Some notes on applying computational divided differencing in optimization

We consider the problem of accurate computation of the finite difference $f(\x+\s)-f(\x)$ when $\Vert\s\Vert$ is very small. Direct evaluation of this difference in floating point arithmetic succumbs to cancellation error and yields 0 when $\s$ is sufficiently small. Nonetheless, accurate computation of this finite difference is required by many optimization algorithms for a “sufficient decrease” … Read more