[SciPy-dev] Bessel functions from Boost

David Cournapeau cournape@gmail....
Sun Feb 8 19:22:43 CST 2009

On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 4:11 AM, Pauli Virtanen <pav@iki.fi> wrote:
> Sun, 08 Feb 2009 11:39:55 -0700, Charles R Harris wrote:
> [clip]
>> I think it's a good idea. It would also be nice if we picked best of
>> breed from several libraries to make up our own special functions
>> collection. For instance, there are several log gamma functions.
> I think we need to do this eventually, even if it means lots of work. At
> points the Cephes and Specfun codes seem like the author has not wanted
> to bother with the best possible algorithm, which leads to problems in
> corner cases.

Yes, I agree - I already asked about this a few weeks ago after some
problems with other functions. I think cephes and specfun are not
reliable - R does not use it, they have their own implementation of
core math functions (sometimes inspired from cephes/specfun, but not
that often).

> Anyway, point tests across some magnitudes of parameters should be easy
> to generate. What takes more work is checking the behavior of the
> functions in transition regions where the method of computation changes,
> and asymptotic behavior (overflows, etc.) at large or small parameters
> and near singularities.

Yes, it would be a lot of work - I think we should focus on the tests
before rewriting some functions. I would like to have a core
scipy.special which is reliable: bessel, gamma/digamma/co, chebychev,
basically most functions in R core would be a good start - and already
quite heavy from a work POV.

> It has.
> http://svn.boost.org/svn/boost/trunk/boost/math/special_functions/
> log1p.hpp
> It's cluttered by C++ templates, but the algorithm looks like some
> serious effort has been put into it.

we could use their test-suite, maybe.



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