Numerical Mathematics Consortium

Scilab-publisher INRIA, National Instruments, Mathsoft and Maplesoft created the Numerical Mathematics Consortium and provide the foundations for a new generation of scientific software.

INRIA, National Instruments, Mathsoft and Maplesoft created the 'Numerical Mathematics Consortium' (NMC). These mathematical software publishers as well as individuals from industry and academia are collaborating to define a consistent and manageable foundation for numerical mathematics.

Announced initially in August in the USA, the NMC has been announced in Europe on November 17 by INRIA which is in charge of its development in Europe.

The initial objective of the Numerical Mathematics Consortium is to create an open mathematical semantics standard for numerical algorithm development to enable portability and reuse among tools, platforms and disciplines.

The Numerical Mathematics Consortium's objective is to create a specification that stipulates core mathematical function definitions and semantics applicable to numeric algorithms. These algorithms can then be implemented in a wide variety of application areas such as industrial control, embedded design and scientific research, as well as be easily shared among researchers and developers in industry and academia. The group expects to complete a first release of the standard by next fall.

The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) - a discrete Fourier transform algorithm - perfectly illustrates the need to standardize the semantic of functions. This algorithm, applied to the same domain returns a different result according to whether one uses Mathcad or Matlab/Scilab software. Both results are correct. Explanation: semantics differs!

Numerical calculation, simulation and control as well as embedded design are major disciplines for industry and research. In these fields, incompatibility, unfortunately, prevails in a chronic way because, nowadays, semantics of mathematical functions can vary considerably from software to other. Each tool proposes its own set of functions, and it is often necessary to rewrite the precious algorithms at the time of new projects or when new technologies are implemented. A standard set of mathematical functions based on common semantics will allow both portable solutions and ready-to-use libraries and tools under numerous environments. The technological, scientific and financial stakes are thus more than significant.

INRIA brings a proven know-how in this field, thanks to Scilab, a free open source numerical computation software produced by the Scilab Consortium hosted by the Institute. The software which is downloaded, each month, by more than 15,000 new users in the world, meets a growing success.

The founding members of the Numerical Mathematics Consortium invite companies, research centres, universities and individuals who wish to take an active role in standardizing numerical mathematics to join the Consortium.


Please contact:
Didier Halgand, NMC marketing contact for Europe:

Claude Gomez, NMC scientific contact for Europe