Noncommutative Analysis

Category: d shift space

Spaces of Dirichlet series with the complete Pick property (or: the Drury-Arveson space in a new disguise)

John McCarthy and I have recently uploaded a new version of our paper “Spaces of Dirichlet series with the complete Pick property” to the arxiv. I would like to advertise the central discovery of this paper here.

Recall that the Drury-Arveson space H^2_d is the reproducing kernel Hilbert space on the open unit ball of a d dimensional Hilbert space, with reproducing kernel

k(z,w) = \frac{1}{1 - \langle z, w \rangle}.

It has the remarkable universal property that every Hilbert function space with the complete Pick property is naturally isomorphic to the restriction of H^2_\infty to a subset of the unit ball (see Theorem 6 and its corollary in this post), and consequently, every complete Pick algebra is a quotient of the multiplier algebra \mathcal{M}_\infty = Mult(H^2_\infty). To the best of my knowledge, no other Hilbert function spaces with such a universal property have been studied.

John and I discovered another reproducing kernel Hilbert space that turns out to be “the same” as the Drury-Arveson space H^2_\infty. Since the space H^2_\infty as been so well studied, it interesting to discover a new incarnation. The really interesting part is that the space we discovered is a space of analytic functions on a half plane (that is, a space of functions in one complex variable), rather than a space of analytic functions in infinitely many variables on the unit ball of a Hilbert space.

To be precise, the spaces we consider are spaces of Dirichlet series \mathcal{H}, of the form

\mathcal{H} = \{f(s) = \sum_{n=1}^\infty \gamma_n n^{-s} : \sum |\gamma_n|^2 a_n^{-1} < \infty \}.

(Here a_n is a sequence of positive numbers). These are Hilbert function spaces on some half plane that have a kernel of the form k(s,u) = \sum a_n n^{-s-\bar u}.

We first answer the question which of these spaces \mathcal{H} have the complete Pick property. This problem has a simple solution (which has been anticipated by similar results on spaces on the disc): if we denote by g(s) = \sum a_n n^{-s} the “generating function” of the space, and if we write

\frac{1}{g(s)} = \sum c_n n^{-s},

then \mathcal{H} is a complete Pick space if and only if c_n \leq 0 for all n \geq 2.

After we know to tell when these spaces are complete Pick, it is natural to ask which complete Pick spaces arise like this? We do not give a complete answer, but our surprising discovery is that things can easily be cooked up so to obtain the Drury-Arveson space H^2_d, where d can be any cardinal number in \{1,2,\ldots, \infty\}. For example, \mathcal{H} turns out to be “the same” as H^2_\infty if the kernel k is given by

k(s,u) = \frac{P(2)}{P(2) - P(2+s+\bar u)},

where P(s) = \sum_{p} p^{-s} is the prime zeta function (the sum is taken over all primes p).

 Now, I have been a little vague about what it means that \mathcal{H} is “the same” as H^2_\infty. In fact, this is a subtle question, and we devote a part of our paper what it means for two Hilbert function spaces to be the same — something that has puzzled us for a while.

What does this appearance of Drury-Arveson space as a space of Dirichlet series mean? Can we use this connection to learn something new on multivariable operator theory, or on Dirichlet series? How did the prime zeta function smuggle itself into this discussion? This requires further thought.

A corrigendum

Matt Kennedy and I have recently written a corrigendum to our paper “Essential normality, essential norms and hyperrigidity“. Here is a link to the corrigendum. Below I briefly explain the gap that this corrigendum fills.

A corrigendum is correction to an already published paper. It is clear why such a mechanism exists: we want the papers we read to represent true facts, so false claims, as well as invalid proofs or subtle gaps should be pointed out to the community. Now, many many papers (I don’t want to say “most”) have some kind of mistake in them, but not every mistake deserves a corrigendum – for example there are mistakes that the reader will easily spot and fix, or some where the reader may not spot the mistake, but the fix is simple enough.

There are no rules as to what kind of errors require a corrigendum. This depends, among other things, on the authors. Some mistakes are corrected by other papers. I believe that very quickly some sort of mechanism – say google scholar, or mathscinet – will be able to tell if the paper you are looking up is referenced by another paper pointing out a gap, so such a correction-in-another-paper may sometimes serve as legitimate replacement for a corrigendum, when the issue is a gap or minor mistake.

There is also a question of why publish a corrigendum at all, instead of updating the version of the paper on the arxiv (and this is exactly what the moderators of the arxiv told us at first when we tried to upload our corrigendum there. In the end we convinced them that the corrigendum can stand by itself). I think that once a paper is published, it could be confusing to have a version more advanced than the published version; it becomes very clumsy to cite papers like that.

The paper I am writing about (see this post to see what its about) had a very annoying gap: we justified a certain step by citing a particular proposition from a monograph. The annoying part is that the proposition we cite does not exactly deal with the situation we deal with in the paper, but our idea was that the same proof works in our situation. We did not want to spell out the details because we considered that to be very easy, and in any case it was not a new argument. Unfortunately, the same proof does work when working with homogeneous ideals (which was what first versions of the paper treated) but in fact it is not clear if they work for non-homogeneous ideals. The reason why this gap is so annoying, is that it leads the reader to waste time in a wild goose chase: first the reader goes and finds the monograph we cite, looks up the result (has to read also a few extra pages to see he understands the setting and notation in the monograph), realises this is is not the same situation, then tries to adapt the method but fails. A waste of time!

Another problem that we had in our paper is that one requires our ideals to be “sufficiently non-trivial”. If this were the only problem we would perhaps not bother writing a corrigendum just to introduce a non-triviality assumption, since any serious reader will see that we require this.

If I try to take a lesson from this, besides a general “be careful”, it is that it is dangerous to change the scope of the paper (for us – moving form homogeneous to non-homogeous ideals) in late stages of the preparation of the paper. Indeed we checked that all the arguments work for the non-homogneous case, but we missed the fact that an omitted argument did not work.

Our new corrigendum is detailed and explains the mathematical problem and its solutions well, anyone seriously interested in our paper should look at it. The bottom line is this as follows.

Our paper has two main results regarding quotients of the Drury-Arveson module by a polynomial ideal. The first is that the essential norm in the non selfadjoint algebra associated to a the quotient module, as well as the C*-envelope, are as the Arveson conjecture predicts (Section 3 in the paper) . The second is that essential normality is equivalent to hyperrigidity (Section 4 in the paper).

Under the assumption that all our ideals are sufficiently non-trivial (and some other standing assumptions stated in the paper), the situation is as follows.

The first result holds true as stated.

For the second result, we have that hyperrigidity implies essential normality (as we stated), but the implication “essential normality implies hyperrigidity” is obtained for homogeneous ideals only.


Essential normality, essential norms and hyper rigidity

Matt Kennedy and I recently posted on the arxiv a our paper “Essential normality, essential norms and hyper rigidity“. This paper treats Arveson’s conjecture on essential normality (see the first open problem in this previous post). From the abstract:

Let S = (S_1, \ldots, S_d) denote the compression of the d-shift to the complement of a homogeneous ideal I of \mathbb{C}[z_1, \ldots, z_d]. Arveson conjectured that S is essentially normal. In this paper, we establish new results supporting this conjecture, and connect the notion of essential normality to the theory of the C*-envelope and the noncommutative Choquet boundary.

Previous works on the conjecture verified it for certain classes of ideals, for example ideals generated by monomials, principal ideals, or ideals of “low dimension”. In this paper we find results that hold for all ideals, but – alas! – these are only partial results.

Denote by Z = (Z_1, \ldots, Z_d) the image of S in the Calkin algebra (here as in the above paragraph, S is the compression of the d-shift to the complement of an ideal I in H^2_d). Another way of stating Arveson’s conjecture is that the C*-algebra generated by Z is commutative. This would have implied that the norm closed (non-selfadjoint) algebra generated by Z is equal to the sup-norm closure of polynomials on the zero variety of the ideal I. One of our main results is that we are able to show that the non-selfadjoint algebra is indeed as the conjecture predicts, and this gives some evidence for the conjecture. This is also enough to obtain a von Neumann inequality on subvarieties of the ball, what would have been a consequence of the conjecture being true.

Another main objective is to connect between essential normality and the noncommutative Choquet boundary (see this and this previous posts). A main result here is  we have is that the tuple S is essentially normal if and only if it is hyperrigid  (meaning in particular that all irreducible representations of C^*(S) are boundary representations).

The remarkable Hilbert space H^2 (part III – three open problems)

This is the last in the series of three posts on the d–shift space, which accompany/replace the colloquium talk I was supposed to give. The first two parts are available here and here. In this post I will discuss three open problems that I have been thinking about, which are formulated within the setting of H^2_d.

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The remarkable Hilbert space H^2 (Part II – multivariable operator theory and model theory)

This post is the second post in the series of posts on the d–shift space, a.k.a. the Drury–Arveson space, a.k.a. H^2_d (see this previous post about the space H^2).

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The remarkable Hilbert space H^2 (Part I – definition and interpolation theory)

This series of posts is based on the colloquium talk that I was supposed to give on November 20, at our department. As fate had it, that week studies were cancelled.

Several people in our department thought that it would be a nice idea if alongside the usual colloquium talks given by invited speakers which highlight their recent achievements, we would also have some talks by department members that will be more of an exposition to the fields they work in. So my talk was supposed to be an exposition to the setting in which much of the research I do goes on.

The topic of the “talk”  is the Hilbert space H^2_d. There will be three parts to this series:

  1. Definition and interpolation theory. 
  2. Multivariate operator theory and model theory
  3. Current research problems

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