Challenge: optimizing isqrt

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Sat Nov 1 09:45:45 CET 2014

On Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 7:38 PM, Christian Gollwitzer <auriocus at> wrote:
> Am 01.11.14 09:33, schrieb Chris Angelico:
>> On Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 7:25 PM, Christian Gollwitzer <auriocus at>
>> wrote:
>>>> Part of the point of that algorithm is that it never uses FP, and is
>>>> therefore not limited by FP restrictions.
>>> which are???
>> Most notably, the inability to represent every integer beyond 2**53,
>> and the inability to represent any integer beyond 2**1024. This
>> algorithm should work fine with any positive integer.
>  OK so you did not bother to look at my proposed alternative implementation.
> If I understood Steven correctly, he wanted to speed up the original isqrt
> algorithm by using FP when this is possible. I have shown how to do it for
> n<2**1022 (maybe 2**1024, I'm to lean to check it). I admit that there is
> some microoptimizatio left, e.g. the first division is done twice, the
> comparison should be bits>1022, not n>2*1022 etc.

I did look at it. Trouble is, I don't know floating point's details
well enough to prove that there are no *other* limitations.

FWIW, I've proven the algorithm as far as 2**38. That's still a long
way short of 2**53, though, and getting as far as 2**39 would, with my
brute-force checker, require between 2.5 and 5 hours. I've made some
improvements over the original, but it's still slow.


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