Re: [ROOT] inf/nan from TMath::Poisson

From: Kevin Lynch (
Date: Tue Apr 27 2004 - 18:57:52 MEST

I would like to make the following suggestions to fix this and other 
similar problems in TMath.h ... the functions I've "fixed" are those 
that are not internally protected against numerical overflow in 
intermediate calculations, but whose final results should be 
representable.  I've put the code at the following URL so as to shorten 
this message:

  ... I have tested all this suggested code, although not extensively. 
In the regions where the current TMath functions are safe, these 
replacements behave similarly;  they also work in regions where the 
current functions fail, including the region where Ken Bloom reported 
the problem, for instance:

root [2] TMath::Poisson(170,70)
Error: Symbol inf is not defined in current scope  FILE: LINE:0
*** Interpreter error recovered ***
root [3] TMathnew::Poisson(170,70)
root [4] TMath::Poisson(10,5)
root [5] TMathnew::Poisson(10,5)

In this file, I've "fixed" the functions hypot, TMath::ASinH, 
TMath::ACosH, TMath::Normalize, and TMath::Poisson (although, except for 
Poisson, there likely won't ever be problems with the current code). 
Feel free to use any or all of this code as you see fit...

>>On Mon, 26 Apr 2004, Rene Brun wrote:
>>>I will be happy to add any suggestion you might have to protect the code
>>>against the case you mention.
>>>Rene Brun
>>>Mon, 26 Apr 2004, Ken Bloom wrote:
>>>>Dear ROOTers,
>>>>	I'm using ROOT 3.05/07, and am getting non-numerical results out of 
>>>>the TMath::Poisson function, under what I admit are extreme conditions:
>>>>root [2] TMath::Poisson(170,70)
>>>>Error: Symbol inf is not defined in current scope  FILE: LINE:0
>>>>*** Interpreter error recovered ***
>>>>Yes, I know that the result should be a very tiny number, but I would prefer 
>>>>that I get 0.0 (or its moral equivalent) rather than something I can't do math 
>>>>with.  Can you recommend a protection against this?  Thanks, best wishes.
>>>>						Ken Bloom

Kevin Lynch				voice:	(617) 353-6025
Physics Department			Fax: (617) 353-9393
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