2011/2012, VOLUME 17, NUMBER 6, PAGES 65-173

The length function and matrix algebras

O. V. Markova


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By the length of a finite system of generators for a finite-dimensional associative algebra over an arbitrary field we mean the least positive integer k such that the words of length not exceeding k span this algebra (as a vector space). The maximum length for the systems of generators of an algebra is referred to as the length of the algebra. In the present paper, we study the main ring-theoretical properties of the length function: the behavior of the length under unity adjunction, direct sum of algebras, passing to subalgebras and homomorphic images. We give an upper bound for the length of the algebra as a function of the nilpotency index of its Jacobson radical and the length of the quotient algebra. We also provide examples of the length computation for certain algebras, in particular, for the following classical matrix subalgebras: the algebra of upper triangular matrices, the algebra of diagonal matrices, the Schur algebra, Courter's algebra, and for the classes of local and commutative algebras.

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Last modified: November 21, 2012