Unrestricted algorithm

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An unrestricted algorithm is an algorithm for the computation of a mathematical function that puts no restrictions on the range of the argument or on the precision that may be demanded in the result.[1] The idea of such an algorithm was put forward by C. W. Clenshaw and F. W. J. Olver in a paper published in 1980.[1][2]

In the problem of developing algorithms for computing, as regards the values of a real-valued function of a real variable (e.g., g[x] in "restricted" algorithms), the error that can be tolerated in the result is specified in advance. An interval on the real line would also be specified for values when the values of a function are to be evaluated. Different algorithms may have to be applied for evaluating functions outside the interval. An unrestricted algorithm envisages a situation in which a user may stipulate the value of x and also the precision required in g(x) quite arbitrarily. The algorithm should then produce an acceptable result without failure.[1]


  1. ^ a b c C.W. Clenshaw and F. W. J. Olver (April 1980). "An unrestricted algorithm for the exponential function". SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis. 17 (2): 310–331. JSTOR 2156615.
  2. ^ Richard P Brent (1980). "Unrestricted algorithms for elementary and special functions". In S. H. Lavington (ed.). Information Processing. 80. North-Holland, Amsterdam. pp. 613–619. arXiv:1004.3621.
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