(This is a monograph based upon Eduardo Sontag's Ph.D. thesis. The contents are basically the same as the thesis, except for a very few revisions and extensions.) This work deals the realization theory of discrete-time systems (with inputs and outputs, in the sense of control theory) defined by polynomial update equations. It is based upon the premise that the natural tools for the study of the structural-algebraic properties (in particular, realization theory) of polynomial input/output maps are provided by algebraic geometry and commutative algebra, perhaps as much as linear algebra provides the natural tools for studying linear systems. Basic ideas from algebraic geometry are used throughout in system-theoretic applications (Hilbert's basis theorem to finite-time observability, dimension theory to minimal realizations, Zariski's Main Theorem to uniqueness of canonical realizations, etc). In order to keep the level elementary (in particular, not utilizing sheaf-theoretic concepts), certain ideas like nonaffine varieties are used only implicitly (eg., quasi-affine as open sets in affine varieties) or in technical parts of a few proofs, and the terminology is similarly simplified (e.g., "polynomial map" instead of "scheme morphism restricted to k-points", or "k-space" instead of "k-points of an affine k-scheme"). |