On Numerical Error Propagation with Sensitivity
An emerging area of research is to automatically compute reasonably accurate upper bounds on numerical errors, including roundoffs due to the use of a finite-precision representation for real numbers such as floating point or fixed-point arithmetic. Previous approaches for this task are limited in their accuracy and scalability, especially in the presence of nonlinear arithmetic. Our main idea is to decouple the computation of newly introduced roundoff errors from the amplification of existing errors. To characterize the amplification of existing errors, we use the derivatives of functions corresponding to program fragments. We implemented this technique in an analysis for programs containing nonlinear computation, conditionals, and a certain class of loops. We evaluate our system on a number of benchmarks from embedded systems and scientific computation, showing substantial improvements in accuracy and scalability over the state of the art.
Record created on 2014-07-07, modified on 2016-08-09