Dividing In Lagrange basis when one of the points is zero - Generalised


We have $\frac{f(X)}{g(X)} = \frac{f(X)}{X - x_m} = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1} {f_i\frac{\mathcal{L_i(X)}}{X - x_m}}$

Since $x_m$ is in the domain, we cannot compute this in evaluation form straightforwardly. This document derives te first form of the barycentric interpolation formula and we use that to allow us to perform the above computation.

Lagrange polynomial

We briefly restate the formula for a lagrange polynomial:

$$ \mathcal{L_i}(X) = \prod_{j \neq i, j = 0}\frac{X -x_j}{x_i - x_j} $$

The i’th lagrange polynomial evaluated at $x_i$ is 1 and 0 everywhere else on the domain

First form of the barycentric interpolation formula

We introduce the polynomial $A(X) = (X - x_0)(X - x_1)…(X-x_n)$.

We also introduce the derivative of $A'(X) = \sum_{j=0}^{d-1}\prod_{i \neq j}(X - x_i)$ .

You can derive this yourself by generalising the product rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_rule#Product_of_more_than_two_factors

In general this derivative does not have a succinct/sparse form. We do have a succinct form if the domain is the roots of unity!

Now note that $A'(x_j) = \prod_{i=0,i \neq j}(x_j - x_i)$

If we plug in $x_k$ into $A'(X)$ all the terms with $X - x_k$ will vanish, this is why the sum disappears into a single product.

We can use $A$ and $A'$ to re-define our lagrange polynomial as :

$$ \mathcal{L_i}(X) = \frac{A(X)}{A'(x_i) (X - x_i)} $$

Looking at the original lagrange formula, $A'(x_i)$ is the denominator and $\frac{A(X)}{X - x_i}$ is the numerator.

The first barycentric form for a polynomial $f(X)$ can now be defined as :

$$ f(X) = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1}{\frac{A(X)}{A'(x_i) (X - x_i)} f_i} $$


  • $A(X)$ is not dependent on the values of $f_i$ and so can be brought out of the summation.
  • $A'(X)$ is only dependent on the domain, so it can be precomputed, along with $A(X)$

Re-defining the quotient

Note that our original problem was that:

$$\sum_{i=0}^{d-1} {f_i\frac{\mathcal{L_i(X)}}{X - x_m}}$$

Had a $X - x_m$ term in the denominator. We will use the first form as a way to get rid of this.

First we rewrite $\frac{\mathcal{L_i(X)}}{X - x_m}$ using the first form:

$$ \frac{\mathcal{L_i}(X)}{X - x_m} = \frac{A(X)}{A'(x_i) (X - x_i)(X-x_m)} $$

We then note that:

$$ A(X) = \mathcal{L_m}(X) \cdot A'(x_m) \cdot (X - x_m) $$

I just re-arranged the formula for the first form to equal $A(X)$ for $\mathcal{L_m}(X)$

We can hence plug this into our previous equation:

$$ \frac{\mathcal{L_i}(X)}{X - x_m} = \frac{\mathcal{L_m}(X) \cdot A'(x_m) \cdot (X - x_m)}{A'(x_i) (X - x_i)(X-x_m)} $$

Simplifying since we have a $X - x_m$ in the numerator and denominator:

$$ \frac{\mathcal{L_i}(X)}{X - x_m} = \frac{A'(x_m) \cdot \mathcal{L_m}(X) }{A'(x_i)\cdot (X - x_i)} $$

Note that when the elements in the domain are roots of unity; $A'(x_k) = d(x^k)^{d-1} = dx^{-k}$

The nice simplification here is due to two reasons: roots of unity form a cyclic group, and we can succinctly represent the d’th roots of unity in a sparse equation $X^d -1$ which is nice to derivate.

We have now re-defined $q(X)$ to not include $X-x_m$ !

We now summarise and state that:

$$ q(X) = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1} f_i \frac{\mathcal{L_i}(X)}{X - x_m} = f_i \frac{A'(x_m) \cdot \mathcal{L_m}(X) }{A'(x_i)\cdot (X - x_i)} $$

Explicit formulas for each case

Computing $q_m$

when dealing with the point which vanishes on zero, the above formula becomes:

Note: $\mathcal{L_m}(x_m) = 1$

$$ q_m = q(x_m) = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1}\frac{A'(x_m)}{A'(x_i)} \frac{f_i}{x_m - x_i} $$

Computing $q_j$

For the case that the evaluation does not vanish on the domain, we can use the original formula.

For all $j \neq m$

$$ q_j = q(x_j) = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1} f_i \frac{\mathcal{L_i}(x_j)}{x_j - x_m} $$

We note that the terms of the sum are zero, except for when $i=j$, hence we can simplify this to be:

$$ q_j = \frac{f_j}{x_j - x_m} $$


If we use the formulas as shown above, $q_m$ will take $d$ steps due to the sum, and $q_j$ will take $d-1$ steps. We describe a way to reduce this complexity in the code.

1. Rewrite $q_m$ in terms of $q_j$

Note that if we multiply $q_m$ by $\frac{-1}{-1}$ we get:

$$ q_m = q(x_m) = -\sum_{i=0}^{d-1}\frac{A'(x_m)}{A'(x_i)} \frac{f_i}{x_i - x_m} $$

We can now substitute in $q_i$

$$ q_m = q(x_m) = -\sum_{i=0}^{d-1}\frac{A'(x_m)}{A'(x_i)} q_i $$

2. Removing field inversions in $q_j$

Note that $q_j$ has a division which is many times more expensive than a field multiplication. We now show a way to precompute in such a way that we do not need to invert elements.

With the roots of unity, we were able to use the fact that they formed a group.

Again note that:

$$ q_j = \frac{f_j}{x_j - x_m} $$

Comment from Dankrad Feist

For our case where the domain is the discrete interval $[0, 255]$

We only need to pre-compute $\frac{1}{x_i}$ for $x_i \in [-255, 255]$. This is 510 values, so we would store 510 * 32 = 16Kb.

How would I lookup these values?

First we imagine that we have stored the values in an array:

$[\frac{1}{1}, \frac{1}{2}, \frac{1}{3}, \frac{1}{4}… \frac{1}{255},\frac{1}{-1},\frac{1}{-2},…\frac{1}{-255}]$

We first note that we can easily get from $\frac{1}{k}$ to $\frac{1}{-k}$ in the array by jumping forward 255 indices. Our strategy will be to find $\frac{1}{k}$ then jump to $\frac{1}{k}$ if we need to.


We want to compute $\frac{1}{0 - 255}$.

  • Compute the $abs(0-255) = 255 = i$

In practice, we can use an if statement to check whether 255 or 0 is larger, and subtract accordingly.

  • Note that $\frac{1}{i}$ is at index $i-1$
  • Since our original computation was $0 - 255$ which is negative, we need to get the element at index $i - 1 + 255$

3. Pre-compute $\frac{A'(x_m)}{A'(x_i)}$

With the roots of unity, we did not need this optimisation as $\frac{A'(x_m)}{A'(x_i)}$ equaled $\frac{\omega^i}{\omega^m}$ which was trivial to fetch from the domain.

For this, we will need to store precomputed values, if we want to efficiently compute $q_m$ in $O(d)$ steps, and to also avoid inversions.

Comment from Dankrad Feist: We pre-compute $A'(x_i)$ and $\frac{1}{A'(x_i)}$. Given that we have 256 points in the domain. This will cost us 256 * 2 * 32 bytes = 16kB.

How would I lookup these values?

Similar to the previous optimisation, we store $A'(x_i)$ in an array.

$[A'(0), A'(1), A'(2), A'(3)… A'(255),\frac{1}{A'(0)},\frac{1}{A'(1)},\frac{1}{A'(2)},…\frac{1}{A'(255)}]$


We want to compute $\frac{A'(0)}{A'(5)}$

  • We can fetch $A'(0)$ by looking up the element at index $0$ in the array.
  • We can fetch $\frac{1}{A'(5)}$ by looking up the element at index 5, then jumping forward 256 positions.

In general:

  • To fetch $A(x_i)$ we need to fetch the element at index $i$
  • To fetch $\frac{1}{A(x_i)}$ we need to fetch the element at index $i + 256$

Evaluate polynomial in evaluation form on a point outside of the domain

Suppose $z$ is a point outside of the domain.

$$ f(z) = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1}f_i\mathcal{L_i}(z) = \sum_{i=0}^{d-1}{\frac{A(z)}{A'(x_i) (z - x_i)} f_i} = A(z)\sum_{i=0}^{d-1}\frac{f_i}{A'(x_i)(z-x_i)} $$

  • We already store pre-computations for $\frac{1}{A'(x_i)}$
  • We should compute $z-x_i$ separately, then batch invert using the montgomery trick, so that we only pay for one inversion.