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From Phil Steitz <>
Subject [math] Some changes to Polynomial
Date Wed, 31 Mar 2004 04:29:42 GMT
0. To help debug the SplineInterpolater (PR #28019 et al), I need to 
expose the coefficients in o.a.c.m.analysis.Polynomial as a read-only 
property (returning an array copy). Any objections to adding this?

While reviewing the code, I also noticed that the current impl uses 
"naive" evaluation (using Math.pow, etc.).  I would like to change this to 
use Horner's Method.  Here is what I have ready to commit:

1. Add protected static double evaluate(double[] coefficients, double 
argument) implementing Horner to get the function value; and change 
value(double) to just call this.

2. Add protected static double[] differentiate(double[] coefficients) to 
return the coefficients of the derivative of the polynomial with 
coefficients equal to the actual parameter.  Then change 
firstDerivative(x) to just return
evaluate(differentiate(coefficients), x).  Similar for secondDerivative.
I could adapt Horner for the derivatives, but that seems messy to me and 
the slight memory cost to create the temp arrays seems worth it.

3. I would also like to add
public PolynomialFunction derivative() {
   return new PolynomialFunction(differentiate(coefficients));

Any objections to this?

Interestingly, while Horner's method should give better numerics, it 
actually fails to get within 1E-15 for one of the quintic test cases, 
performing worse than the "naive" impl. The error is in the 16th 
significant digit, which is not surprising.  I would like to change the 
tolerance to 1E-12 (current tests actually succeed at 1E-14).


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