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Old 2013-06-26, 16:35   #2
jasonp
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Oct 2004

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The comparison between polynomials is meant to be using the E-value alone; a better alpha just means that the average polynomial value is reduced by more when small primes are divided out of it, but the E value score accounts for that already. If the E-value is still worse, it means that across the sieving region the average polynomial value is still too large, and sieving is predicted to be slower.

That being said, when the E values are far apart, it doesn't mean that the sieving will be faster by the ratio of the E-values. Also, when the E values are close between two polynomials you don't necessarily know which one will sieve faster. And of course you can't directly compare degree 5 E-values with degree 6.

The change to the E-value computation occurred late last year in SVN838 (link).
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