[Numpy-discussion] Numpy integers to integer powers again again

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris at gmail.com
Wed Oct 26 15:23:08 EDT 2016

On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 10:14 AM, Stephan Hoyer <shoyer at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am also concerned about adding more special cases for NumPy scalars vs
> arrays. These cases are already confusing (e.g., making no distinction
> between 0d arrays and scalars) and poorly documented.
> On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 4:30 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 3:41 PM, Charles R Harris
>> <charlesr.harris at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi All,
>> >
>> > I've been thinking about this some (a lot) more and have an alternate
>> > proposal for the behavior of the `**` operator
>> >
>> > if both base and power are numpy/python scalar integers, convert to
>> python
>> > integers and call the `**` operator. That would solve both the
>> precision and
>> > compatibility problems and I think is the option of least surprise. For
>> > those who need type preservation and modular arithmetic, the np.power
>> > function remains, although the type conversions can be surpirising as it
>> > seems that the base and power should  play different roles in
>> determining
>> > the type, at least to me.
>> > Array, 0-d or not, are treated differently from scalars and integers
>> raised
>> > to negative integer powers always raise an error.
>> >
>> > I think this solves most problems and would not be difficult to
>> implement.
>> >
>> > Thoughts?
>> My main concern about this is that it adds more special cases to numpy
>> scalars, and a new behavioral deviation between 0d arrays and scalars,
>> when ideally we should be trying to reduce the
>> duplication/discrepancies between these. It's also inconsistent with
>> how other operations on integer scalars work, e.g. regular addition
>> overflows rather than promoting to Python int:
>> In [8]: np.int64(2 ** 63 - 1) + 1
>> /home/njs/.user-python3.5-64bit/bin/ipython:1: RuntimeWarning:
>> overflow encountered in long_scalars
>>   #!/home/njs/.user-python3.5-64bit/bin/python3.5
>> Out[8]: -9223372036854775808
>> So I'm inclined to try and keep it simple, like in your previous
>> proposal... theoretically of course it would be nice to have the
>> perfect solution here, but at this point it feels like we might be
>> overthinking this trying to get that last 1% of improvement. The thing
>> where 2 ** -1 returns 0 is just broken and bites people so we should
>> definitely fix it, but beyond that I'm not sure it really matters
>> *that* much what we do, and "special cases aren't special enough to
>> break the rules" and all that.
What I have been concerned about are the follow combinations that currently
return floats

num: <type 'numpy.int8'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int8'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int16'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int8'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int16'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int16'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int32'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int8'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int32'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int16'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int32'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int32'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int8'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int16'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int32'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int64'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.int64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int64'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.uint64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int8'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.uint64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int16'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.uint64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int32'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.uint64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int64'>, res: <type
num: <type 'numpy.uint64'>, exp: <type 'numpy.int64'>, res: <type

The other combinations of signed and unsigned integers to signed powers
currently raise ValueError due to the change to the power ufunc. The
exceptions that aren't covered by uint64 + signed (which won't change) seem
to occur when the exponent can be safely cast to the base type. I suspect
that people have already come to depend on that, especially as python
integers on 64 bit linux convert to int64. So in those cases we should
perhaps raise a FutureWarning instead of an error.

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