# Determination Problems for Orbit Closures and Matrix Groups

R. Ait El Manssour,
G. Kenison,
M. Shirmohammadi,
J. Worrell

July, 2024

### Abstract

Computational problems concerning the orbit of a point under the action of a matrix group occur in numerous subfields of computer science, including complexity theory, program analysis, quantum computation, and automata theory. In many cases the focus extends beyond orbits proper to orbit closures under a suitable topology. Typically one starts from a group and several points and asks questions about the orbit closure of the points under the action of the group, e.g., whether two given orbit closures intersect.

In this paper we consider a collection of what we call determination problems concerning groups and orbit closures. These problems begin with a given variety and seek to understand whether and how it arises either as an algebraic group or as an orbit closure. The *how* question asks whether the underlying group is $s$-generated, meaning it is topologically generated by $s$ matrices for a given number $s$. Among other applications, problems of this type have recently been studied in the context of synthesising loops subject to certain specified invariants on program variables.
Our main result is a polynomial-space procedure that inputs a variety $V$ and a number $s$ and determines whether $V$ arises as an orbit closure of a point under an $s$-generated commutative matrix group. The main tools in our approach are rooted in structural properties of commutative algebraic matrix groups and lattice theory. We leave open the question of determining whether a variety is an orbit closure of a point under an algebraic matrix group (without the requirement of commutativity). In this regard, we note that a recent paper by Nosan et al. gives an elementary procedure to compute the orbit closure of a point under finitely many matrices.