BIT Numerical Mathematics

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 62–73

On the Robustness of Gaussian Elimination with Partial Pivoting


  • Paola Favati
    • Istituto di Matematica Computazionale del CNR
  • Mauro Leoncini
    • Facoltà di Economia di FoggiaUniversità di Bari
    • IMC-CNR
  • Angeles Martinez
    • Departamento de Matemática AplicadaUniversidad Politécnica de Valencia

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022314201484

Cite this article as:
Favati, P., Leoncini, M. & Martinez, A. BIT Numerical Mathematics (2000) 40: 62. doi:10.1023/A:1022314201484


It has been recently shown that large growth factors might occur in Gaussian Elimination with Partial Pivoting (GEPP) also when solving some plausibly natural systems. In this note we argue that this potential problem could be easily solved, with much smaller risk of failure, by very small (and low cost) modifications of the basic algorithm, thus confirming its inherent robustness. To this end, we first propose an informal model with the goal of providing further support to the comprehension of the stability properties of GEPP. We then report the results of numerical experiments that confirm the viewpoint embedded in the model. Basing on the previous observations, we finally propose a simple scheme that could be turned into (even more) accurate software for the solution of linear systems.

Gaussian eliminationstabilitypivoting

Copyright information

© Swets & Zeitlinger 2000