# The Computational Complexity of the Restricted Isometry Property, the Nullspace Property, and Related Concepts in Compressed Sensing

This paper deals with the computational complexity of conditions which guarantee that the NP-hard problem of finding the sparsest solution to an underdetermined linear system can be solved by efficient algorithms. In the literature, several such conditions have been introduced. The most well-known ones are the mutual coherence, the restricted isometry property (RIP), and the nullspace property (NSP). While evaluating the mutual coherence of a given matrix is easy, it has been suspected for some time that evaluating RIP and NSP is computationally intractable in general. We confirm these conjectures by showing that for a given matrix A and positive integer k, computing the best constants for which the RIP or NSP hold is, in general, NP-hard. These results are based on the fact that determining the spark of a matrix is NP-hard, which is also established in this paper. Furthermore, we also give several complexity statements about problems related to the above concepts.

A preliminary version of this work won the Best Student Paper Award at SPARS'13.

@article{TillmannPfetsch2014,

author = {A. M. Tillmann and M. E. Pfetsch},

title = {{The Computational Complexity of the Restricted Isometry Property, the Nullspace Property, and Related Concepts in Compressed Sensing}},

journal = {{IEEE Transactions on Information Theory}},

volume = {60},

number = {2},

pages = {1248--1259},

year = {2014},

note = {DOI: 10.1109/TIT.2013.2290112}

}