# §3.11 Approximation Techniques

## §3.11(i) Minimax Polynomial Approximations

Let $f(x)$ be continuous on a closed interval $[a,b]$. Then there exists a unique $n$th degree polynomial $p_{n}(x)$, called the minimax (or best uniform) polynomial approximation to $f(x)$ on $[a,b]$, that minimizes $\max_{a\leq x\leq b}\left|\epsilon_{n}(x)\right|$, where $\epsilon_{n}(x)=f(x)-p_{n}(x)$.

A sufficient condition for $p_{n}(x)$ to be the minimax polynomial is that $\left|\epsilon_{n}(x)\right|$ attains its maximum at $n+2$ distinct points in $[a,b]$ and $\epsilon_{n}(x)$ changes sign at these consecutive maxima.

If we have a sufficiently close approximation

 3.11.1 $p_{n}(x)=a_{n}x^{n}+a_{n-1}x^{n-1}+\dots+a_{0}$ ⓘ Symbols: $p_{n}(x)$: minimax approximation Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E1 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(i), §3.11 and Ch.3

to $f(x)$, then the coefficients $a_{k}$ can be computed iteratively. Assume that $f^{\prime}(x)$ is continuous on $[a,b]$ and let $x_{0}=a$, $x_{n+1}=b$, and $x_{1},x_{2},\dots,x_{n}$ be the zeros of $\epsilon_{n}^{\mspace{1.0mu}\prime}(x)$ in $(a,b)$ arranged so that

 3.11.2 $x_{0} ⓘ Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E2 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(i), §3.11 and Ch.3

Also, let

 3.11.3 $m_{j}=(-1)^{j}\epsilon_{n}(x_{j}),$ $j=0,1,\dots,n+1$. ⓘ Defines: $m_{j}$: approximation (locally) Symbols: $\epsilon_{n}(x)$: error Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E3 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(i), §3.11 and Ch.3

(Thus the $m_{j}$ are approximations to $m$, where $\pm m$ is the maximum value of $\left|\epsilon_{n}(x)\right|$ on $[a,b]$.)

Then (in general) a better approximation to $p_{n}(x)$ is given by

 3.11.4 $\sum_{k=0}^{n}(a_{k}+\delta a_{k})x^{k},$ ⓘ Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E4 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(i), §3.11 and Ch.3

where

 3.11.5 $\sum_{k=0}^{n}x_{j}^{k}\delta a_{k}=(-1)^{j}(m_{j}-m),$ $j=0,1,\dots,n+1$. ⓘ Symbols: $m_{j}$: approximation Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E5 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(i), §3.11 and Ch.3

This is a set of $n+2$ equations for the $n+2$ unknowns $\delta a_{0},\delta a_{1},\dots,\delta a_{n}$ and $m$.

The iterative process converges locally and quadratically (§3.8(i)).

A method for obtaining a sufficiently accurate first approximation is described in the next subsection.

For the theory of minimax approximations see Meinardus (1967). For examples of minimax polynomial approximations to elementary and special functions see Hart et al. (1968). See also Cody (1970) and Ralston (1965).

## §3.11(ii) Chebyshev-Series Expansions

The Chebyshev polynomials $T_{n}$ are given by

 3.11.6 $T_{n}\left(x\right)=\cos\left(n\operatorname{arccos}x\right),$ $-1\leq x\leq 1$. ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind, $\cos\NVar{z}$: cosine function and $\operatorname{arccos}\NVar{z}$: arccosine function Referenced by: §3.11(ii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E6 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

They satisfy the recurrence relation

 3.11.7 $T_{n+1}\left(x\right)-2xT_{n}\left(x\right)+T_{n-1}\left(x\right)=0,$ $n=1,2,\dots$, ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind Referenced by: §3.11(ii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E7 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

with initial values $T_{0}\left(x\right)=1$, $T_{1}\left(x\right)=x$. They enjoy an orthogonal property with respect to integrals:

 3.11.8 $\int_{-1}^{1}\frac{T_{j}\left(x\right)T_{k}\left(x\right)}{\sqrt{1-x^{2}}}\,% \mathrm{d}x=\begin{cases}\pi,&j=k=0,\\ \frac{1}{2}\pi,&j=k\neq 0,\\ 0,&j\neq k,\end{cases}$

as well as an orthogonal property with respect to sums, as follows. When $n>0$ and $0\leq j\leq n$, $0\leq k\leq n$,

 3.11.9 $\sideset{}{{}^{\prime\prime}}{\sum}_{\ell=0}^{n}T_{j}\left(x_{\ell}\right)T_{k% }\left(x_{\ell}\right)=\begin{cases}n,&j=k=0\text{ or }n,\\ \frac{1}{2}n,&j=k\neq 0\text{ or }n,\\ 0,&j\neq k,\end{cases}$ ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind Referenced by: §18.3, §3.11(ii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E9 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

where $x_{\ell}=\cos\left(\pi\ell/n\right)$ and the double prime means that the first and last terms are to be halved.

For these and further properties of Chebyshev polynomials, see Chapter 18, Gil et al. (2007a, Chapter 3), and Mason and Handscomb (2003).

### Chebyshev Expansions

If $f$ is continuously differentiable on $[-1,1]$, then with

 3.11.10 $c_{n}=\frac{2}{\pi}\int_{0}^{\pi}f(\cos\theta)\cos\left(n\theta\right)\,% \mathrm{d}\theta,$ $n=0,1,2,\dots$, ⓘ Defines: $c_{n}$: coefficients (locally) Symbols: $\pi$: the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, $\cos\NVar{z}$: cosine function, $\,\mathrm{d}\NVar{x}$: differential and $\int$: integral Referenced by: §3.11(ii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E10 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

the expansion

 3.11.11 $f(x)=\sideset{}{{}^{\prime}}{\sum}_{n=0}^{\infty}c_{n}T_{n}\left(x\right),$ $-1\leq x\leq 1$, ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind and $c_{n}$: coefficients Referenced by: §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E11 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

converges uniformly. Here the single prime on the summation symbol means that the first term is to be halved. In fact, (3.11.11) is the Fourier-series expansion of $f(\cos\theta)$; compare (3.11.6) and §1.8(i).

Furthermore, if $f\in C^{\infty}[-1,1]$, then the convergence of (3.11.11) is usually very rapid; compare (1.8.7) with $k$ arbitrary.

For general intervals $[a,b]$ we rescale:

 3.11.12 $f(x)=\sideset{}{{}^{\prime}}{\sum}_{n=0}^{\infty}d_{n}T_{n}\left(\frac{2x-a-b}% {b-a}\right).$ ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind Referenced by: §3.11(ii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E12 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

Because the series (3.11.12) converges rapidly we obtain a very good first approximation to the minimax polynomial $p_{n}(x)$ for $[a,b]$ if we truncate (3.11.12) at its $(n+1)$th term. This is because in the notation of §3.11(i)

 3.11.13 $\epsilon_{n}(x)=d_{n+1}T_{n+1}\left(\frac{2x-a-b}{b-a}\right),$ ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind and $\epsilon_{n}(x)$: error Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E13 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

approximately, and the right-hand side enjoys exactly those properties concerning its maxima and minima that are required for the minimax approximation; compare Figure 18.4.3.

More precisely, it is known that for the interval $[a,b]$, the ratio of the maximum value of the remainder

 3.11.14 $\left|\sum_{k=n+1}^{\infty}{}d_{k}T_{k}\left(\frac{2x-a-b}{b-a}\right)\right|$ ⓘ Symbols: $T_{\NVar{n}}\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: Chebyshev polynomial of the first kind Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E14 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

to the maximum error of the minimax polynomial $p_{n}(x)$ is bounded by $1+L_{n}$, where $L_{n}$ is the $n$th Lebesgue constant for Fourier series; see §1.8(i). Since $L_{0}=1$, $L_{n}$ is a monotonically increasing function of $n$, and (for example) $L_{1000}=4.07\dots$, this means that in practice the gain in replacing a truncated Chebyshev-series expansion by the corresponding minimax polynomial approximation is hardly worthwhile. Moreover, the set of minimax approximations $p_{0}(x),p_{1}(x),p_{2}(x),\dots,p_{n}(x)$ requires the calculation and storage of $\frac{1}{2}(n+1)(n+2)$ coefficients, whereas the corresponding set of Chebyshev-series approximations requires only $n+1$ coefficients.

### Calculation of Chebyshev Coefficients

The $c_{n}$ in (3.11.11) can be calculated from (3.11.10), but in general it is more efficient to make use of the orthogonal property (3.11.9). Also, in cases where $f(x)$ satisfies a linear ordinary differential equation with polynomial coefficients, the expansion (3.11.11) can be substituted in the differential equation to yield a recurrence relation satisfied by the $c_{n}$.

For details and examples of these methods, see Clenshaw (1957, 1962) and Miller (1966). See also Mason and Handscomb (2003, Chapter 10) and Fox and Parker (1968, Chapter 5).

### Summation of Chebyshev Series: Clenshaw’s Algorithm

For the expansion (3.11.11), numerical values of the Chebyshev polynomials $T_{n}\left(x\right)$ can be generated by application of the recurrence relation (3.11.7). A more efficient procedure is as follows. Let $c_{n}T_{n}\left(x\right)$ be the last term retained in the truncated series. Beginning with $u_{n+1}=0$, $u_{n}=c_{n}$, we apply

 3.11.15 $u_{k}=2xu_{k+1}-u_{k+2}+c_{k},$ $k=n-1,n-2,\dots,0$. ⓘ Symbols: $c_{n}$: coefficients Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E15 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(ii), §3.11(ii), §3.11 and Ch.3

Then the sum of the truncated expansion equals $\frac{1}{2}(u_{0}-u_{2})$. For error analysis and modifications of Clenshaw’s algorithm, see Oliver (1977).

### Complex Variables

If $x$ is replaced by a complex variable $z$ and $f(z)$ is analytic, then the expansion (3.11.11) converges within an ellipse. However, in general (3.11.11) affords no advantage in $\mathbb{C}$ for numerical purposes compared with the Maclaurin expansion of $f(z)$.

For further details on Chebyshev-series expansions in the complex plane, see Mason and Handscomb (2003, §5.10).

## §3.11(iii) Minimax Rational Approximations

Let $f$ be continuous on a closed interval $[a,b]$ and $w$ be a continuous nonvanishing function on $[a,b]$: $w$ is called a weight function. Then the minimax (or best uniform) rational approximation

 3.11.16 $R_{k,\ell}(x)=\frac{p_{0}+p_{1}x+\dots+p_{k}x^{k}}{1+q_{1}x+\dots+q_{\ell}x^{% \ell}}$ ⓘ Defines: $R_{k,\ell}(x)$: rational approximation (locally), $p_{k}$: coefficients (locally) and $q_{\ell}$: coefficients (locally) Referenced by: §3.11(iii) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E16 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iii), §3.11 and Ch.3

of type $[k,\ell]$ to $f$ on $[a,b]$ minimizes the maximum value of $\left|\epsilon_{k,\ell}(x)\right|$ on $[a,b]$, where

 3.11.17 $\epsilon_{k,\ell}(x)=\frac{R_{k,\ell}(x)-f(x)}{w(x)}.$ ⓘ Defines: $\epsilon_{k,\ell}(x)$: error (locally) Symbols: $w(x)$: function and $R_{k,\ell}(x)$: rational approximation Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E17 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iii), §3.11 and Ch.3

The theory of polynomial minimax approximation given in §3.11(i) can be extended to the case when $p_{n}(x)$ is replaced by a rational function $R_{k,\ell}(x)$. There exists a unique solution of this minimax problem and there are at least $k+\ell+2$ values $x_{j}$, $a\leq x_{0}, such that $m_{j}=m$, where

 3.11.18 $m_{j}=(-1)^{j}\epsilon_{k,\ell}(x_{j}),$ $j=0,1,\dots,k+\ell+1$, ⓘ Symbols: $\epsilon_{k,\ell}(x)$: error and $m_{j}$: approximation Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E18 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iii), §3.11 and Ch.3

and $\pm m$ is the maximum of $\left|\epsilon_{k,\ell}(x)\right|$ on $[a,b]$.

A collection of minimax rational approximations to elementary and special functions can be found in Hart et al. (1968).

A widely implemented and used algorithm for calculating the coefficients $p_{j}$ and $q_{j}$ in (3.11.16) is Remez’s second algorithm. See Remez (1957), Werner et al. (1967), and Johnson and Blair (1973).

### Example

With $w(x)=1$ and 14-digit computation, we obtain the following rational approximation of type $[3,3]$ to the Bessel function $J_{0}\left(x\right)$10.2(ii)) on the interval $0\leq x\leq j_{0,1}$, where $j_{0,1}$ is the first positive zero of $J_{0}\left(x\right)$:

 3.11.19 $R_{3,3}(x)=\frac{p_{0}+p_{1}x+p_{2}x^{2}+p_{3}x^{3}}{1+q_{1}x+q_{2}x^{2}+q_{3}% x^{3}},$ ⓘ Symbols: $R_{k,\ell}(x)$: rational approximation, $p_{k}$: coefficients and $q_{\ell}$: coefficients Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E19 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iii), §3.11(iii), §3.11 and Ch.3

with coefficients given in Table 3.11.1.

The error curve is shown in Figure 3.11.1. Figure 3.11.1: Error R3,3⁡(x)−J0⁡(x) of the minimax rational approximation R3,3⁡(x) to the Bessel function J0⁡(x) for 0≤x≤j0,1 (=0.89357⁢…). Magnify

Let

 3.11.20 $f(z)=c_{0}+c_{1}z+c_{2}z^{2}+\cdots$ ⓘ Defines: $c_{q}$: coefficients (locally) Referenced by: §3.11(iv) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E20 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

be a formal power series. The rational function

 3.11.21 $\frac{N_{p,q}(z)}{D_{p,q}(z)}=\frac{a_{0}+a_{1}z+\dots+a_{p}z^{p}}{b_{0}+b_{1}% z+\dots+b_{q}z^{q}}$ ⓘ Referenced by: §3.11(iv) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E21 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

is called a Padé approximant at zero of $f$ if

 3.11.22 $N_{p,q}(z)-f(z)D_{p,q}(z)=O\left(z^{p+q+1}\right),$ $z\to 0$. ⓘ Symbols: $O\left(\NVar{x}\right)$: order not exceeding Referenced by: §3.11(iv) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E22 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

It is denoted by ${[p/q]_{f}}\left(z\right)$. Thus if $b_{0}\neq 0$, then the Maclaurin expansion of (3.11.21) agrees with (3.11.20) up to, and including, the term in $z^{p+q}$.

The requirement (3.11.22) implies

 3.11.23 $\displaystyle a_{0}$ $\displaystyle=c_{0}b_{0},$ $\displaystyle a_{1}$ $\displaystyle=c_{1}b_{0}+c_{0}b_{1},$ $\displaystyle\vdots$ $\displaystyle a_{p}$ $\displaystyle=c_{p}b_{0}+c_{p-1}b_{1}+\dots+c_{p-q}b_{q},$ $\displaystyle 0$ $\displaystyle=c_{p+1}b_{0}+c_{p}b_{1}+\dots+c_{p-q+1}b_{q},$ $\displaystyle\vdots$ $\displaystyle 0$ $\displaystyle=c_{p+q}b_{0}+c_{p+q-1}b_{1}+\dots+c_{p}b_{q},$ ⓘ Symbols: $c_{q}$: coefficients Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E23 Encodings: TeX, TeX, TeX, TeX, TeX, TeX, TeX, pMML, pMML, pMML, pMML, pMML, pMML, pMML, png, png, png, png, png, png, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

where $c_{j}=0$ if $j<0$. With $b_{0}=1$, the last $q$ equations give $b_{1},\dots,b_{q}$ as the solution of a system of linear equations. The first $p+1$ equations then yield $a_{0},\dots,a_{p}$.

 3.11.24 $\begin{array}[]{cccc}{[0/0]_{f}}&{[0/1]_{f}}&{[0/2]_{f}}&\cdots\\ {[1/0]_{f}}&{[1/1]_{f}}&{[1/2]_{f}}&\cdots\\ {[2/0]_{f}}&{[2/1]_{f}}&{[2/2]_{f}}&\cdots\\ \vdots&\vdots&\vdots&\ddots\\ \end{array}$ ⓘ Symbols: ${[\NVar{p}/\NVar{q}]_{\NVar{f}}}$: Padé approximant Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E24 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

is called a Padé table. Approximants with the same denominator degree are located in the same column of the table.

For convergence results for Padé approximants, and the connection with continued fractions and Gaussian quadrature, see Baker and Graves-Morris (1996, §4.7).

The Padé approximants can be computed by Wynn’s cross rule. Any five approximants arranged in the Padé table as satisfy

 3.11.25 $(N-C)^{-1}+(S-C)^{-1}=(W-C)^{-1}+(E-C)^{-1}.$ ⓘ Referenced by: §3.11(iv) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E25 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

Starting with the first column ${[n/0]_{f}}$, $n=0,1,2,\dots$, and initializing the preceding column by ${[n/-1]_{f}}=\infty$, $n=1,2,\dots$, we can compute the lower triangular part of the table via (3.11.25). Similarly, the upper triangular part follows from the first row ${[0/n]_{f}}$, $n=0,1,2,\dots$, by initializing ${[-1/n]_{f}}=0$, $n=1,2,\dots$.

For the recursive computation of ${[n+k/k]_{f}}$ by Wynn’s epsilon algorithm, see (3.9.11) and the subsequent text.

### Laplace Transform Inversion

Numerical inversion of the Laplace transform (§1.14(iii))

 3.11.26 $F(s)=\mathscr{L}\mskip-3.0muf\mskip 3.0mu\left(s\right)=\int_{0}^{\infty}e^{-% st}f(t)\,\mathrm{d}t$ ⓘ Defines: $F(s)$: Laplace transform of $f(t)$ (locally) Symbols: $\mathscr{L}\left(\NVar{f}\right)\left(\NVar{s}\right)$: Laplace transform, $\,\mathrm{d}\NVar{x}$: differential, $\mathrm{e}$: base of natural logarithm and $\int$: integral Keywords: Laplace transform A&S Ref: 29.1.1 Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E26 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png Notational Change (effective with 1.0.15): The notation for the Laplace transform was changed to $\mathscr{L}\mskip-3.0muf\mskip 3.0mu\left(z\right)$ from $\mathscr{L}(f;z)$. See also: Annotations for §3.11(iv), §3.11(iv), §3.11 and Ch.3

requires $f={\mathscr{L}}^{-1}F$ to be obtained from numerical values of $F$. A general procedure is to approximate $F$ by a rational function $R$ (vanishing at infinity) and then approximate $f$ by $r={\mathscr{L}}^{-1}R$. When $F$ has an explicit power-series expansion a possible choice of $R$ is a Padé approximation to $F$. See Luke (1969b, §16.4) for several examples involving special functions.

For further information on Padé approximations, see Baker and Graves-Morris (1996, §4.7), Brezinski (1980, pp. 9–39 and 126–177), and Lorentzen and Waadeland (1992, pp. 367–395).

## §3.11(v) Least Squares Approximations

Suppose a function $f(x)$ is approximated by the polynomial

 3.11.27 $p_{n}(x)=a_{n}x^{n}+a_{n-1}x^{n-1}+\dots+a_{0}$ ⓘ Defines: $p_{n}(x)$: approximation (locally) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E27 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

that minimizes

 3.11.28 $S=\sum_{j=1}^{J}\left(f(x_{j})-p_{n}(x_{j})\right)^{2}.$ ⓘ Symbols: $p_{n}(x)$: approximation and $J>n+1$: number of points Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E28 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

Here $x_{j}$, $j=1,2,\dots,J$, is a given set of distinct real points and $J\geq n+1$. From the equations $\ifrac{\partial S}{\partial a_{k}}=0$, $k=0,1,\dots,n$, we derive the normal equations

 3.11.29 $\begin{bmatrix}X_{0}&X_{1}&\cdots&X_{n}\\ X_{1}&X_{2}&\cdots&X_{n+1}\\ \vdots&\vdots&\ddots&\vdots\\ X_{n}&X_{n+1}&\cdots&X_{2n}\end{bmatrix}\begin{bmatrix}a_{0}\\ a_{1}\\ \vdots\\ a_{n}\end{bmatrix}=\begin{bmatrix}F_{0}\\ F_{1}\\ \vdots\\ F_{n}\end{bmatrix},$ ⓘ Symbols: $X_{k}$: elements and $F_{k}$: elements Referenced by: §3.11(v), §3.11(v) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E29 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

where

 3.11.30 $\displaystyle X_{k}$ $\displaystyle=\sum_{j=1}^{J}x_{j}^{k},$ $\displaystyle F_{k}$ $\displaystyle=\sum_{j=1}^{J}f(x_{j})x_{j}^{k}.$ ⓘ Defines: $X_{k}$: elements (locally) and $F_{k}$: elements (locally) Symbols: $J>n+1$: number of points Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E30 Encodings: TeX, TeX, pMML, pMML, png, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

(3.11.29) is a system of $n+1$ linear equations for the coefficients $a_{0},a_{1},\dots,a_{n}$. The matrix is symmetric and positive definite, but the system is ill-conditioned when $n$ is large because the lower rows of the matrix are approximately proportional to one another. If $J=n+1$, then $p_{n}(x)$ is the Lagrange interpolation polynomial for the set $x_{1},x_{2},\dots,x_{J}$3.3(i)).

More generally, let $f(x)$ be approximated by a linear combination

 3.11.31 $\Phi_{n}(x)=a_{n}\phi_{n}(x)+a_{n-1}\phi_{n-1}(x)+\dots+a_{0}\phi_{0}(x)$ ⓘ Symbols: $\Phi_{n}(x)$: approximant and $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions Referenced by: §3.11(v) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E31 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

of given functions $\phi_{k}(x)$, $k=0,1,\dots,n$, that minimizes

 3.11.32 $\sum_{j=1}^{J}w(x_{j})\left(f(x_{j})-\Phi_{n}(x_{j})\right)^{2},$ ⓘ Symbols: $J>n+1$: number of points, $\Phi_{n}(x)$: approximant and $w(x)$: weight function Referenced by: §3.11(v) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E32 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

$w(x)$ being a given positive weight function, and again $J\geq n+1$. Then (3.11.29) is replaced by

 3.11.33 $\begin{bmatrix}X_{00}&X_{01}&\cdots&X_{0n}\\ X_{10}&X_{11}&\cdots&X_{1n}\\ \vdots&\vdots&\ddots&\vdots\\ X_{n0}&X_{n1}&\cdots&X_{nn}\end{bmatrix}\begin{bmatrix}a_{0}\\ a_{1}\\ \vdots\\ a_{n}\end{bmatrix}=\begin{bmatrix}F_{0}\\ F_{1}\\ \vdots\\ F_{n}\end{bmatrix},$ ⓘ Symbols: $X_{k}$: elements and $F_{k}$: elements Referenced by: §3.11(v) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E33 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

with

 3.11.34 $X_{k\ell}=\sum_{j=1}^{J}w(x_{j})\phi_{k}(x_{j})\phi_{\ell}(x_{j}),$ ⓘ Symbols: $J>n+1$: number of points, $X_{k}$: elements, $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions and $w(x)$: weight function Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E34 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

and

 3.11.35 $F_{k}=\sum_{j=1}^{J}w(x_{j})f(x_{j})\phi_{k}(x_{j}).$ ⓘ Symbols: $J>n+1$: number of points, $F_{k}$: elements, $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions and $w(x)$: weight function Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E35 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

Since $X_{k\ell}=X_{\ell k}$, the matrix is again symmetric.

If the functions $\phi_{k}(x)$ are linearly independent on the set $x_{1},x_{2},\dots,x_{J}$, that is, the only solution of the system of equations

 3.11.36 $\sum_{k=0}^{n}c_{k}\phi_{k}(x_{j})=0,$ $j=1,2,\dots,J$, ⓘ Defines: $c_{k}$: coefficients (locally) Symbols: $J>n+1$: number of points and $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions Referenced by: §3.11(v) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E36 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

is $c_{0}=c_{1}=\dots=c_{n}=0$, then the approximation $\Phi_{n}(x)$ is determined uniquely.

Now suppose that $X_{k\ell}=0$ when $k\neq\ell$, that is, the functions $\phi_{k}(x)$ are orthogonal with respect to weighted summation on the discrete set $x_{1},x_{2},\dots,x_{J}$. Then the system (3.11.33) is diagonal and hence well-conditioned.

A set of functions $\phi_{0}(x),\phi_{1}(x),\dots,\phi_{n}(x)$ that is linearly independent on the set $x_{1},x_{2},\dots,x_{J}$ (compare (3.11.36)) can always be orthogonalized in the sense given in the preceding paragraph by the Gram–Schmidt procedure; see Gautschi (1997a).

### Example. The Discrete Fourier Transform

We take $n$ complex exponentials $\phi_{k}(x)=e^{\mathrm{i}kx}$, $k=0,1,\dots,n-1$, and approximate $f(x)$ by the linear combination (3.11.31). The functions $\phi_{k}(x)$ are orthogonal on the set $x_{0},x_{1},\dots,x_{n-1}$, $x_{j}=2\pi j/n$, with respect to the weight function $w(x)=1$, in the sense that

 3.11.37 $\sum_{j=0}^{n-1}\phi_{k}(x_{j})\overline{\phi_{\ell}(x_{j})}=n\delta_{k,\ell},$ $k,\ell=0,1,\dots,n-1$, ⓘ Symbols: $\delta_{\NVar{j},\NVar{k}}$: Kronecker delta, $\overline{\NVar{z}}$: complex conjugate and $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E37 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

$\delta_{k,\ell}$ being Kronecker’s symbol and the bar denoting complex conjugate. In consequence we can solve the system

 3.11.38 $f_{j}=\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}a_{k}\phi_{k}(x_{j}),$ $j=0,1,\dots,n-1$, ⓘ Symbols: $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions Referenced by: §3.11(v) Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E38 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

and obtain

 3.11.39 $a_{k}=\frac{1}{n}\sum_{j=0}^{n-1}f_{j}\overline{\phi_{k}(x_{j})},$ $k=0,1,\dots,n-1$. ⓘ Symbols: $\overline{\NVar{z}}$: complex conjugate and $\phi_{k}(x)$: functions Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E39 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

With this choice of $a_{k}$ and $f_{j}=f(x_{j})$, the corresponding sum (3.11.32) vanishes.

The pair of vectors $\{\mathbf{f},\mathbf{a}\}$

 3.11.40 $\displaystyle\mathbf{f}$ $\displaystyle=[f_{0},f_{1},\dots,f_{n-1}]^{\rm T},$ $\displaystyle\mathbf{a}$ $\displaystyle=[a_{0},a_{1},\dots,a_{n-1}]^{\rm T},$ ⓘ Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E40 Encodings: TeX, TeX, pMML, pMML, png, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

is called a discrete Fourier transform pair.

### The Fast Fourier Transform

The direct computation of the discrete Fourier transform (3.11.38), that is, of

 3.11.41 $\displaystyle f_{j}$ $\displaystyle=\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}a_{k}\omega_{n}^{jk},$ $\displaystyle\omega_{n}$ $\displaystyle=e^{2\pi i/n}$, $j=0,1,\dots,n-1$, ⓘ Symbols: $\pi$: the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, $\mathrm{e}$: base of natural logarithm and $\mathrm{i}$: imaginary unit Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E41 Encodings: TeX, TeX, pMML, pMML, png, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

requires approximately $n^{2}$ multiplications. The method of the fast Fourier transform (FFT) exploits the structure of the matrix $\boldsymbol{{\Omega}}$ with elements $\omega_{n}^{jk}$, $j,k=0,1,\dots,n-1$. If $n=2^{m}$, then $\boldsymbol{{\Omega}}$ can be factored into $m$ matrices, the rows of which contain only a few nonzero entries and the nonzero entries are equal apart from signs. In consequence of this structure the number of operations can be reduced to $nm=n\log_{2}n$ operations.

The property

 3.11.42 $\omega_{n}^{2(k-(n/2))}=\omega_{n/2}^{k}$ ⓘ Permalink: http://dlmf.nist.gov/3.11.E42 Encodings: TeX, pMML, png See also: Annotations for §3.11(v), §3.11(v), §3.11 and Ch.3

is of fundamental importance in the FFT algorithm. If $n$ is not a power of 2, then modifications are possible. For the original reference see Cooley and Tukey (1965). For further details and algorithms, see Van Loan (1992).

For further information on least squares approximations, including examples, see Gautschi (1997a, Chapter 2) and Björck (1996, Chapters 1 and 2).

## §3.11(vi) Splines

Splines are defined piecewise and usually by low-degree polynomials. Given $n+1$ distinct points $x_{k}$ in the real interval $[a,b]$, with ($a=$)$x_{0}($=b$), on each subinterval $[x_{k},x_{k+1}]$, $k=0,1,\ldots,n-1$, a low-degree polynomial is defined with coefficients determined by, for example, values $f_{k}$ and $f_{k}^{\prime}$ of a function $f$ and its derivative at the nodes $x_{k}$ and $x_{k+1}$. The set of all the polynomials defines a function, the spline, on $[a,b]$. By taking more derivatives into account, the smoothness of the spline will increase.

For splines based on Bernoulli and Euler polynomials, see §24.17(ii).

For many applications a spline function is a more adaptable approximating tool than the Lagrange interpolation polynomial involving a comparable number of parameters; see §3.3(i), where a single polynomial is used for interpolating $f(x)$ on the complete interval $[a,b]$. Multivariate functions can also be approximated in terms of multivariate polynomial splines. See de Boor (2001), Chui (1988), and Schumaker (1981) for further information.

In computer graphics a special type of spline is used which produces a Bézier curve. A cubic Bézier curve is defined by four points. Two are endpoints: $(x_{0},y_{0})$ and $(x_{3},y_{3})$; the other points $(x_{1},y_{1})$ and $(x_{2},y_{2})$ are control points. The slope of the curve at $(x_{0},y_{0})$ is tangent to the line between $(x_{0},y_{0})$ and $(x_{1},y_{1})$; similarly the slope at $(x_{3},y_{3})$ is tangent to the line between $x_{2},y_{2}$ and $x_{3},y_{3}$. The curve is described by $x(t)$ and $y(t)$, which are cubic polynomials with $t\in[0,1]$. A complete spline results by composing several Bézier curves. A special applications area of Bézier curves is mathematical typography and the design of type fonts. See Knuth (1986, pp. 116-136).