Herbie 1.3 Release Notes

The Herbie developers are excited to announce Herbie 1.3! This release focuses on speed and transparency: Herbie 1.3 is nearly twice as fast as Herbie 1.2, and includes cleaner, more comprehensive HTML output.

Herbie automatically improves the accuracy of floating point expressions. This avoids the bugs, errors, and surprises that so often occur when working with floating point. Since our PLDI'15 paper, we've been hard at work making Herbie more versatile and easier to use.

Major features of this release

Speed: Herbie is roughly twice as fast as in previous releases. Making this happen has involved changes large and small: a clever change to how we use simplification, a new sampling algorithm, and also lots of work tracking down especially slow expressions.

Transparency: Herbie's web output has become cleaner and more comprehensive. Herbie can now show you its output in C and TeX as well as mathematical notation. You can now specify preconditions and precisions when inputting expressions. And Herbie has a new "Metrics" tab to show in-depth internal information, which will help us continue to improve Herbie.

Beta features in this release

Windows support has graduated from beta. We intend to support Windows going forward; if you run into any bugs, please let us know.

Plugins can now define new number systems and then teach Herbie to use them. There's a new plugin to add support for posit arithmetic. Right now the plugin system is still in flux, so if you'd like to use it, please write to us.

Herbie 1.3 is roughly 2× faster than Herbie 1.2, thanks to efforts throughout the year. This plot shows how long Herbie's CI takes to run, for every passing CI run this release cycle. In April we added more tests, causing the bump in Travis time around then.

Improvement to core algorithm

Usability improvements

Code Cleanup

Try it out!

We're excited to continue to improve Herbie and make it more useful to scientists, engineers, and programmers around the world. We've got a lot of features we're excited to work on in the coming months. Please report bugs, join the mailing list, or contribute.

If you find Herbie useful, let us know!