I tried calculating the roots with logarithms, but the problem with that is that the built-in `log()` function is only accurate to a fixed number of places. Other than the logarithm method and Newton's method, I don't know of any other ways to calculate roots. Does anyone know how to calculate a logarithm manually? That is, calculate a logarithm *without* using the built-in `log()` function?
My C and C++ skills are virtually non-existent, so sadly, that option isn't really available to me. This might be a good time to improve those skill, eh? ;-)
___________________
Kurt
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There's an algorithm here
to compute natural logarithms to any precision. It works
for me, you might have to combine it with Math::BigFloat
to get the precision you want (Oh, you're already using
that...) :-)
However, I don't know if going this route is any better
than your current algorithm for getting the nth root
of a number...
Update: By request, here's what I did to make the
algorithm in the link above work (in the Read More link at
the bottom of this post). This is not a perfect
implementation, I'm pretty sure I'm losing precision
somewhere, and you could probably make better use of
Math::BigFloat, but it seems to be on the right track. And
I don't know how this compares with the other ways of
finding the root of a number...
**Update:** Works alot better now, not
losing so much precision anymore (in fact, it looks
like results are
accurate to the precision you specify now) :-)
Updated code to reflect new version of Math::BigFloat
Also, did some rough benchmarks computing the 60th
root of 1000. "Rough," because sifukurt's algorithm
specifies 'iterations' to get precision, and I specify
decimal places. For 50 decimal places on mine, and for 1 of his iterations (which is lt 40 decimal places), his wins, for
2 iterations (which is slightly gt 50 decimal places), mine wins slightly, and for 3 iterations mine wins by alot (but
then his is accurate to much gt 50 places). And I'm still
using operator overloading, which is a speed hit (though
I'm not sure how much, and so far we're both using it).
For 90 decimal places, his takes 3 iterations, and
the time mine takes is right in the middle of the time
his takes to do 2 or 3 of
his iterations.
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My first thought is that logs are computed using the same concept, so it doesn't make it any faster or more accurate. However, it's *always* log, with other things expressed in terms of log, so that function can be optomized.
Then I realized that real libraries use a Taylor/Macloren (spelling?) series to compute log and other functions, not Newton's method. This is code tuned to the specific function, and you can't do as well with an arbitrary input function unless you input the first derivitive as well.
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