Open standards: Math functions defined


The latest revision to a technical specification that defines an open mathematics semantics standard for numerical algorithm development includes newly ratified functions and lays the foundation for greater industry involvement. The Numerical Mathematics Consortium (NMC) technical specifications are for use in a variety of application areas, such as industrial control, embedded design, and scientific research. This update defines an open mathematics semantics standard for numerical algorithm development, and ratifies functions involving polynomials, vector analysis, and other functions.

NMC, a nonprofit organization established in 2005, is focused on reducing the overall cost of numerical algorithm development and reuse in different disciplines through ensuring algorithm portability. It is actively seeking new membership of individuals and organizations. The founding companies of the consortium are INRIA, Maplesoft, Mathsoft (recently acquired by PTC), and National Instruments.

According to John Pasquarette, NI director of software marketing, the revision "reflects the consortium's efforts to bridge theory to real-world applications, as well as expand the opportunity for others to get involved."

The resolved issues cover topics such as when to specify vector orientation, how to support vectorization, what it means to be compliant, and how to choose a semantic representation. Settling these technical issues provides guidelines that improve the rate of progress for new function adoption.

Membership information, and the latest revision of the standard, may be downloaded from the consortium's Web site .

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