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"initial segments of the continued fraction lead to the best rational approximations"
- To: rz@MIT-MC.ARPA
- Subject: "initial segments of the continued fraction lead to the best rational approximations"
- From: Bill Gosper <rwg%SPA-NIMBUS@SCRC-RIVERSIDE.ARPA>
- Date: Sat, 1 Sep 84 23:48 EDT
- Cc: wholey@CMU-CS-C.ARPA, dlw%SPA-NIMBUS@SCRC-RIVERSIDE.ARPA, common-lisp@SU-AI.ARPA
Yow, are you a lawyer yet? If "best rational approximations" are those which
are closer than any with smaller denominator, then your "leads to" is misleading,
since reducing the final term of a truncated cf by less than half its correct
value still gives a "best" approximation. Reducing by fully one half is
"best" in only about half of the (even) cases. The precise terms and conditions
are intelligible by anyone who has recently passed a Bar exam, and I will inflict
them only on the avowedly curious.