Arkiv för Matematik

Volume 56 (2018)

Number 2

On the dimension of contact loci and the identifiability of tensors

Pages: 265 – 283



Edoardo Ballico (Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Trento, Italy)

Alessandra Bernardi (Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Trento, Italy)

Luca Chiantini (Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione e Scienze Matematiche, Università di Siena, Italy)


Let $X \subset \mathbb{P}^r$ be an integral and non-degenerate variety. Set $n := \mathrm{dim} \: (X)$. We prove that if the $(k+n-1)$-secant variety of $X$ has (the expected) dimension $(k+n-1) (n+1)-1 \lt r$ and $X$ is not uniruled by lines, then $X$ is not $k$-weakly defective and hence the $k$-secant variety satisfies identifiability, i.e. a general element of it is in the linear span of a unique $S \subset X$ with $\sharp (S) = k$. We apply this result to many Segre-Veronese varieties and to the identifiability of Gaussian mixtures $\mathcal{G}_{1,d}$. If $X$ is the Segre embedding of a multiprojective space we prove identifiability for the $k$-secant variety (assuming that the $(k+n-1)$-secant variety has dimension $(k+n-1) (n+1)-1 \lt r$, this is a known result in many cases), beating several bounds on the identifiability of tensors.

Received 10 July 2017

Received revised 1 December 2017

Accepted 2 January 2018

Published 24 May 2022