Algorithms for mathematical constants

Most mathematical constants are evaluated using the generic hypergeometric summation code.


\(\pi\) is computed using the Chudnovsky series

\[\frac{1}{\pi} = 12 \sum^\infty_{k=0} \frac{(-1)^k (6k)! (13591409 + 545140134k)}{(3k)!(k!)^3 640320^{3k + 3/2}}\]

which is hypergeometric and adds roughly 14 digits per term. Methods based on the arithmetic-geometric mean seem to be slower by a factor three in practice.

A small trick is to compute \(1/\sqrt{640320}\) instead of \(\sqrt{640320}\) at the end.

Logarithms of integers

The standalone constant \(\log(2)\) is computed using Zuniga’s series [Zun2023b]

\[\log(2) = \frac{1}{2} \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{3888^n} \frac{(1794 n-297)}{n(2n-1)} \frac{n! (\tfrac{1}{2})_n}{(\tfrac{1}{6})_n (\tfrac{5}{6})_n}.\]

Logarithms of other small integers are in certain situations computed using Machin-like formulas, e.g.:

\[\log(10) = 46 \operatorname{atanh}(1/31) + 34 \operatorname{atanh}(1/49) + 20 \operatorname{atanh}(1/161)\]

Euler’s constant

Euler’s constant \(\gamma\) is computed using the Brent-McMillan formula ([BM1980], [MPFR2012])

\[\gamma = \frac{S_0(2n) - K_0(2n)}{I_0(2n)} - \log(n)\]

in which \(n\) is a free parameter and

\[S_0(x) = \sum_{k=0}^{\infty} \frac{H_k}{(k!)^2} \left(\frac{x}{2}\right)^{2k}, \quad I_0(x) = \sum_{k=0}^{\infty} \frac{1}{(k!)^2} \left(\frac{x}{2}\right)^{2k}\]
\[2x I_0(x) K_0(x) \sim \sum_{k=0}^{\infty} \frac{[(2k)!]^3}{(k!)^4 8^{2k} x^{2k}}.\]

All series are evaluated using binary splitting. The first two series are evaluated simultaneously, with the summation taken up to \(k = N - 1\) inclusive where \(N \ge \alpha n + 1\) and \(\alpha \approx 4.9706257595442318644\) satisfies \(\alpha (\log \alpha - 1) = 3\). The third series is taken up to \(k = 2n-1\) inclusive. With these parameters, it is shown in [BJ2013] that the error is bounded by \(24e^{-8n}\).

Catalan’s constant

Catalan’s constant is computed using the hypergeometric series

\[C = \frac{1}{768} \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-4096)^k P(k)} {k^3 (2k-1)(3k-1)(3k-2)(6k-1)(6k-5) {5k \choose k} {10k \choose 5k} {12k \choose 6k}}\]


\[\begin{split}\begin{matrix} P(k) & = -43203456k^6 + 92809152k^5 - 76613904k^4 \\ & + 30494304k^3 - 6004944k^2 + 536620^k - 17325, \end{matrix}\end{split}\]

discovered by Zuniga [Zun2023]. It was previously computed using a series given in [PP2010].

Apery’s constant

Apery’s constant \(\zeta(3)\) is computed using the hypergeometric series

\[\zeta(3) = \frac{1}{48} \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k-1} P(k)}{k^5 (2k-1)^3(3k-1)(3k-2)(4k-1)(4k-3)(6k-1)(6k-5){5k \choose k}{5k \choose 2k}{9k \choose 4k}{10k \choose 5k}{12k \choose 6k}}\]


\[\begin{split}\begin{matrix} P(k) & = 1565994397644288k^{11} - 6719460725627136k^{10} + 12632254526031264k^9 \\ & - 13684352515879536k^8 + 9451223531851808k^7 - 4348596587040104k^6 \\ & + 1352700034136826k^5 - 282805786014979k^4 + 38721705264979k^3 \\ & - 3292502315430k^2 + 156286859400k - 3143448000, \end{matrix}\end{split}\]

discovered by Zuniga [Zun2023].

Khinchin’s constant

Khinchin’s constant \(K_0\) is computed using the formula

\[\log K_0 = \frac{1}{\log 2} \left[ \sum_{k=2}^{N-1} \log \left(\frac{k-1}{k} \right) \log \left(\frac{k+1}{k} \right) + \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac {\zeta (2n,N)}{n} \sum_{k=1}^{2n-1} \frac{(-1)^{k+1}}{k} \right]\]

where \(N \ge 2\) is a free parameter that can be used for tuning [BBC1997]. If the infinite series is truncated after \(n = M\), the remainder is smaller in absolute value than

\[ \begin{align}\begin{aligned}\sum_{n=M+1}^{\infty} \zeta(2n, N) = \sum_{n=M+1}^{\infty} \sum_{k=0}^{\infty} (k+N)^{-2n} \le \sum_{n=M+1}^{\infty} \left( N^{-2n} + \int_0^{\infty} (t+N)^{-2n} dt \right)\\= \sum_{n=M+1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{N^{2n}} \left(1 + \frac{N}{2n-1}\right) \le \sum_{n=M+1}^{\infty} \frac{N+1}{N^{2n}} = \frac{1}{N^{2M} (N-1)} \le \frac{1}{N^{2M}}.\end{aligned}\end{align} \]

Thus, for an error of at most \(2^{-p}\) in the series, it is sufficient to choose \(M \ge p / (2 \log_2 N)\).

Glaisher’s constant

Glaisher’s constant \(A = \exp(1/12 - \zeta'(-1))\) is computed directly from this formula. We don’t use the reflection formula for the zeta function, as the arithmetic in Euler-Maclaurin summation is faster at \(s = -1\) than at \(s = 2\).

Reciprocal Fibonacci constant

We use Gosper’s series ([Gos1974], corrected in [Arn2012])

\[\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{F_n} = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{n(n-1)/2} (F_{4n+3} + (-1)^n F_{2n+2})}{F_{2n+1} F_{2n+2} L_1 L_3 \cdots L_{2n+1}}\]

where \(L_n = 2F_{n-1} + F_n\) denotes a Lucas number. The truncation error after \(N \ge 1\) terms is bounded by \((1 / \phi)^{N^2}\). The series is not of hypergeometric type, but we can evaluate it in quasilinar time using binary splitting; factoring out a multiplicative recurrence for \(L_1 L_3 \cdots\) allows computing the series as a product of \(O(\sqrt{p})\) matrices with \(O(\sqrt{p})\)-bit entries.