Revised draft standard for mathematics semantics

25 September 2007

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The Numerical Mathematics Consortium has announced the latest update of its technical specification that defines an open mathematics semantics standard for development of numerical algorithms. The revision features newly ratified functions from classes that include discrete transforms, special functions, Boolean operations, comparison operations and trigonometry. In addition, the consortium released new technical documents and a revised function list to clarify how to specify and document function definitions.

John Pasquarette, Director of Software Marketing at National Instruments (which is a member of the consortium), says: "The Numerical Mathematics Consortium continues to make significant progress toward creating a specification that facilitates reuse and portability of numerical algorithms. With new function definitions and agreement on technical issues, the new draft revision does more to promote consistent implementations to accelerate the progress of the standard development effort. The revised specification also is the result of a healthy collaboration among a diverse, international group of mathematicians and software architects whose differing perspectives ensure that the effort is well thought out and broadly applicable."

The newly resolved technical issues address practical topics related to algorithm design and compliance with the standard. For instance, the draft standard defines a consistent set of data types that lay out a uniform meaning for the input and output parameters of the defined functions. Defining these data types ensures consistent implementation and establishes guidelines that will improve the rate of progress for the definition of new functions.

In addition, the revised draft standard also offers a solid framework encouraging both academic and industry participation in the development of the standard. The Numerical Mathematics Consortium continues to seek new membership from individuals and organisations interested in influencing an important standardisation effort that encourages code reuse and portability.

The third draft revision is available for public review on the Numerical Mathematics Consortium Web site, This site provides information about the standard, the consortium's charter, a list of members and advisers and background information as well as offering information about how organisations and individuals can get involved.

About the Numerical Mathematics Consortium

The Numerical Mathematics Consortium is a nonprofit organisation comprising vendors and individuals in industry and academia committed to establishing an open mathematical semantics standard for numerical algorithm development and reuse. Established in 2005 by founding members that include INRIA, Maplesoft, National Instruments and PTC, the Numerical Mathematics Consortium is focused on reducing the overall cost of numerical algorithm development and increasing reuse in industry and academia for application areas such as embedded design, industrial control and scientific research.

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