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Globally limiting precision or accuracy

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg61010] Globally limiting precision or accuracy
  • From: Lee Newman <leenewm at>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 03:37:57 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Dear Group,

-  I have a large neural network model (my own code, not Wolfram's 
toolbox) that currently has a run time of about 20hours.
-  I am in the process of trying to profile and optimize the code 
(mostly matrix computations) to reduce the run time.
-  All of the computationas that I do are numerical.

(1) If I am not concerned about numerical accuracy beyond 3 decimal 
places for any of the computations in the model, can I improve 
performance by telling mathematica to globally restrict its accuracy (or 
precision) for all computations?

(2) If so, how do I do this?  Is it as simple as setting 
$MachinePrecision=3?  Is there a global way (rather than local use of 
N[]) to ensure that all computations are done numerically, and with 
machine precision?

Lee Newman

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