On uniqueness in CANDECOMP/PARAFAC

Jos M F Ten Berge, Nikolaos D. Sidiropoulos

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82 Scopus citations


One of the basic issues in the analysis of three-way arrays by CANDECOMP/PARAFAC (CP) has been the question of uniqueness of the decomposition. Kruskal (1977) has proved that uniqueness is guaranteed when the sum of the k-ranks of the three component matrices involved is at least twice the rank of the solution plus 2. Since then, little has been achieved that might further qualify Kruskal's sufficient condition. Attempts to prove that it is also necessary for uniqueness (except for rank 1 or 2) have failed, but counterexamples to necessity have not been detected. The present paper gives a method for generating the class of all solutions (or at least a subset of that class), given a CP solution that satisfies certain conditions. This offers the possibility to examine uniqueness for a great variety of specific CP solutions. It will be shown that Kruskal's condition is necessary and sufficient when the rank of the solution is three, but that uniqueness may hold even if the condition is not satisfied, when the rank is four or higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Candecomp
  • Parafac
  • Three-way arrays
  • Uniqueness


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