(j3.2006) [Fwd: Beating floating point at its own game]

Keith Bierman khbkhb
Mon Aug 14 16:24:22 EDT 2017


Kahan's argument boils down to "it's misleading and the results can't be
trusted" in which case the difficulty in adoption isn't really relevant ;>

I know and like Gus and Velvel ... I'd like Gus to be right; but I fear
Velvel is.

Keith Bierman
khbkhb at gmail.com
303 997 2749

On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 2:22 PM, Clune, Thomas L. (GSFC-6101) <
thomas.l.clune at nasa.gov> wrote:

> I read this book and greatly enjoyed it.    I don?t think there is a
> realistic path for adoption, but it was enlightening.
>
> Tom
>
>
>
> > On Aug 14, 2017, at 2:38 PM, Van Snyder <Van.Snyder at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:
> >
> > Beating floating point at its own game
> >
> >
> >
> > https://insidehpc.com/2017/08/beating-floating-point-game-
> posit-arithmetic/
> >
> > Editorial reviews from Amazon:
> > https://www.amazon.com/End-Error-Computing-Chapman-
> Computational/dp/1482239868/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&
> qid=1413144875&sr=1-1&keywords=end+of+error+gustafson
> >
> > "The author of the present book believes that it is time to supplement
> > the century-old floating point arithmetic with something better: unum
> > arithmetic. The book covers various operations with unum arithmetic and
> > topics like polynomial evaluation, solving equations, two-body problem,
> > etc. The appendices give a glossary of unum functions, ubox functions,
> > and some algorithm listings."
> > ?Zentralblatt MATH 1320
> >
> > "This book is an extraordinary reinvention of computer arithmetic and
> > elementary numerical methods from the ground up. Unum arithmetic is an
> > extension of floating point in which it is also possible to represent
> > the open intervals between two floating point numbers. This leads to
> > arithmetic that is algebraically much cleaner, without rounding error,
> > overflow underflow, or negative zero, and with clean and consistent
> > treatment of positive and negative infinity and NaN. These changes are
> > not just marginal technical improvements. As the book fully
> > demonstrates, they lead to what can only be described as a radical
> > re-foundation of elementary numerical analysis, with new methods that
> > are free of rounding error, fully parallelizable, fully portable, easier
> > for programmers to master, and often more economical of memory,
> > bandwidth, and power than comparable floating point methods. The book is
> > exceptionally well written and produced and is illustrated on every page
> > with full-color diagrams that perfectly communicate the material. Anyone
> > interested in computer arithmetic or numerical methods must read this
> > book. It is surely destined to be a classic."
> > ?David Jefferson, Center for Advanced Scientific Computing, Lawrence
> > Livermore National Laboratory
> >
> > "John Gustafson?s book The End of Error presents the ideas of computer
> > arithmetic in a very easy-to-read and understandable form. While the
> > title is provocative, the content provides an illuminating discussion of
> > the issues. The examples are engaging, well thought out, and simple to
> > follow."
> > ?Jack Dongarra, University Distinguished Professor, University of
> > Tennessee
> >
> > "John Gustafson presents a bold and brilliant proposal for a
> > revolutionary number representation system, unum, for scientific (and
> > potentially all other) computers. Unum?s main advantage is that
> > computing with these numbers gives scientists the correct answer all the
> > time. Gustafson is able to show that the universal number, or unum,
> > encompasses all standard floating-point formats as well as fixed-point
> > and exact integer arithmetic. The book is a call to action for the next
> > stage: implementation and testing that would lead to wide-scale
> > adoption."
> > ?Gordon Bell, Researcher Emeritus, Microsoft Research
> >
> > "Reading more and more in [John Gustafson?s] book became a big surprise.
> > I had not expected such an elaborate and sound piece of work. It is hard
> > to believe that a single person could develop so many nice ideas and put
> > them together into a sketch of what perhaps might be the future of
> > computing. Reading [this] book is fascinating."
> > ?Ulrich Kulisch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
> >
> >
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