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Investigation on Jenkins-Traub RPOLY Algorithm

Problem Explanation

Scilab Debian package contains code that is under the ACM software license. The problematic code is the Fortran implementation of the Jenkins and Traub algorithm

The problem is reported here in Debian and here in Scilab.


In Freemat

Uses eigenvalues of companion matrix to find the roots:


In R

Uses a C implementation under GPL-2 software license


In Maxima

Uses a Lisp implementation that is a translation of TOMS 493 implementation (should be under ACM software license)


In Python Numpy

Uses eigenvalues of companion matrix to find the roots


In Wolfram Research

Uses the implementation of IMSL numerical libraries which is proprietary:


In SimTK

Uses a C++ implementation of TOMS 493 (should be under ACM software license)


Suggested solutions

Using R implementation

R implementation is under GPL-2 which is compatible with CeCILL V2 software licence. However proprietary software are forbidden to link or use GPL-2 code:

While this is not a problem for Scilab distribution, it could be problematic for people using Scilab inside a proprietary, non-free application.

Coding the Algorithm from the publication

The algorithm is described in this paper by Jenkins and Traub and the stopping criterion is described in this paper by Duane A. Adams (see also the webpage by the royal society open science).

Coding it directly from the paper would add another free implementation of the algorithm that could be used inside Scilab.

Using a different method to find roots

Other algorithms exists:

2022-09-08 09:27