Suppose we have $n$ linearly independent (over $\mathbb{Q}$) irrational numbers $\{ \alpha_i | 1\leq i \leq n \}$. For the simultaneous Diophantine approximation problem

$$ |q \alpha_i - p_i | < \epsilon , $$

where $q$ and the $p$'s are all integers, we have the LLL algorithm. The problem is, by this algorithm, for each precision $\epsilon$, we get only one $q$. But we know that such $q$ have a density of $\epsilon^{n-1} $.

So, how can we get a series of $q$ with the prescribed precision $\epsilon$?


One very practical method of finding the $q$'s you are looking for is presented here:

Kovács, Attila, and Norbert Tihanyi. "Efficient computing of n-dimensional simultaneous Diophantine approximation problems." Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Informatica 5.1 (2013): 16-34.

In what has to be one of the coolest applications of simultaneous Diophantine approximation ever, the authors use their algorithm to find many (but not all) values of the Riemann-Siegel Z function where Z(t) >500. See: http://riemann-siegel.com/index.php for more details.

Another choice is the method described in:

Bosma, Wieb, and Ionica Smeets. "Finding simultaneous Diophantine approximations with prescribed quality." The Open Book Series 1.1 (2013): 167-185.

From the abstract: "We give an algorithm that finds a sequence of approximations with Dirichlet coefficients bounded by a constant only depending on the dimension. The algorithm uses LLL lattice basis reduction."

Added (3/27):

You may find this paper helpful:

Lagarias, J. C. "Geodesic multidimensional continued fractions." Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society 3.3 (1994): 464-488.

Doug Hensley references the Lagarias algorithm in this paper (book chapter?):


If you are not too concerned with the quality of the approximations this book presents many algorithms that work (w/o LLL) and may be useful:

Brentjes, Arne Johan. "Multi-dimensional continued fraction algorithms." MC Tracts 145 (1981): 1-183.

This book may still be available for purchase through ntis.gov and is well worth the cost.

A complete answer to your question depends on how the $q$'s you are looking for compare to the given $\epsilon$ and the desired computational complexity of the process for finding them. In the extremes, I don't know if there is a completely satisfying answer.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.