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Re: Add numbers in log domain

by salva (Abbot)
on Jun 04, 2012 at 11:57 UTC ( #974274=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Add numbers in log domain [solved]

well, suppose that x >= y, and that we are using the natural base:
log(x + y) = log(x * (1 + y/x)) = log(x) + log(1 + y/x) y/x = exp(log(y/x)) = exp(log(y) - log(x)) log(x + y) = log(x) + log(1 + exp(log(y) - log(x)))

And that formula can be easily calculated using regular perl scalars because log(y) - log(x) is in [-log(x), 0] and exp(log(y) - log(x)) is in (0, 1].

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Re^2: Add numbers in log domain
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Jun 04, 2012 at 12:47 UTC

    Spot on! (Though you do need to know the arbitrary base B):

    sub log2p5{ log( $_[0] ) / log( 2.5 ) };; $X = log2p5( 10 ); $Y = log2p5( 15 ); $Z = log2p5( 10 + 15 ); print $X, $Y, $Z;; 2.51294159473206 2.95544864408182 3.51294159473206 print 2.51294159473206 + log2p5( 1 + 2.5**( 2.95544864408182 - 2.51294 +159473206 ) );; 3.51294159473206

    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
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    The start of some sanity?

      yes, but it is easy to convert from any base to natural, perform the computation and then convert back to the original base.
Re^2: Add numbers in log domain
by ambrus (Abbot) on Jun 04, 2012 at 12:34 UTC

    Yes, something like that should work. Take the Math::Libm module, and use the expm1 and log1p functions for this. I won't figure out the correct formula now.

    Update 2012-06-10: though this won't help OP, future people who stumble this question by searching might want to look at the Math::BigApprox module.

Re^2: Add numbers in log domain
by pRaNaV (Novice) on Jun 05, 2012 at 07:20 UTC

    Thanks! That will save one exponentiation step. Earlier I had to do base^x, base^y, now only one exponentiation step is required (exp(log(y) - log(x))). Btw, range for log(y) - log(x) is (-inf 0]

    As I came to learn from another source where they CREATE log table for this particular problem (function logmath_init() in

    It's like this - first set (log(y) - log(x)) = 0; then compute base^(1 + exp(log(y) - log(x))

    then decrement log(y) - log(x) by 1 (equivalent to dividing by base) and recomputing base^(1 + exp(log(y) - log(x))

    this is done untill we reach the MOST negative number. Using this table one can back-compute any log(x+y) for that particular base.

    Thanks again for your help.

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