Minimal eventually positive realizations of externally positive systems.

C. Altafini.

Automatica, 68:140-147, 2016.

It is a well-know fact that externally positive linear systems may fail to have a minimal positive realization. In order to investigate these cases, we introduce the notion of minimal eventually positive realization, for which the state update matrix becomes positive after a certain power. Eventually positive realizations capture the idea that in the impulse response of an externally positive system the state of a minimal realization may fail to be positive, but only transiently. As a consequence, we show that in discrete-time it is possible to use downsampling to obtain minimal positive realizations matching decimated sequences of Markov coefficients of the impulse response. In continuous-time, instead, if the sampling time is chosen sufficiently long, a minimal eventually positive realization leads always to a sampled realization which is minimal and positive.

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