Descartes' Rule of Signs

Manuel Eberl

28 December 2015

Abstract

Descartes' Rule of Signs relates the number of positive real roots of a polynomial with the number of sign changes in its coefficient sequence.

Our proof follows the simple inductive proof given by Rob Arthan, which was also used by John Harrison in his HOL Light formalisation. We proved most of the lemmas for arbitrary linearly-ordered integrity domains (e.g. integers, rationals, reals); the main result, however, requires the intermediate value theorem and was therefore only proven for real polynomials.

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