# Hessian matrix

Let $x\in\mathbb{R}^{n}$ and let $f\colon\mathbb{R}^{n}\to\mathbb{R}$ be a real-valued function having 2nd-order partial derivatives  in an open set $U$ containing $x$. The Hessian matrix of $f$ is the matrix of second partial derivatives evaluated at $x$:

 $\mathbf{H}(x):=\begin{bmatrix}\displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{1% }^{2}}}&\displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{1}\partial x_{2}}}&% \ldots&\displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{1}\partial x_{n}}}\\ \displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{2}\partial x_{1}}}&% \displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{2}^{2}}}&\ldots&\displaystyle{% \frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{2}\partial x_{n}}}\\ \vdots&\vdots&\ddots&\vdots\\ \displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{n}\partial x_{1}}}&% \displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{n}\partial x_{2}}}&\ldots&% \displaystyle{\frac{\partial^{2}f}{\partial x_{n}^{2}}}\end{bmatrix}.$ (1)

Given a vector $\boldsymbol{v}\in\mathbb{R}^{n}$, the Hessian of $f$ at $\boldsymbol{v}$ is:

 $\mathbf{H}(x)(\boldsymbol{v}):=\frac{1}{2}\boldsymbol{v}\mathbf{H}(x)% \boldsymbol{v}^{\operatorname{T}}.$ (2)

Here we view $\boldsymbol{v}$ as a $1$ by $n$ matrix so that $\boldsymbol{v}^{\operatorname{T}}$ is the transpose  of $\boldsymbol{v}$.

Remark. The Hessian of $f$ at $\boldsymbol{v}$ is a quadratic form  , since $\mathbf{H}(x)(r\boldsymbol{v})=r^{2}\mathbf{H}(x)(\boldsymbol{v})$ for any $r\in\mathbb{R}$.

If $f$ is further assumed to be in $C^{2}(U)$, and $x$ is a critical point  of $f$ such that $\mathbf{H}(x)$ is positive definite  (http://planetmath.org/PositiveDefinite), then $x$ is a strict local minimum of $f$.

This is not difficult to show. Since $\mathbf{H}(x)$ is positive definite (http://planetmath.org/PositiveDefinite), the Rayleigh-Ritz theorem shows that there is a $c>0$ such that for all $h\in\mathbb{R}^{n}$, $h^{T}\mathbf{H}(x)h\geq 2c\|h\|^{2}$. Thus by Taylor’s theorem (http://planetmath.org/TaylorPolynomialsInBanachSpaces) ( form)

 $f(x+h)=f(x)+\frac{1}{2}h^{T}\mathbf{H}(x)h+o(\|h\|^{2})\geq c\|h\|^{2}+o(\|h\|% ^{2}).$

For small $\|h\|$ the first on the the second, so that both sides are positive for small $\|h\|$.

 Title Hessian matrix Canonical name HessianMatrix Date of creation 2013-03-22 12:59:41 Last modified on 2013-03-22 12:59:41 Owner cvalente (11260) Last modified by cvalente (11260) Numerical id 31 Author cvalente (11260) Entry type Definition Classification msc 26B12 Related topic Gradient Related topic PartialDerivative Related topic SymmetricMatrix Related topic ComplexHessianMatrix Related topic HessianForm Related topic DirectionalDerivative Defines Hessian