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The complexity of multiple-precision arithmetic

Richard P. Brent
Arxiv ID: 1004.3608Last updated: 3/22/2021
In studying the complexity of iterative processes it is usually assumed that the arithmetic operations of addition, multiplication, and division can be performed in certain constant times. This assumption is invalid if the precision required increases as the computation proceeds. We give upper and lower bounds on the number of single-precision operations required to perform various multiple-precision operations, and deduce some interesting consequences concerning the relative efficiencies of methods for solving nonlinear equations using variable-length multiple-precision arithmetic. A postscript describes more recent developments.

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