539. partial_sum and adjacent_difference should mention requirements

Section: 29.8.6 [partial.sum] Status: C++11 Submitter: Marc Schoolderman Opened: 2006-02-06 Last modified: 2016-02-10

Priority: Not Prioritized

View all issues with C++11 status.

Discussion:

There are some problems in the definition of partial_sum and adjacent_difference in 26.4 [lib.numeric.ops]

Unlike accumulate and inner_product, these functions are not parametrized on a "type T", instead, 26.4.3 [lib.partial.sum] simply specifies the effects clause as;

Assigns to every element referred to by iterator i in the range [result,result + (last - first)) a value correspondingly equal to

((...(* first + *( first + 1)) + ...) + *( first + ( i - result )))

And similarly for BinaryOperation. Using just this definition, it seems logical to expect that:

char i_array[4] = { 100, 100, 100, 100 };
int  o_array[4];

std::partial_sum(i_array, i_array+4, o_array);

Is equivalent to

int o_array[4] = { 100, 100+100, 100+100+100, 100+100+100+100 };

i.e. 100, 200, 300, 400, with addition happening in the result type, int.

Yet all implementations I have tested produce 100, -56, 44, -112, because they are using an accumulator of the InputIterator's value_type, which in this case is char, not int.

The issue becomes more noticeable when the result of the expression *i + *(i+1) or binary_op(*i, *i-1) can't be converted to the value_type. In a contrived example:

enum not_int { x = 1, y = 2 };
...
not_int e_array[4] = { x, x, y, y };
std::partial_sum(e_array, e_array+4, o_array);

Is it the intent that the operations happen in the input type, or in the result type?

If the intent is that operations happen in the result type, something like this should be added to the "Requires" clause of 26.4.3/4 [lib.partial.sum]:

The type of *i + *(i+1) or binary_op(*i, *(i+1)) shall meet the requirements of CopyConstructible (20.1.3) and Assignable (23.1) types.

(As also required for T in 26.4.1 [lib.accumulate] and 26.4.2 [lib.inner.product].)

The "auto initializer" feature proposed in N1894 is not required to implement partial_sum this way. The 'narrowing' behaviour can still be obtained by using the std::plus<> function object.

If the intent is that operations happen in the input type, then something like this should be added instead;

The type of *first shall meet the requirements of CopyConstructible (20.1.3) and Assignable (23.1) types. The result of *i + *(i+1) or binary_op(*i, *(i+1)) shall be convertible to this type.

The 'widening' behaviour can then be obtained by writing a custom proxy iterator, which is somewhat involved.

In both cases, the semantics should probably be clarified.

26.4.4 [lib.adjacent.difference] is similarly underspecified, although all implementations seem to perform operations in the 'result' type:

unsigned char i_array[4] = { 4, 3, 2, 1 };
int o_array[4];

std::adjacent_difference(i_array, i_array+4, o_array);

o_array is 4, -1, -1, -1 as expected, not 4, 255, 255, 255.

In any case, adjacent_difference doesn't mention the requirements on the value_type; it can be brought in line with the rest of 26.4 [lib.numeric.ops] by adding the following to 26.4.4/2 [lib.adjacent.difference]:

The type of *first shall meet the requirements of CopyConstructible (20.1.3) and Assignable (23.1) types."

[ Berlin: Giving output iterator's value_types very controversial. Suggestion of adding signatures to allow user to specify "accumulator". ]

[ Bellevue: ]

The intent of the algorithms is to perform their calculations using the type of the input iterator. Proposed wording provided.

[ Sophia Antipolis: ]

We did not agree that the proposed resolution was correct. For example, when the arguments are types (float*, float*, double*), the highest-quality solution would use double as the type of the accumulator. If the intent of the wording is to require that the type of the accumulator must be the input_iterator's value_type, the wording should specify it.

[ 2009-05-09 Alisdair adds: ]

Now that we have the facility, the 'best' accumulator type could probably be deduced as:

std::common_type<InIter::value_type, OutIter::reference>::type

This type would then have additional requirements of constructability and incrementability/assignability.

If this extracting an accumulator type from a pair/set of iterators (with additional requirements on that type) is a problem for multiple functions, it might be worth extracting into a SharedAccumulator concept or similar.

I'll go no further in writing up wording now, until the group gives a clearer indication of preferred direction.

[ 2009-07 Frankfurt ]

The proposed resolution isn't quite right. For example, "the type of *first" should be changed to "iterator::value_type" or similar. Daniel volunteered to correct the wording.

[ 2009-07-29 Daniel corrected wording. ]

[ 2009-10 Santa Cruz: ]

Move to Ready.

Proposed resolution:

  1. Change 29.8.6 [partial.sum]/1 as indicated:

    Effects: Let VT be InputIterator's value type. For a nonempty range, initializes an accumulator acc of type VT with *first and performs *result = acc. For every iterator i in [first + 1, last) in order, acc is then modified by acc = acc + *i or acc = binary_op(acc, *i) and is assigned to *(result + (i - first)). Assigns to every element referred to by iterator i in the range [result,result + (last - first)) a value correspondingly equal to

    
    ((...(*first + *(first + 1)) + ...) + *(first + (i - result)))
    

    or

    
    binary_op(binary_op(...,
       binary_op(*first, *(first + 1)),...), *(first + (i - result)))
    
  2. Change 29.8.6 [partial.sum]/3 as indicated:

    Complexity: Exactly max((last - first) - 1, 0) applications of binary_opthe binary operation.

  3. Change 29.8.6 [partial.sum]/4 as indicated:

    Requires: VT shall be constructible from the type of *first, the result of acc + *i or binary_op(acc, *i) shall be implicitly convertible to VT, and the result of the expression acc shall be writable to the result output iterator. In the ranges [first,last] and [result,result + (last - first)] [..]

  4. Change 29.8.11 [adjacent.difference]/1 as indicated:

    Effects: Let VT be InputIterator's value type. For a nonempty range, initializes an accumulator acc of type VT with *first and performs *result = acc. For every iterator i in [first + 1, last) in order, initializes a value val of type VT with *i, assigns the result of val - acc or binary_op(val, acc) to *(result + (i - first)) and modifies acc = std::move(val). Assigns to every element referred to by iterator i in the range [result + 1, result + (last - first)) a value correspondingly equal to

    
    *(first + (i - result)) - *(first + (i - result) - 1)
    

    or

    
    binary_op(*(first + (i - result)), *(first + (i - result) - 1)).
    

    result gets the value of *first.

  5. Change 29.8.11 [adjacent.difference]/2 as indicated:

    Requires: VT shall be MoveAssignable ([moveassignable]) and shall be constructible from the type of *first. The result of the expression acc and the result of the expression val - acc or binary_op(val, acc) shall be writable to the result output iterator. In the ranges [first,last] [..]

  6. Change 29.8.11 [adjacent.difference]/5 as indicated:

    Complexity: Exactly max((last - first) - 1, 0) applications of binary_opthe binary operation.