[SciPy-User] understanding machine precision

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Wed Dec 15 06:43:15 CST 2010

On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 3:17 PM, Keith Goodman <kwgoodman@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 11:38 AM,  <josef.pktd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM, Francesc Alted <faltet@pytables.org> wrote:
>>> A Tuesday 14 December 2010 20:17:10 Nils Wagner escrigué:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I am using ATLAS
>>>> python -i try_deterministic.py
>>>> lstsq
>>>> 0.0
>>>> 0.0
>>>> 0.0
>>>> 0.0
>>>> 0.0
>>> That's interesting.  Maybe Josef is using a threaded ATLAS?  I
>>> positively know that threading introduces variability in the order that
>>> the computations are done.  However, I'm not sure on why ATLAS has
>>> decided to use several threads for so small matrices ((100, 10)) :-/
>> No, I'm using an old plain ATLAS with a single CPU, but if Skipper is
>> getting it also with 32bit mkl, then there might still be another
>> Windows "feature" in play.
>> Since my results are identical across python session, but not within,
>> the results are still deterministic and cannot depend on how busy my
>> computer is.
> Come to think if it, one of my tests is to compare the output of each
> new release of one of my packages with the previous release. My
> colleague runs the test on a windows machine. He gets a difference in
> output when there should be none. Even after pulling the installer
> apart and installing the non-ATLAS version he sees the difference on
> windows. It would be great to figure out what is going on.

It looks like it's Windows32 specific, but not specific to an ATLAS or
LAPACK version.

I still don't have a clue why, but it looks like tests that use linalg
have to be weakened to decimal=14 or decimal=15, larger than I thought



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