Universal Coding of the Reals: Alternatives to IEEE Floating Point

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Peter Lindstrom from LLNL

In this video from the Conference on Next Generation Arithmetic (CoNGA) conference in Singapore, Peter Lindstrom from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory presents: Universal Coding of the Reals: Alternatives to IEEE Floating Point.

“We propose a modular framework for representing the real numbers that generalizes IEEE, POSITS, and related floating-point number systems, and which has its roots in universal codes for the positive integers such as the Elias codes. This framework unifies several known but seemingly unrelated representations within a single schema while also introducing new representations. We particularly focus on variable-length encoding of the binary exponent and on the manner in which fraction bits are mapped to values. Our framework builds upon and shares many of the attractive properties of POSITS but allows for independent experimentation with exponent codes, fraction mappings, reciprocal closure, rounding modes, handling of under- and overflow, and underlying precision.”

Peter Lindstrom is a Computer Scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which he joined in 2000. His primary research areas include data compression, scientific visualization, computer graphics, and scientific computing.

Peter Lindstrom is the inventor of several open source compression schemes for floating-point and mesh-based scientific data, including zfp, fpzip, and hzip, and has published more than two dozen papers related to data compression. He leads the zfp data compression effort as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project, and is co-investigator on LLNL’s efforts in Variable Precision Computing. His zfp software has been adopted by HPC I/O libraries like HDF5 and ADIOS, and is being integrated into popular visualization tools like VisIt, VTK-m, and Cinema. Peter previously served as Editor in Chief for Graphical Models and is a Senior Member of IEEE.

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