Algebraic geometry

Some authors do not make a clear distinction between algebraic sets and varieties and use irreducible variety to make the distinction when needed.

In contrast to the preceding sections, this section concerns only varieties and not algebraic sets. On the other hand, the definitions extend naturally to projective varieties (next section), as an affine variety and its projective completion have the same field of functions.

which may also be viewed as a rational map from the line to the circle.

Thus many of the properties of algebraic varieties, including birational equivalence and all the topological properties, depend on the behavior "at infinity" and so it is natural to study the varieties in projective space. Furthermore, the introduction of projective techniques made many theorems in algebraic geometry simpler and sharper: For example, Bézout's theorem on the number of intersection points between two varieties can be stated in its sharpest form only in projective space. For these reasons, projective space plays a fundamental role in algebraic geometry.

Real algebraic geometry is the study of the real points of algebraic varieties.

One may date the origin of computational algebraic geometry to meeting EUROSAM'79 (International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation) held at Marseille, France, in June 1979. At this meeting,

Since then, most results in this area are related to one or several of these items either by using or improving one of these algorithms, or by finding algorithms whose complexity is simply exponential in the number of the variables.

Gröbner bases are deemed to be difficult to compute. In fact they may contain, in the worst case, polynomials whose degree is doubly exponential in the number of variables and a number of polynomials which is also doubly exponential. However, this is only a worst case complexity, and the complexity bound of Lazard's algorithm of 1979 may frequently apply. Faugère F5 algorithm realizes this complexity, as it may be viewed as an improvement of Lazard's 1979 algorithm. It follows that the best implementations allow one to compute almost routinely with algebraic sets of degree more than 100. This means that, presently, the difficulty of computing a Gröbner basis is strongly related to the intrinsic difficulty of the problem.

The complexity of CAD is doubly exponential in the number of variables. This means that CAD allows, in theory, to solve every problem of real algebraic geometry which may be expressed by such a formula, that is almost every problem concerning explicitly given varieties and semi-algebraic sets.

While Gröbner basis computation has doubly exponential complexity only in rare cases, CAD has almost always this high complexity. This implies that, unless if most polynomials appearing in the input are linear, it may not solve problems with more than four variables.

Since 1973, most of the research on this subject is devoted either to improving CAD or finding alternative algorithms in special cases of general interest.

As an example of the state of art, there are efficient algorithms to find at least a point in every connected component of a semi-algebraic set, and thus to test if a semi-algebraic set is empty. On the other hand, CAD is yet, in practice, the best algorithm to count the number of connected components.

solving nonhomogeneous polynomial systems which have a finite number of solutions.

The language of schemes, stacks and generalizations has proved to be a valuable way of dealing with geometric concepts and became cornerstones of modern algebraic geometry.