We study a general product of two n-dimensional tensors A and B with orders m≥2 and k≥1. This product satisfies the associative law, and is a generalization of the usual matrix product. Using this product, many concepts and known results of tensors can be simply expressed and/or proved, and a number of applications of it will be given. Using the associative law of this tensor product and some properties on the resultant of a system of homogeneous equations on n variables, we define the similarity and congruence of tensors (which are also the generalizations of the corresponding relations for matrices), and prove that similar tensors have the same characteristic polynomials, thus the same spectra. We study two special kinds of similarity: permutational similarity and diagonal similarity, and their applications in the study of the spectra of hypergraphs and nonnegative irreducible tensors. We also define the direct product of tensors (in matrix case it is also called the Kronecker product), and give its applications in the study of the spectra of two kinds of the products of hypergraphs. We also give applications of this general product in the study of nonnegative tensors, including a characterization of primitive tensors, the upper bounds of primitive degrees and the cyclic indices of some nonnegative irreducible tensors. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Shao, J. Y. (2013). A general product of tensors with applications. Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 439(8), 2350–2366. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.laa.2013.07.010