Sparse matrix

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A matrix with a small number of non-zero entries. Systems of linear equations with such matrices occur, in particular, in approximating differential equations by finite differences or variational-differences equations (cf. Approximation of a differential equation by difference equations).


Sparseness of a matrix is a property that can be advantageously exploited in numerical linear algebra, cf. [a1] for a survey.


[a1] Z. Zlatev, "Iterative improvement of direct solutions of large and sparse problems" , Kluwer (1991) (Translated from Russian)
How to Cite This Entry:
Sparse matrix. N.S. Bakhvalov (originator), Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This text originally appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098