[std-interval] More on interval computations as proofs

R. Baker Kearfott rbk at louisiana.edu
Fri Oct 6 09:13:28 PDT 2006

Yes, I agree.


At 02:48 PM 10/6/2006 +0200, Guillaume Melquiond wrote:
>Le vendredi 06 octobre 2006 à 07:13 -0500, R. Baker Kearfott a écrit :
>> Certainly, it is desirable that sqr(x) return [0,1] for x=[-1,1]. 
>> However, isn't the question of x*x returning [0,1] instead of [-1,1]
>> a question of optimization, and of proper interpretation of what
>> the programmer intended?  Also, have we distinguished what should
>> be mandated in the standard and what is just desirable in an
>> implementation?
>So that there is no misunderstanding, I was speaking of the expression
>x*x as a mathematical expression. So its range is [0,1] on the domain
>[-1,1]. This is different from the C++ expression x*x with "interval
>x(-1,1);". It has to return a superset of [-1,1]. I don't expect any
>optimization here as x is meant as a set of real numbers and not as a
>mathematical expression. Two identical sets do not necessarily bound the
>same mathematical expression.
>I can even imagine situations where optimizing x*x to sqr(x) could be
>dangerous at execution-time. This is a bit far-fetched, but let's
>imagine an application which uses a cache to store the intervals a user
>entered as variable ranges. The user types "[-1;1]" as a range for both
>variables "a" and "b", so the pointers range["a"] and range["b"] both
>point to the same interval in the cache. Now the user asks for the
>product of "a" and "b". As a consequence, the C++ program will execute
>something close to (*range["a"]) * (*range["b"]). As the pointers are
>the same, we are looking at a "x*x" situation, yet we really don't want
>the result to be [0,1].
>So I don't think it is desirable for an implementation to mess with the
>evaluation rules of intervals. Expression manipulation should be
>implemented through another datatype, so that the semantic of intervals
>is not perturbed. For example, people could write a "bounded_expr" class
>that would be implemented on top of "interval" and that would provide
>the semantic of mathematical expressions (x-x = 0 and the like); it
>could rely on Taylor models to compute tight bounds. But this is way out
>of the scope of this proposal.
>Best regards,
>Std-interval mailing list
>Std-interval at compgeom.poly.edu

R. Baker Kearfott,    rbk at louisiana.edu   (337) 482-5346 (fax)
(337) 482-5270 (work)                     (337) 993-1827 (home)
URL: http://interval.louisiana.edu/kearfott.html
Department of Mathematics, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
(Room 217 Maxim D. Doucet Hall, 1403 Johnston Street)
Box 4-1010, Lafayette, LA 70504-1010, USA

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