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Wilkinson J.H. Rounding Errors in Algebraic Processes

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Wilkinson J.H. Rounding Errors in Algebraic Processes
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963 - 161 p.
The development of automatic digital computers has made it possible to
carry out computations involving a very large number of arithmetic
operations and this has stimulated a study of the cumulative effect of rounding
errors. In this book I have given an elementary introduction to this subject
which is based on the work which has been done in the Mathematics
Division of N.P.L. in the past few years. Some of the material presented
here has already appeared in published papers, but much of it has hitherto
been available only in the form of rough notes for lectures given in this
country and the United States.
Error analysis is regarded by many users of digital computers as a subject
for experts. This view is probably the result of attempting to read, at widely
separated intervals, isolated analyses presented from entirely different
standpoints. In this book I have attempted to present a number of simple
analyses in a uniform manner. This has made it necessary to be somewhat
selective in the choice of material but it is hoped that, in spite of this, the
analyses are reasonably representative. It is my hope that in this way the
ideas will be readily assimilated by anyone who can understand the techniques
which are analysed.
The first draft was read and criticized helpfully by a number of colleagues
in Mathematics Division and I am particularly indebted to E. T. Goodwin
and D. W. Martin. I would also like to thank G. E. Forsythe, Director of
the Computation Center, Stanford, for numerous helpful suggestions. I am
very grateful to Mrs. I. Goode for her invaluable assistance in seeing the
book through the press.
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