 
Summary: COMPUTING THE SUPPORT OF LOCAL COHOMOLOGY MODULES
JOSEP ‘
ALVAREZ MONTANER AND ANTON LEYKIN
Abstract. For a polynomial ring R = k[x 1 , ..., xn ], we present a method to compute the characteristic
cycle of the localization R f for any nonzero polynomial f # R that avoids a direct computation of R f
as a Dmodule. Based on this approach, we develop an algorithm for computing the characteristic cycle
of the local cohomology modules H r
I (R) for any ideal I # R using the Ÿ
Cech complex. The algorithm,
in particular, is useful for answering questions regarding vanishing of local cohomology modules and
computing Lyubeznik numbers. These applications are illustrated by examples of computations using
our implementation of the algorithm in Macaulay 2.
1. Introduction
Let k be a field of characteristic zero and R = k[x 1 , . . . , xn ] the ring of polynomials in n variables. For
any ideal I # R, the local cohomology modules H r
I (R) have a natural finitely generated module structure
over the Weyl algebra An . Recently, there has been an e#ort made towards e#ective computation of these
modules by using the theory of Gr˜obner bases over rings of di#erential operators. Algorithms given by
U. Walther [23] and T. Oaku and N. Takayama [20] provide a utility for such computation and are both
implemented in the package Dmodules [16] for Macaulay 2 [10].
