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Fast coputation of Phi(x) inverse
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Fast coputation of Phi(x) inverse

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Fast algorithm for computing the inverse of the standard normal distribution (CDF) function

Fast algorithm for computing the inverse of the standard normal distribution (CDF) function

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  • 1. Fast Inversion of Normal CDF John D. Cook
  • 2. What we’re computing
  • 3. Basic assumptions Five or six significant figures is adequate for many applications Memory is fast and plentiful Low-level bit operations are faster than arithmetic
  • 4. Basic Approach Tabulate values at sample points and use low-order approximations to fill in Take advantage of binary representation of floating point numbers to decide where to sample Change variables to avoid arithmetic
  • 5. Big clever idea Extract sample points based on the exponent and mantissa The extraction is extremely fast It is biased to sample more frequently near zero, exactly where cPhi-1 needs more sampling
  • 6. IEEE Floating Point Representation (conceptual) x = +/- 2e m, 1 <= m < 2 Bit 1: sign bit +/- Bits 2 through 9: exponent e Bits 10 through 32: mantissa
  • 7. IEEE Floating Point Representation (details) Bit 1: 0 for positive, 1 for negative Bits 2 through 9: exponent of 2 biased by 127 (values 0 through 255 correspond to actual exponents -127 through 128) Bits 10 through 32: mantissa minus 1 (leading bit always 1, so don’t store)
  • 8. Starting Point for Marsaglia’s algorithm Represent numbers by u = 2-k (2-1 + 2-6 j + 2-24 m) 0 <= k < 32, 0 <= j < 32 0 <= m < 224 k = 126 – e, where ‘e’ is the exponent representation bits j = first five mantissa representation bits m = last 18 mantissa representation bits
  • 9. Sample Points Tabulate cPhi-1 at points corresponding to m = 0, i.e. at 32 possible values of i and j, a total of 1024 points. Use quadratic Taylor approximation based at these points A fixed number samples per exponent samples more finely near zero, just where cPhi-1 needs more samples
  • 10. Clever indexing Conceptually, we have a matrix A[i][j] of tabulated values This requires two calculations to find indices – one for i and one for j – and two operations to lookup values Combine into a single index n = 992-32k + j that can be extracted directly by one bit manipulation: bits 2 through 14 minus 3040
  • 11. Polynomial evaluation Taylor approximation: t = h B(k,j) x = A(k,j) -0.5 t + 0.125 A(k,j)t2 Rescale B’s by square root of 8: t = h B’ x = A – c t – A t2 [ c = sqrt(2) ] Horner’s method: x = A – t(c – A t)
  • 12. C++ Implementation double NormalCCDFInverse(double x) { float f1 = (float) x; unsigned int ui; memcpy(&ui, &f1, 4); int n = (ui >> 18) - 3008; ui &= 0xFFFC0000; float f2; memcpy(&f2, &ui, 4); double v = (f1-f2)*B[n]; return A[n] - v*(sqrt2 - A[n]*v); }
  • 13. Fine Print This algorithm only valid for p <= 0.5 For p > 0.5, use cPhi-1(p) = -cPhi-1(1-p) Phi-1(p) = cPhi-1(1-p) Algorithm not valid for p < 2-33 The maximum error is 0.000004, which occurs near p = 0.25
  • 14. Implementation double PrivateNormalCCDFInverse(double x) … double NormalCDFInverse(double x) { return (x > 0.5) ? PrivateNormalCCDFInverse(1.0-x) : PrivateNormalCCDFInverse(x); } double NormalCCDFInverse(double x) { return (x > 0.5) ? -PrivateNormalCCDFInverse(1.0-x) : PrivateNormalCCDFInverse(x); }
  • 15. References Rapid evaluation of the inverse of the normal distribution function by Marsaglia, Zaman, and Marsaglia Statistics and Probability Letters 19 (1994) 259 – 266
  • 16. Notes This talk presented June 6, 2001 http://www.JohnDCook.com