Weighing matrix

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In mathematics, a weighing matrix W of order n and weight w is an n × n (0,1,-1)-matrix such that , where is the transpose of and is the identity matrix of order .

For convenience, a weighing matrix of order n and weight w is often denoted by W(n,w). A W(n,n) is a Hadamard matrix and a W(n,n-1) is equivalent to a conference matrix.


Some properties are immediate from the definition. If W is a W(n,w), then:

  • The rows of W are pairwise orthogonal (that is, every pair of rows you pick from W will be orthogonal). Similarly, the columns are pairwise orthogonal.
  • Each row and each column of W has exactly w non-zero elements.
  • , since the definition means that , where is the inverse of .
  • where is the determinant of .


Note that when weighing matrices are displayed, the symbol is used to represent -1. Here are two examples:

This is a W(2,2):

This is a W(7,4):


Two weighing matrices are considered to be equivalent if one can be obtained from the other by a series of permutations and negations of the rows and columns of the matrix. The classification of weighing matrices is complete for cases where w ≤ 5 as well as all cases where n ≤ 15 are also completed.[1] However, very little has been done beyond this with exception to classifying circulant weighing matrices.[2][3]

Open Questions[edit]

There are many open questions about weighing matrices. The main question about weighing matrices is their existence: for which values of n and w does there exist a W(n,w)? A great deal about this is unknown. An equally important but often overlooked question about weighing matrices is their enumeration: for a given n and w, how many W(n,w)'s are there?

This question has two different meanings. Enumerating up to equivalence and enumerating different matrices with same n,k parametets. Some papers were published on the first question but none were published on the second important question.


  1. ^ M. Harada, A. Munemasa, On the classification of weighing matrices and self-orthogonal codes, 2011, https://arxiv.org/abs/1011.5382.
  2. ^ Ang, Miin Huey, et al. "Study of proper circulant weighing matrices with weight 9." Discrete Mathematics 308.13 (2008): 2802-2809.
  3. ^ Arasu, K. T., et al. "Determination of all possible orders of weight 16 circulant weighing matrices." Finite Fields and Their Applications 12.4 (2006): 498-538.