Essential Math Weblog Thoughts on math for games


Mike Acton Takes on C++ Math Libraries

Filed under: General,Mathematical — Jim @ 11:57 am

A couple weeks ago, Mike Acton, head of Core Technologies at Insomniac (where I’m now working, btw) posted this reaming of some standard C++ math code. I think it’s an excellent read if you’re interested in deeply optimizing your math code, in particular for consoles, and in particular for the PS3.

Of course, posting this at all is a bit uncomfortable from where I’m sitting.  I think it’s safe to say that if you were to compare our library code to what he is, er, analyzing, you’d find some significant similarities. However, our libraries were mainly designed to teach mathematical concepts rather than optimization concepts. As such, you end up with classes that represent mathematical entities, e.g. Planes, Spheres, Lines, etc. and simple code that emphasizes clarity. That said — as Mike’s slides aptly demonstrate — if you’re trying to squeeze every cycle out of the machine there are other ways to organize your data and code, and in fairness we didn’t address that much at all.  In retrospect this was an unfortunate oversight. I’d say more emphasis on optimization would be a good addition to the Third Edition, but I’m not sure what my family would think of another book…

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