskyy

In this paper, we present a new algorithm and an experimental implementation for factoring elements in the polynomial n'th Weyl algebra, the polynomial n'th shift algebra, and ZZ^n-graded polynomials in the n'th q-Weyl algebra. The most unexpected result is that this noncommutative problem of factoring partial differential operators can be approached effectively by reducing it to the problem of solving systems of polynomial equations over a commutative ring. In the case where a given polynomial is ZZ^n-graded, we can reduce the problem completely to factoring an element in a commutative multivariate polynomial ring. The implementation in Singular is effective on a broad range of polynomials and increases the ability of computer algebra systems to address this important problem. We compare the performance and output of our algorithm with other implementations in commodity computer algebra systems on nontrivial examples.

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