Credits and references


Arb is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Arb is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with Arb (see the LICENSE file in the root of the Arb source directory). If not, see

Versions of Arb up to and including 2.8 were distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), not the LGPL. The switch to the LGPL applies retroactively; i.e. users may redistribute older versions of Arb under the LGPL if they prefer.


Fredrik Johansson is the main author. The project was started in 2012 as a numerical extension of FLINT, and the initial design was heavily based on FLINT 2.0 (with particular credit to Bill Hart and Sebastian Pancratz).

The following authors have developed major new features.

  • Pascal Molin - Dirichlet characters, Dirichlet L-functions, discrete logarithm computation
  • Alex Griffing - sinc function, matrix trace, improved matrix squaring, boolean matrices, improved structured matrix exponentials, Cholesky decomposition, miscellaneous patches

Several people have contributed patches, bug reports, or substantial feedback. This list (ordered by time of first contribution) is probably incomplete.

  • Bill Hart - build system, Windows 64 support, design of FLINT
  • Sebastian Pancratz - divide-and-conquer polynomial composition algorithm (taken from FLINT)
  • The MPFR development team - Arb includes two-limb multiplication code taken from MPFR
  • Jonathan Bober - original code for Dirichlet characters, C++ compatibility fixes
  • Yuri Matiyasevich - feedback about the zeta function and root-finding code
  • Abhinav Baid - dot product and norm functions
  • Ondřej Čertík - bug reports, feedback
  • Andrew Booker - bug reports, feedback
  • Francesco Biscani - C++ compatibility fixes, feedback
  • Clemens Heuberger - work on Arb interface in Sage, feedback
  • Marc Mezzarobba - work on Arb interface in Sage, bug reports, feedback
  • Ricky Farr - convenience functions, feedback
  • Marcello Seri - fix for static builds on OS X
  • Tommy Hofmann - matrix transpose, comparison, other utility methods, Julia interface
  • Alexander Kobel - documentation and code cleanup patches
  • Hrvoje Abraham - patches for MinGW compatibility
  • Julien Puydt - soname versioning support
  • Jeroen Demeyer - patch for major bug on PPC64
  • Isuru Fernando - continuous integration setup, support for cmake and MSVC builds
  • François Bissey - build system patches


From 2012 to July 2014, Fredrik’s work on Arb was supported by Austrian Science Fund FWF Grant Y464-N18 (Fast Computer Algebra for Special Functions). During that period, he was a PhD student (and briefly a postdoc) at RISC, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, supervised by Manuel Kauers.

From September 2014 to October 2015, Fredrik was a postdoc at INRIA Bordeaux and Institut de Mathématiques de Bordeaux, in the LFANT project-team headed by Andreas Enge. During that period, Fredrik’s work on Arb was supported by ERC Starting Grant ANTICS 278537 (Algorithmic Number Theory in Computer Science) Since October 2015, Fredrik is a CR2 researcher in the LFANT team, funded by INRIA.


The following software has been helpful in the development of Arb.

Citing Arb

To cite Arb in a scientific paper, the following reference can be used:

F. Johansson. “Arb: efficient arbitrary-precision midpoint-radius interval arithmetic”, IEEE Transactions on Computers, 66(8):1281-1292, 2017. DOI: 10.1109/TC.2017.2690633.

In BibTeX format:

  author = {F. Johansson},
  title = {Arb: efficient arbitrary-precision midpoint-radius interval arithmetic},
  journal = {IEEE Transactions on Computers},
  year = {2017},
  volume = {66},
  issue = {8},
  pages = {1281--1292},
  doi = {10.1109/TC.2017.2690633},

Alternatively, the Arb manual or website can be cited directly.

The IEEE Transactions on Computers paper supersedes the following extended abstract, which is now outdated:

F. Johansson. “Arb: a C library for ball arithmetic”, ACM Communications in Computer Algebra, 47(4):166-169, 2013.


(In the PDF edition, this section is empty. See the bibliography listing at the end of the document.)

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