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From Phil Steitz <>
Subject Re: [Math] - RealMatrix
Date Fri, 09 Apr 2004 04:07:00 GMT
Inger, Matthew wrote:
> Has any thought been given to creating a Matrix interface
> which can handle BigInteger and/or BigDecimal?

Yes. BigInteger would be a little funny, since Integers aren't a field ;-) 
but BigDecimal might make sense, as would Complex.  There are (at least) 
two ways to go, which we can explore post 1.0:

1) Create an abstract Matrix interface with entries being abstact field 
elements.  See the approach in, e.g. JADE 
<>.  This is 
really walking down the abstract algebra framework path.

2) Create BigDecimalMatrix, ComplexMatrix with interfaces similar to 
RealMatrix, leveraging the special properties of the field elements and 
their representations.

My inclination would be to KISS and go with 2), with practical 
applications / use cases driving decisions on what gets implemented; 
though I see the value of the abstract approach as well.

Unless we think that the current design of RealMatrix is overly limiting, 
I would prefer to hold off on this discussion until post 1.0, though.


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