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Re: Documentation

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg58273] Re: Documentation
  • From: Daniel Lichtblau <danl at>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2005 01:56:33 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
> I guess I have been rather slow but I am gradually coming round to  
> the view that Mathematica's documentation leaves something to be  
> desired. For example:
> ?CoefficientDomain
> CoefficientDomain is an option for GroebnerBasis and  
> PolynomialReduce. Valid
> choices are Integers, Rationals, RationalFunctions, or Polynomials[var].
> However:
> ?InexactNumbers
> InexactNumbers is a setting for the CoefficientDomain option of  
> GroebnerBasis
> and PolynomialReduce.
> InexactNumbers are mentioned in the main documentation:
>   Possible settings for CoefficientDomain are InexactNumbers,  
> Rationals, RationalFunctions and Polynomials[x].
> but this is still quite hopeless as documentation as there is nothing  
> to tell the user that the proper usage is:
> GroebnerBasis[polys, vars, CoefficientDomain -> InexactNumbers[n]]
> where n is precision.

Actually CoefficientDomain->InexactNumbers should work, using a default 
of 100 digits (I think). The fact that InexactNumbers[n] is undocumented 
is an artifact of development history. GroebnerBasis with inexact 
numbers was developed for version 3, and the use of specified precision 
came in version 4 as part of NSolve overhaul.

I'll forward this to the documentation folks to see if it can be updated.

> No wonder that I am yet to meet a person that has heard of numerical  
> Groebner basis in Mathematica never mind anyone actually using it.

Presumably you mean "non-WRI employees". It gets used here a bit.

> Andrzej Kozlowski
> Chiba, Japan

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