A Note on Solution of the Nearest Correlation Matrix Problem by von Neumann Matrix Divergence

9 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2008 Last revised: 31 Mar 2011


In the extant literature a suggestion has been made to solve the nearest correlation matrix problem by a modified von Neumann approximation. In this paper it has been shown that obtaining the nearest positive semi-definite matrix from a given non-positive-semi-definite correlation matrix by such method is either infeasible or suboptimal. First, if a given matrix is already positive semi-definite, there is no need to obtain any other positive semi-definite matrix closest to it. When the given matrix is non-positive-semi-definite (Q), then only we seek a positive semi-definite matrix closest to it. Then the proposed procedure fails as we cannot find log(Q). But, if we replace negative eigenvalues of Q by a zero/near-zero values, we obtain a positive semi-definite matrix, but it is not nearest to the Q matrix; there are indeed other procedures to obtain better approximation. However, the modified von Neumann approximation method yields results (although sub-optimal) and is, perhaps, one of the fastest method most suitable to dealing with larger matrices. Yet, we provide an alternative algorithm (and a Fortran program) to obtain a positive (semi-)definite matrix that performs (speed as well as accuracy-wise) much better.

Keywords: Nearest correlation matrix problem, positive semidefinite, non-positive-semi-definite, von Neumann divergence, Bergman divergence

JEL Classification: C15, C63, C87, C88

Suggested Citation

Mishra, Sudhanshu K., A Note on Solution of the Nearest Correlation Matrix Problem by von Neumann Matrix Divergence. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1106882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1106882

Sudhanshu K. Mishra (Contact Author)

North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) ( email )

NEHU Campus
Shillong, 793022
03642550102 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nehu-economics.info

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