We employ recent work on computational noise to obtain near-optimal finite difference estimates of the derivatives of a noisy function. Our analysis employs a stochastic model of the noise without assuming a specific form of distribution. We use this model to derive theoretical bounds for the errors in the difference estimates and obtain an easily computable difference parameter that is provably near-optimal. Numerical results closely resemble the theory and show that we obtain accurate derivative estimates even when the noisy function is deterministic.

## Citation

To appear in ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, Vol 38, No 3. Formerly: Argonne National Laboratory Mathematics and Computer Science Division Preprint ANL/MCS-P1785-0810.