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Suppose $r_i$, $1 \le i \le n$, and $c_j$, $1 \le j \le m$, are nonnegative integers. When does there exist an $n \times m$ matrix in $\text{Mat}_{n \times m} (\mathbb{Z}^+)$, i.e. nonnegative entries, such that $r_i$ is the sum of the entries in its $i$th row and $c_j$ is the sum of the entries in its $j$th columns?

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@user314: Why the algebra-precalculus tag? –  Mike Spivey Nov 16 '10 at 5:50
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Non-negative integer solutions exist whenever the (also necessary) "balance condition" is met:

$$ \sum_i r_i = \sum_j c_j $$

which simply sums the total matrix entries in two ways.

There is a survey paper by Alexander Barvinok on this: http://www.math.lsa.umich.edu/~barvinok/linalg.pdf

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Yes, it's a very active area. One of my fellow graduate students is working on this for his thesis. –  Timothy Wagner Nov 16 '10 at 5:33
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