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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Arbitrary Precision and Big Numbers in PHP
January 30, 2014 @ 10:20:46

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post by Taylor Ren looks at big numbers in PHP and the functionality it has to handle arbitrary precision via three modules - GMP. BC Math and php-bignumbers.

In this article, we will review the PHP capability to provide arbitrary precision number calculation / big integer calculation by reviewing 3 PHP modules: GMP, BC Math and php-bignumbers. We will demonstrate two real-world examples to see the powers/limitations of each. The first one will be calculating PI to arbitrary precision - well, for the sake of the article, we will restrict the precision, say, to 1000 digits; the second will be a simple demonstration on RSA encryption/decryption.

He briefly looks at how to get the tools installed (via at-get or Composer) and a sample script to ensure that they're all included correctly and working. He includes a comparison between the three libraries, listing both strengths and weaknesses relative to the others. He then gets a bit more in-depth and shows how to calculate PI with each option (code is on GitHub) and the results of the benchmarking. He also includes a second example of calculating the RSA algorithm based on their process.

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arbitrary precision big number gmp phpbignumbers bcmath tutorial


Tobias Schlitt's Blog:
Randomized Pi calculation
April 02, 2007 @ 10:04:00

Since there is no "magic variable" to get a value for Pi in an application, Tobias Schlitt offers up the next best thing - his homegrown solution for creating the value (using a randomized variation).

I don't know which is the most common way to calculate Pi in computer programs, but from the stochastics book a read for my recent stochastics exam, I have a randomized variation, which is quite cool I think.

The code example is included along with a bit of explanation for those not familiar with the concepts behind it. It uses two of PHP functions, pow() and mt_rand(), to run through a series of iterations and, using a preset precision value, find the "hits" to finally calculate the value at the end.

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randomize pi calculation pow mtrand precision randomize pi calculation pow mtrand precision

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