In this article, I show how I adapted a mental calculation technique to check some small factors faster than division.

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## Background

This article is part of a set of articles. Each article highlight an aspect around Integer Factorization.

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## Introduction

Division is a good general purpose algorithm to check if a prime is factor of an integer, but sometimes we can get faster.

## Small primes: Faster than division

When dealing with integer factorization, it is common to have a first stage for checking small factors before starting main algorithm. It happen that it is possible to check some of those factors faster than with a division.

Division is an efficient general purpose algorithm, but faster algorithms exist for particular divisors. Those algorithms resort to **Mental Calculation** techniques.

Some mental calculation techniques allow you to check easily the divisibility of a number for specific factors. The same techniques can be used on computer to check a few factors faster than with divisions because those thechniques also works with base 2.

## Checking the Base

### Humans Counting

Base 10 is how we count. Everyone can tell instantly if a number is multiple of 10 without resorting to division because the unit digit is all what matters. And everyone can also deduce if multiple of 2 and 5 as they are factors of 10.

2 is a factor if unit is 0, 2, 4, 6, 8.
5 is a factor if unit is 0, 5.
Ex: 3141592653
unit is 3, so 2 and 5 are not factor of 3141592653.

Cost is constant time. O(n) = 1.

### Computer Counting

Base 2 is how computers count. The unit allow to know if 2 is a factor of a number. The fast operation is a **bitwise AND**.

2 is a factor if unit is 0.
Ex: 3141592653 => 0b10111011010000001110011001001101
unit is 1, so 2 is not a factor of 3141592653.

Cost is constant time. O(n) = 1.

if (N & 1) = 0
return(2)
endif

if ((Cand & 1) == 0) {
return 2;
}

## Checking Other Factors

### Humans Counting

Everyone having learned to do additions and multiplications by hand have also learned how to proof check those operations by using the **casting out nines** method. The method can be used to know if a number have 3 as factor, and also 11 and others with a little teaking. All this is possible because, 3 is a factor of 10 - 1 and 11 is a factor of 100 - 1.

The casting out nines method is about adding the digits of a number and reapply the method until the result is 1 digit.

#### Factor 3

The techbique is about checking 9 which is base 10 - 1, 3 being only a factor of 9.

3 is a factor if result is 3, 6 or 9.
Ex: 3141592653 => 3+1+4+1+5+9+2+6+5+3 => 39 => 3+9 => 12 => 1+2 => 3
Result is 3, so 3 is a factor of 3141592653.

Cost for n is log(n). O(n) = log(n).

#### Factor 11

The technique is about checking 11 which is base 10 + 1. We adapt the method with packets of 2 digits.

for 11, we use the fact that 99 (100-1) is a multiple of 11.
11 is a factor if result is 0, 11, 22, 33 ... 88, 99 or if difference of the 2 digits is 0.
3141592653 => 31+41+59+26+53 => 210 => 2+10 => 12
Result is 12, so 11 is not a factor of 3141592653 because 1<>2.

Cost for n is log(n). O(n) = log(n).

#### Factor 101

The technique is about checking 101 which is base 10^2 + 1. We adapt the method with packets of 4 digits.

for 101, we use the fact that 9999 (10000-1) is a multiple of 101.
101 is a factor if result is 0, 101, 202, 303 ... 9999. or if difference of pairs of digits is 0.
3141592653 => 31+4159+2653 => 6843
So 101 is not a factor of 3141592653 because 68<>43.

Cost for n is log(n). O(n) = log(n).

#### Cascade

Those factor check can be combined when the number of digits in a check is a multiple of the number of digit of another.

Because 10000 is a power of 100, the result for factor 101 can be used to check factor 11 and 9.
3141592653 => 31+4159+2653 => 6843 => 101 is not a factor
Because 10000 is a power of 100, the result for 10000 can be reused for 100.
6843 => 68+43 => 111 => 1+11 => 12 => 11 is not a factor
Because 100 is a power of 10, the result for 100 can be reused for 10.
12 => 1+2 => 3 => 3 is a factor

The cost for factors 11 and 3 are in constant time when done after 101.

### Computer Counting

The principle of "casting out nines" can be applied to base 2. Processors have very efficient tools that can be used to butcher numbers, those tools are addition/subtraction, bitwise operation and shifting.

#### Interesting Small Primes

3 2^2-1=3=1***3**
5 2^2+1=5=1***5**
7 2^3-1=7=1***7**
11 2^5+1=33=1*3***11**
13 2^6+1=65=1*5***13**
17 2^4+1=17=1***17**
19 2^9+1=513=1*3*3*3***19**
23 2^11-1=2047=1***23***89
29 2^14+1=16385=1*5***29***113
31 2^5-1=31=1***31**
37 2^18+1=262145=1*5*13***37***109
41 2^10+1=1025=1*5*5***41**
43 2^7+1=129=1*3***43**
47 2^23-1=8388607=1***47***178481
53 2^26+1=67108865=1*5***53***157*1613
59 2^29+1=536870913=1*3***59***3033169

#### Cascade Factors 17, 5 and 3

Ex: 3141592653 to binary 0b10111011010000001110011001001101
Reduce by 2 ^ 16 as intermediate optimization
0b10111011010000001110011001001101 => 0b1011101101000000+0b1110011001001101
=> 0b11010000110001101 => 0b1+0b1010000110001101 => 0b1010000110001110
Check 17: Reduce by 2 ^ 8
0b10100001+0b10001110 => 0b1000101110 => 0b10+0b00101110 => 0b00110000 => 0b0011 0b0000
17 is not a factor of 3141592653 because 0b0011<>0b0000
Check 5: Reduce by 2 ^ 4
0b00110000 => 0b0011+0b0000 => 0b0011 => 0b00 0b11
5 is not a factor of 3141592653 because 0b00<>0b11
Check 3: Reduce by 2 ^ 2
0b0011 => 0b00+0b11 => 0b11
3 is a factor of 3141592653

Cost for n is log(n) + constant. O(n) = log(n).

#### Intermediate oprimization

In modern processors, registers are 64 bits and simple operation take 1 clockcycle, no matter the size of an operation, the cost is the same. When one want to reduce a 64 bits value to a 8 bits value, it takes 7 operations.

By using intermediate steps, we can divide the size of operation by 2 every time. A 64 bits value is first reduced to 32 bits, the 16 bits, and finally to 8 bits. That 3 operations.

## Algorithm

There are 4 cases to handle:

- Factor is a power of 2 minus 1
Reduce to power of 2.

Compare result with factor.

- Factor is a factor of a power of 2 minus 1
Reduce to power of 2.

do a modulo.

- Factor is a power of 2 plus 1
Reduce to double of power of 2.

test if both half are same.

- Factor is a factor of a power of 2 plus 1
Reduce to double of power of 2.

do a modulo on the difference of both half.

and optimizations:

### Generator

As things can get complicated, It was easier to automate the code generation.

#### List of prime to integrate

list={ {3, 2, -1, .F.}, {5, 2, +1, .F.}, {7, 3, -1, .F.}, {11, 5, +1, .T.}, ;
{13, 6, +1, .T.}, {17, 4, +1, .F.}, {19, 9, +1, .T.}, {23, 11, -1, .T.}, ;
{29, 14, +1, .T.}, {31, 5, -1, .F.}, {37, 18, +1, .T.}, {41, 10, +1, .T.}, ;
{43, 7, +1, .T.}, {47, 23, -1, .T.}, {53, 26, +1, .T.}, {59, 29, +1, .T.}}

#### Topological sort for cascade

for scan=2 to len(list)
ptr= 0
for place= 1 to scan-1
if list[scan,5] % list[place,5] = 0
if list[scan,5] = list[place,5]
tmp= list[scan]
adel(list, scan, .T.)
ains(list, place, tmp, .T.)
ptr=0
exit
endif
if ispower(list[scan,5] / list[place,5], 2)= 1
tmp= list[scan]
adel(list, scan, .T.)
ains(list, place, tmp, .T.)
ptr=0
exit
endif
endif
if list[place,5] % list[scan,5] = 0
if ispower(list[place,5] / list[scan,5], 2)= 1
ptr= place
endif
endif
next
if ptr != 0
tmp= list[scan]
adel(list, scan, .T.)
ains(list, ptr+1, tmp, .T.)
endif
next

#### Adding intermediate steps

for scan=len(list) to 2 step -1
while list[scan-1,5] % list[scan,5] = 0
tmp= list[scan-1,5] / list[scan,5]
tmpp= ispower(list[scan-1,5] / list[scan,5], 2)
if tmp > 2 .and. tmpp=1
ains(list, scan, {0,0,0,.F.,list[scan,5]*2}, .T.)
else
exit
endif
enddo
while list[scan-1,5] < list[scan,5]
if list[scan,5] < int_size/2
ains(list, scan, {0,0,0,.F.,list[scan,5]*2}, .T.)
else
exit
endif
enddo
next
while list[1,5] < int_size/2
ains(list, 1, {0,0,0,.F.,list[1,5]*2}, .T.)
enddo

#### Code generator

? int_type+" IsSFactNonDiv("+int_type+" Cand) {"
? " "+int_type+" Mask, Prime, tmp;"
? " int Size;"
? " // fact 2"
? " if ((Cand & 1) == 0) {"
? " return 2;"
? " }"
?
for scan=1 to len(list)
if list[scan,1] != 0
? " Prime="+str(list[scan,1],,,.T.)+";"
endif
if scan=1
org= "Cand"
elseif list[scan,5]*2=list[scan-1,5]
org= "N"+str(list[scan,5]*2,,,.T.)
else
org= "Cand"
endif
if (scan=1 .or. list[scan,5] != list[scan-1,5])
if list[scan,5] < int_size
? " Size="+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+";"
? " Mask= (0ULL-1) >> ("+str(int_size,,,.T.)+"-Size);"
if list[scan,3]=0
? " "+int_type+" N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+"= ("+org+" >> Size) + ("+org+" & Mask);"
else
? " "+int_type+" N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+"= FactFold("+org+", Size, Mask);"
endif
else
? " "+int_type+" N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+"= "+org+";"
endif
endif
if list[scan,3]= 1 .and. list[scan,4]
? " Size="+str(list[scan,2],,,.T.)+";"
? " Mask= (0ULL-1) >> ("+str(int_size,,,.T.)+"-Size);"
? " tmp = abs(( N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+" >> Size) - ( N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+" & Mask));"
? " tmp = FactReduce(tmp, Prime);"
? " if (tmp == 0) {"
? " return Prime;"
? " }"
elseif list[scan,3]= 1
? " Size="+str(list[scan,2],,,.T.)+";"
? " Mask= (0ULL-1) >> ("+str(int_size,,,.T.)+"-Size);"
? " if (( N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+" >> Size) == ( N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+" & Mask)) {"
? " return Prime;"
? " }"
elseif list[scan,3]= -1 .and. list[scan,4]
? " tmp = FactReduce( N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+", Prime);"
? " if (tmp == 0) {"
? " return Prime;"
? " }"
elseif list[scan,3]= -1
? " if ( N"+str(list[scan,5],,,.T.)+" == Prime) {"
? " return Prime;"
? " }"
endif
?
next
? " return Cand;"
? "}"

#### Resulting code

function SmallPrimes(N)
if (N & 1) = 0
return(2)
endif
N16= Reduce(N, 16)
if (N16 >> 8) = (N16 & 255)
return(257)
endif
N8= Reduce(N16, 8)
if (N8 >> 4) = (N8 & 15)
return(17)
endif
N4= Reduce(N8, 4)
if (N4 >> 2) = (N4 & 3)
return(5)
endif
N2= Reduce(N4, 2)
if N2 = 3
return(3)
endif
N12= Reduce(N, 12)
Tmp= abs((N12 >> 6) - (N12 & 63))
while Tmp >= 13
Tmp= Tmp- 13
enddo
if Tmp = 0
return(13)
endif
N3= Reduce(N12, 3)
if N3 = 7
return(7)
endif
N10= Reduce(N, 10)
Tmp= abs((N10 >> 5) - (N10 & 31))
while Tmp >= 11
Tmp= Tmp- 11
enddo
if Tmp = 0
return(11)
endif
N5= Reduce(N10, 5)
if N5 = 31
return(31)
endif
N7= Reduce(N, 7)
if N7 = 127
return(127)
endif
return 1
function Reduce(N, Size)
local Tmp, Mask
Tmp= N
Mask= (1 << Size) -1
while (Tmp >> Size) <> 0
tmp= (Tmp >> Size) + (Tmp & Mask)
enddo
return(Tmp)

inline long long FactModulo(long long cand, long long fact) {
while (cand >= fact) {
if (cand & 1) {
cand = cand - fact;
}
cand = cand >> 1;
}
return cand;
}
inline long long FactFold(long long cand, long long shift, long long Mask) {
do {
cand = (cand >> shift) + (cand & Mask);
} while (cand >> shift);
return cand;
}
long long IsSFactNonDiv(long long Cand) {
long long Mask, Prime, tmp;
int Size;
if ((Cand & 1) == 0) {
return 2;
}
Size = 32;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N32 = (Cand >> Size) + (Cand & Mask);
Size = 16;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N16 = (N32 >> Size) + (N32 & Mask);
Prime = 17;
Size = 8;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N8 = FactFold(N16, Size, Mask);
Size = 4;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
if ((N8 >> Size) == (N8 & Mask)) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 5;
Size = 4;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N4 = FactFold(N8, Size, Mask);
Size = 2;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
if ((N4 >> Size) == (N4 & Mask)) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 3;
Size = 2;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N2 = FactFold(N4, Size, Mask);
if (N2 == Prime) {
return Prime;
}
Size = 48;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N48 = (Cand >> Size) + (Cand & Mask);
Size = 24;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N24 = (N48 >> Size) + (N48 & Mask);
Prime = 13;
Size = 12;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N12 = FactFold(N24, Size, Mask);
Size = 6;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N12 >> Size) - (N12 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Size = 6;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N6 = (N12 >> Size) + (N12 & Mask);
Prime = 7;
Size = 3;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N3 = FactFold(N6, Size, Mask);
if (N3 == Prime) {
return Prime;
}
Size = 40;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N40 = (Cand >> Size) + (Cand & Mask);
Prime = 41;
Size = 20;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N20 = FactFold(N40, Size, Mask);
Size = 10;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N20 >> Size) - (N20 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 11;
Size = 10;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N10 = FactFold(N20, Size, Mask);
Size = 5;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N10 >> Size) - (N10 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 31;
Size = 5;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N5 = FactFold(N10, Size, Mask);
if (N5 == Prime) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 37;
Size = 36;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N36 = FactFold(Cand, Size, Mask);
Size = 18;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N36 >> Size) - (N36 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 19;
Size = 18;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N18 = FactFold(N36, Size, Mask);
Size = 9;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N18 >> Size) - (N18 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 23;
Size = 11;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N11 = FactFold(Cand, Size, Mask);
tmp = FactModulo(N11, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Size = 56;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N56 = (Cand >> Size) + (Cand & Mask);
Prime = 29;
Size = 28;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N28 = FactFold(N56, Size, Mask);
Size = 14;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N28 >> Size) - (N28 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 43;
Size = 14;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N14 = FactFold(N28, Size, Mask);
Size = 7;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N14 >> Size) - (N14 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Size = 46;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N46 = (Cand >> Size) + (Cand & Mask);
Prime = 47;
Size = 23;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N23 = FactFold(N46, Size, Mask);
tmp = FactModulo(N23, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 53;
Size = 52;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N52 = FactFold(Cand, Size, Mask);
Size = 26;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N52 >> Size) - (N52 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
Prime = 59;
Size = 58;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
long long N58 = FactFold(Cand, Size, Mask);
Size = 29;
Mask = (0ULL - 1) >> (64 - Size);
tmp = abs((N58 >> Size) - (N58 & Mask));
tmp = FactModulo(tmp, Prime);
if (tmp == 0) {
return Prime;
}
return Cand;
}

## Benchmark

Runtime is so fast that timing is done on repeated execution of routines. Timing done on a i3 3GHz.

Timing
Integer Factor Division My Method
6561 3 9 ms 6 ms
125 5 18.001 ms 4 ms
2401 7 39.002 ms 9 ms
14641 11 41.002 ms 20.001 ms
3601 13 42.002 ms 11 ms
83521 17 52.003 ms 3 ms
49999 49999 147.008 ms 59.003 ms
4611686018427387899 4611686018427387899 143.008 ms 55.003 ms
4611686018427387877 4611686018427387877 143.008 ms 55.003 ms

On last three numbers, my method is 2.5 times faster than division.

## Points of Interest

Interest is limited if value is within register size, is value is big integer, the technique can be extended with more gains.

Unfortunately, it works only on a limited set of primes.

## External Links:

## History

- 20190501: First draft
- 20201230: Second version

I am a professional programmer.

Problem analyse is certainly what I am best at.

My main programming expertise is in the xBase languages (dBase, Clipper, FoxPro, Harbour, xHarbour), then VBA for Excel and advanced Excel WorkBooks.

I also have knowledge on C/C++, d language, HTML, SVG, XML, XSLT, Javascript, PHP, BASICs, Python, COBOL, Assembly.

My personal interests goes to algorithm optimization and puzzles.