# Finding the lowest $n$ eigenvalues of a band-diagonal Matrix

I have a real sparse matrix of the form

$$\left( \begin{array}{ccc} h_{11} & h_{12} & 0 & h_{14} & & & \\ h_{21} & h_{22} & h_{23} & 0 & h_{25} & & \\ 0 & h_{32} & h_{33} & h_{34} & 0 & h_{36} & \\ h_{41} & 0 & h_{43} & h_{44} & h_{45} & 0 & \dots \\ & h_{52} & 0 & h_{54} & h_{55} & h_{56} & \\ & & h_{63} & 0 & h_{65} & h_{66} & \\ & & & \vdots & & & \ddots\\ \end{array} \right)$$

It typically has dimensions $2500\times 2500$

I've written a small routine using the LAPACK routine dsyev, which is fine for small matrices but takes a while for the above dimensions I am interested in.

Would anyone suggest a more appropriate routine? I am only interested in the lower eigenvalues, so an iterative procedure would probably be suitable.

Or are there any (ready-made) routines that exploit sparse matrices? LAPACK seems to be primarily for dense matrices.

• Have you done a search for 'band-diagonal eigenvalue solver'? Nov 15, 2016 at 18:36
• Would Computational Science be a better home for this question? (If so, you can flag it and ask a moderator to migrate it there; don't cross-post.) Nov 15, 2016 at 18:40
• I'll have a look for 'band-diagonal eigenvalue solvers'. Thanks. Also yeah that might be more appropriate. I'll flag it. Nov 15, 2016 at 18:59
• This matrix is not "block"-diagonal but banded. BTW, what you intend by Hamiltonian? Hamiltonian matrix has a quite special meaning, in linear algebra: mathworld.wolfram.com/HamiltonianMatrix.html Nov 16, 2016 at 8:12
• Arpack has routines for banded matrices, have you checked it? Nov 16, 2016 at 15:19

The python scipy page on Sparse Eigenvalue Problems with ARPACK gives an idea of what to do for your problem of finding $n$ smallest eigenvalues by switching to a corresponding computation mode. See references on the which parameter: SM (smallest magnitude), SR (smallest real part), SI (smallest imaginary part), SA (smallest algebraic).
$2500 \times 2500$ does not sound like a large problem; however, if the scaling to larger sizes becomes an issue, one might also look into SLEPc.