What are efficient algorithms to compute singular value decomposition (SVD)?

The Wikipedia article on principal component analysis states that

Efficient algorithms exist to calculate the SVD of X without having to form the matrix XTX, so computing the SVD is now the standard way to calculate a principal components analysis from a data matrix, unless only a handful of components are required.

Could someone tell me what are the efficient algorithms the article is talking about? There is no reference given (URL or citation to an article proposing this way of computation would be nice).


The main work-horse behind the computation of SVD is the QR algorithm. Having said that there are many different algorithms to calculate the singular value decomposition of a generic M-by-N matrix A. A great schematic on the issue available here (from the documentation of Intel’s MKL) is the following: enter image description here

As you see depending on your use case there are different approaches (the routine naming conventions can be found here). That is because, for example there are matrix forms where a Householder reduction can be more expensive than a Givens rotation (to name two “obvious” way of getting QR). A standard reference on the matter is Golub’s and Van Loan’s Matrix Computations (I would suggest using at least the 3rd edition). I have also found Å. Björck’s Numerical Methods for Least Squares Problems very good resource on that matter; while SVD is not the primary focus of the book it helps contextualizing the use it.

If I have to give you one general advice on the matter is do not try to write your own SVD algorithms unless you have successfully taken a couple of classes on Numerical Linear Algebra already and you know what you are doing. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but really, there as a tonne of stuff that can go wrong and you ending up with (at best) sub-optimal implementations (if not wrong). There some very good free suites on the matter (eg. Eigen, Armadillo and Trilinos to name a few.)

Source : Link , Question Author : svd , Answer Author : usεr11852

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