This is a user's manual for GFComplete, version 1.02. This release supersedes version 0.1 and represents the first
major release of GFComplete. To our knowledge, this library implements every Galois Field multiplication technique
applicable to erasure coding for storage, which is why we named it GFComplete. The primary goal of this library is
to allow storage system researchers and implementors to utilize very fast Galois Field arithmetic for ReedSolomon
coding and the like in their storage installations. The secondary goal is to allow those who want to explore different
ways to perform Galois Field arithmetic to be able to do so effectively.
If you wish to cite GFComplete, please cite technical report UTCS13716: [PMG^{+}13].
If You Use This Library or Document
Please send me an email to let me know how it goes. Or send me an email just to let me know you are using the
library. One of the ways in which we are evaluated both internally and externally is by the impact of our work, and if
you have found this library and/or this document useful, we would like to be able to document it. Please send mail to
plank@cs.utk.edu. Please send bug reports to that address as well.
The library itself is protected by the New BSD License. It is free to use and modify within the bounds of this
license. To the authors' knowledge, none of the techniques implemented in this library have been patented, and the
authors are not pursing patents.
Finding the Code
This code is actively maintained on bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/jimplank/gfcomplete. There are
previous versions on my UTK site as a technical report; however, that it too hard to maintain, so the main version is
on bitbucket.
Two Related Papers
This software acccompanies a large paper that describes these implementation techniques in detail [PGM13a]. We
will refer to this as "The Paper." You do not have to read The Paper to use the software. However, if you want to
start exploring the various implementations, then The Paper is where you'll want to go to learn about the techniques
in detail.
This library implements the techniques described in the paper "Screaming Fast Galois Field Arithmetic Using Intel
SIMD Instructions," [PGM13b]. The Paper describes all of those techniques as well.
If You Would Like HelpWith the Software
Please contact the first author of this manual.
Changes from Revision 1.01
The major change is that we are using autoconf to aid with compilation, thus obviating the need for the old flag_tester
code. Additionally, we have added a quick timing tool, and we have modified gf_methods so that it may be used to
run the timing tool and the unit tester.
CONTENT 3
Contents
1 Introduction 5
2 Files in the Library 6
2.1 Header files in the directory "include" . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.2 Source files in the "src" directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3 Library tools files in the "tools" directory . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4 The unit tester in the "test" directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5 Example programs in the "examples" directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3 Compilation 8
4 Some Tools and Examples to Get You Started 8
4.1 Three Simple Command Line Tools: gf mult, gf div and gf add . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
4.2 Quick Starting Example #1: Simple multiplication and division . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
4.3 Quick Starting Example #2: Multiplying a region by a constant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
4.4 Quick Starting Example #3: Using w = 64 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
4.5 Quick Starting Example #4: Using w = 128. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
5 Important Information on Alignment when Multiplying Regions 12
6 The Defaults 13
6.1 Changing the Defaults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14
 6.1.1 Changing the Components of a Galois Field with create_gf_from_argv() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

6.1.2 Changing the Polynomial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

6.1.3 Changing the Multiplication Technique. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

6.1.4 Changing the Division Technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

6.1.5 Changing the Region Technique. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 19
6.2 Determining Supported Techniques with
gf_methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
20
6.3 Testing with
gf_unit, gf_time, and
time_tool.sh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
21

6.3.1 time_tool.sh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 22

6.3.2 An example of gf_methods and time_tool.sh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . 23
6.4 Calling
gf_init_hard() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .
24
6.5
gf_size() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. .
26
8 Further Information on Options and Algorithms 26
7.1 Inlining Single Multiplication and Division for Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
26
7.2 Using different techniques for single and region multiplication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
27
7.3 General
w . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
28
7.4 Arguments to
"SPLIT" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
28
7.5 Arguments to
"GROUP" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
29
7.6 Considerations with
"COMPOSITE" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
30
7.7
"CARRY FREE" and the Primitive Polynomial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
31
7.8 More on Primitive Polynomials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .
31

7.8.1 Primitive Polynomials that are not Primitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
 7.8.2 Default Polynomials for Composite Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
CONTENT 4
 7.8.3 The Program gf_poly for Verifying Irreducibility of Polynomials 33
7.9
"ALTMAP" considerations and extract_word() 34

7.9.1 Alternate mappings with "SPLIT" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

7.9.2 Alternate mappings with "COMPOSITE" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

7.9.3 The mapping of "CAUCHY" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. 37
8 Thread Safety 37
9 Listing of Procedures 37
10 Troubleshooting 38
11 Timings 41
11.1 Multiply() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 42
11.2 Divide() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 42
11.3 Multiply Region() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
INTRODUCTION 5
1 Introduction
Galois Field arithmetic forms the backbone of erasurecoded storage systems, most famously the ReedSolomon
erasure code. A Galois Field is defined over wbit words and is termed GF(2^{w}). As such, the elements of a Galois
Field are the integers 0, 1, . . ., 2^{w}  1. Galois Field arithmetic defines addition and multiplication over these closed
sets of integers in such a way that they work as you would hope they would work. Specifically, every number has a
unique multiplicative inverse. Moreover, there is a value, typically the value 2, which has the property that you can
enumerate all of the nonzero elements of the field by taking that value to successively higher powers.
Addition in a Galois Field is equal to the bitwise exclusiveor operation. That's nice and convenient. Multiplication
is a little more complex, and there are many, many ways to implement it. The Paper describes them all, and the
following references providemore supporting material: [Anv09, GMS08, LHy08, LD00, LBOX12, Pla97]. The intent
of this library is to implement all of the techniques. That way, their performancemay be compared, and their tradeoffs
may be analyzed.
When used for erasure codes, there are typically five important operations:
 Adding two numbers in GF(2^{w}). That's bitwise exclusiveor.
 Multiplying two numbers in GF(2^{w}). Erasure codes are usually based on matrices in GF(2^{w}), and constructing
these matrices requires both addition and multiplication.
 Dividing two numbers in GF(2^{w}). Sometimes you need to divide to construct matrices (for example, Cauchy
ReedSolomon codes [BKK^{+}95, Rab89]). More often, though, you use division to invert matrices for decoding.
Sometimes it is easier to find a number's inverse than it is to divide. In that case, you can divide by multiplying
by an inverse.
 adding two regions of numbers in GF(2^{w}), which will be explained along with...
 Mutiplying a region of numbers in GF(2^{w}) by a constant in GF(2^{w}). Erasure coding typically boils down
to performing dot products in GF(2^{w}). For example, you may define a coding disk using the equation:
c_{0}= d_{0} + 2d_{1} + 4d_{2} + 8d_{3}.
That looks like three multiplications and three additions However, the way ' implemented in a disk system
looks as in Figure 1. Large regions of disks are partitioned into wbit words in GF(2^{w}). In the example, let us
suppose that w = 8, and therefore that words are bytes. Then the regions pictured are 1 KB from each disk.
The bytes on disk Di are labeled d_{i,0,} d_{i,1, . . . ,} d_{i,1023,} and the equation above is replicated 1024 times. For
0 ≤ j < 1024:
c_{0,j} = d_{0,j} + 2d_{1,j} + 4d_{2,j} + 8d_{3,j} .
While it's possible to implement each of these 1024 equations independently, using the single multiplication
and addition operations above, it is often much more efficient to aggregate. For example, most computer architectures
support bitwise exclusiveor of 64 and 128 bit words. Thus, it makes much more sense to add regions
of numbers in 64 or 128 bit chunks rather than as words in GF(2^{w}). Multiplying a region by a constant can
leverage similar optimizations.
GFComplete supports multiplication and division of single values for all values of w ≤ 32, plus w = 64 and w =
128. It also supports adding two regions of memory (for any value of w, since addition equals XOR), and multiplying
a region by a constant in GF(2^{4}), GF(2^{8}), GF(2^{16}), GF(2^{32}), GF(2^{64}) and GF(2^{128}). These values are chosen
because words in GF(2^{w}) fit into machine words with these values of w. Other values of w don't lend themselves
to efficient multiplication of regions by constants (although see the "CAUCHY" option in section 6.1.5 for a way to
multiply regions for other values of w).
2 FILES IN THE LIBRARY 6
Figure 1: An example of adding two regions of numbers, and multiplying a region of numbers by a constant
in GF(2^{w}) . In this example, w = 8, and each disk is holding a 1KB region. The same coding equation 
c_{0,j} = d_{0,j} + ad_{1,j} + a^{2}d_{2,j} + a^{3}d_{3,j} is applied 1024 times. However, rather than executing this equation 1024
times, it is more efficient to implement this with three regionconstant multiplications and three regionregion additions.
2 Files in the Library
This section provides an overview of the files that compose GFComplete. They are partitioned among multiple
directories.
2.1 Header files in the directory "include"
The following header files are part of GFComplete.
 gf_complete.h: This is the header file that applications should include. It defines the gf_t type, which holds
all of the data that you need to perform the various operations in GF(2^{w}). It also defines all of the arithmetic
operations. For an application to use this library, you should include gf_complete.h and then compile with the
library src/libgf_complete.la.
 gf_method.h: If you are wanting to modify the implementation techniques from the defaults, this file provides
a "helper" function so that you can do it from the Unix command line.
 gf_general.h: This file has helper routines for doing basic Galois Field operations with any legal value of w.
The problem is that w ≤ 32, w = 64 and w = 128 all have different data types, which is a pain. The procedures
in this file try to alleviate that pain. They are used in gf_mult, gf_unit and gf_time. I'm guessing that most
applications won't use them, as most applications use w ≤ 32.
 gf_rand.h: I've learned that srand48() and its kin are not supported in all C installations. Therefore, this file
defines some randomnumber generators to help test the programs. The randomnumber generator is the "Mother
2 FILES IN THE LIBRARY 7
of All" random number generator [Mar94] which we've selected because it has no patent issues. gf_unit and
gf time use these random number generators.
 gf_int.h: This is an internal header file that the various source files use. This is not intended for applications to
include.
 config.xx and stamph1 are created by autoconf, and should be ignored by applications.
2.2 Source files in the "src" directory"
The following C files compose gf_complete.a, and they are in the direcoty src. You shouldn't have to mess with these
files, but we include them in case you have to:
 gf_.c: This implements all of the procedures in both gf_complete.h and gf_int.h.
 gf_w4.c: Procedures specific to w = 4.
 gf_w8.c: Procedures specific to w = 8
 gf_w16.c: Procedures specific to w = 16
 gf_w32.c: Procedures specific to w = 32
 gf_w64.c: Procedures specific to w = 64
 gf_w128.c: Procedures specific to w = 128
 gf_wgen.c: Procedures specific to other values of w between 1 and 31
 gf_general.c: Procedures that let you manipulate general values, regardless of whether w ≤ 32, w = 64
or w = 128. (I.e. the procedures defined in gf_ general.h)
 gf_method.c: Procedures to help you switch between the various implementation techniques. (I.e. the procedures
defined in gf_method.h)
 gf_ rand.c:"The Mother of all" random number generator. (I.e. the procedures defined in gf_rand.h)
2.3 Library tools files in the "tools" directory
The following are tools to help you with Galois Field arithmetic, and with the library. They are explained in greater
detail elsewhere in this manual.
 gf_mult.c, gf_ div.c and gf_ add: Command line tools to do multiplication, division and addition by single numbers
 gf_time.c: A program that times the procedures for given values of w and implementation options
 time tool.sh: A shell script that helps perform rough timings of the various multiplication, division and region
operations in GFComplete
 gf_methods.c: A program that enumerates most of the implementation methods supported by GFComplete
 gf_poly.c: A program to identify irreducible polynomials in regular and composite Galois Fields
3 COMPILATION 8
2.4 The unit tester in the "test" directory
The test directory contains the proram gf_unit.c, which performs a battery of unit tests on GFComplete. This is
explained in more detail in section 6.3.
2.5 Example programs in the "examples" directory
There are seven example programs to help you understand various facets of GFComplete. They are in the files
gf_example x.c in the examples directory. They are explained in sections 4.2 through 4.5, and section 7.9.
3 Compilation
From revision 1.02 forward, we are using autoconf. The old "flag tester" directory is now gone, as it is no longer in
use.
To compile and install, you should do the standard operations that you do with most open source Unix code:
UNIX> ./configure
...
UNIX> make
...
UNIX> sudo make install
If you perform the install, then the header, source, tool, and library files will be moved to system locations. In
particular, you may then compile the library by linking with the flag lgf_complete, and you may use the tools from a
global executable directory (like /usr/local/bin).
If you don't perform the install, then the header and tool files will be in their respective directories, and the library
will be in src/libgf_complete.la.
If your system supports the various Intel SIMD instructions, the compiler will find them, and GFComplete will
use them by default.
4 Some Tools and Examples to Get You Started
4.1 Three Simple Command Line Tools: gf_mult, gf_div and gf_add
Before delving into the library, it may be helpful to explore Galois Field arithmetic with the command line tools:
gf_mult, gf_div and gf_add. These perform multiplication, division and addition on elements in GF(2^{w}). If these are
not installed on your system, then you may find them in the tools directory. Their syntax is:
 gf_mult a b w  Multiplies a and b in GF(2^{w}).
 gf_div a b w  Divides a by b in GF(2^{w }).
 gf_add a b w  Adds a and b in GF(2^{w } ).
You may use any value of w from 1 to 32, plus 64 and 128. By default, the values are read and printed in decimal;
however, if you append an 'h' to w , then a, b and the result will be printed in hexadecimal. For w = 128, the 'h' is
mandatory, and all values will be printed in hexadecimal.
4 SOME TOOLS AND EXAMPLES TO GET YOU STARTED 9 9
Try them out on some examples like the ones below. You of course don't need to know that, for example, 5 * 4 = 7
in GF(2^{4 }) ; however, once you know that, you know that 7/
5 = 4 and 7/4 = 5. You should be able to verify the gf_add
statements below in your head. As for the other gf_mult's, you can simply verify that division and multiplication work
with each other as you hope they would.
UNIX> gf_mult 5 4 4
7
UNIX> gf_div 7 5 4
4
UNIX> gf_div 7 4 4
5
UNIX> gf_mult 8000 2 16h
100b
UNIX> gf_add f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f0 1313131313131313 64h
e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3
UNIX> gf_mult f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f0 1313131313131313 64h
8da08da08da08da0
UNIX> gf_div 8da08da08da08da0 1313131313131313 64h
f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f0
UNIX> gf_add f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f01313131313131313 1313131313131313f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f0 128h
e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3e3
UNIX> gf_mult f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f01313131313131313 1313131313131313f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f0 128h
786278627862784982d782d782d7816e
UNIX> gf_div 786278627862784982d782d782d7816e f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f01313131313131313 128h
1313131313131313f0f0f0f0f0f0f0f0
UNIX>
Don't bother trying to read the source code of these programs yet. Start with some simpler examples like the ones
below.
4.2 Quick Starting Example #1: Simple multiplication and division
The source files for these examples are in the examples directory.
These two examples are intended for those who just want to use the library without getting too complex. The
first example is gf_example 1, and it takes one command line argument  w, which must be between 1 and 32. It
generates two random nonzero numbers in GF(2^{w }) and multiplies them. After doing that, it divides the product by
each number.
To perform multiplication and division in GF(2^{w }) , you must declare an instance of the gf_t type, and then initialize
it for GF(2^{w }) by calling gf_init_easy(). This is done in gf_example 1.c with the following lines:
gf_t gf;
r
...
if (!gf_init_easy(&gf, w)) {
fprintf(stderr, "Couldn't initialize GF structure.\n");
exit(0);
}
4 SOME TOOLS AND EXAMPLES TO GET YOU STARTED 10
Once gf is initialized, you may use it for multiplication and division with the function pointers multiply.w32 and
divide.w32. These work for any element of GF(2^{w}) so long as w ≤ 32.
c = gf.multiply.w32(&gf, a, b);
printf("%u * %u = %u\n", a, b, c);
printf("%u / %u = %u\n", c, a, gf.divide.w32(&gf, c, a));
printf("%u / %u = %u\n", c, b, gf.divide.w32(&gf, c, b));
Go ahead and test this program out. You can use gf_mult and gf_div to verify the results:
UNIX> gf_example_1 4
12 * 4 = 5
5 / 12 = 4
5 / 4 = 12
UNIX> gf_mult 12 4 4
5
UNIX> gf_example_1 16
14411 * 60911 = 44568
44568 / 14411 = 60911
44568 / 60911 = 14411
UNIX> gf_mult 14411 60911 16
44568
UNIX>
gf_init_easy() (and later_gf_init_hard()) do call malloc() to implement internal structures. To release memory, call
gf_free(). Please see section 6.4 to see how to call gf_init_hard() in such a way that it doesn't call malloc().
4.3 Quick Starting Example #2: Multiplying a region by a constant
The program gf_example 2 expands on gf_example 1. If w is equal to 4, 8, 16 or 32, it performs a region multiply
operation. It allocates two sixteen byte regions, r1 and r2, and then multiples r1 by a and puts the result in r2 using
the multiply_region.w32 function pointer:
gf.multiply_region.w32 (&gf, r1, r2, a, 16, 0);
That last argument specifies whether to simply place the product into r2 or to XOR it with the contents that are already
in r2. Zero means to place the product there. When we run it, it prints the results of the multiply_region.w32 in
hexadecimal. Again, you can verify it using gf mult:
UNIX> gf_example_2 4
12 * 2 = 11
11 / 12 = 2
11 / 2 = 12
multiply_region by 0xc (12)
R1 (the source): 0 2 d 9 d 6 8 a 8 d b 3 5 c 1 8 8 e b 0 6 1 5 a 2 c 4 b 3 9 3 6
R2 (the product): 0 b 3 6 3 e a 1 a 3 d 7 9 f c a a 4 d 0 e c 9 1 b f 5 d 7 6 7 e
4 SOME TOOLS AND EXAMPLES TO GET YOU STARTED 11
UNIX>  gf_example_2 16 
49598  *  35999  =  19867 
19867  /  49598  =  35999 
19867  /  35999  =  49598 
multiply_region by 0xc1be (49598)
R1 (the source):  8c9f  b30e  5bf3  7cbb  16a9  105d  9368  4bbe 
R2 (the product):  4d9b  992d  02f2  c95c  228e  ec82  324e  35e4 
UNIX> gf_mult c1be 8c9f 16h
4d9b
UNIX> gf_mult c1be b30e 16h
992d
UNIX>
4.4 Quick Starting Example #3: Using w = 64
The program in gf_example 3.c is identical to the previous program, except it uses GF(2^{64 }). Now a, b and c are
uint64 t's, and you have to use the function pointers that have w64 extensions so that the larger types may be employed.
UNIX> gf_example_31
a9af3adef0d23242  *  61fd8433b25fe7cd  =  bf5acdde4c41ee0c 
bf5acdde4c41ee0c  /  a9af3adef0d23242  =  61fd8433b25fe7cd 
bf5acdde4c41ee0c  /  61fd8433b25fe7cd  =  a9af3adef0d23242 
multiply_region by a9af3adef0d23242
R1 (the source):  61fd8433b25fe7cd  272d5d4b19ca44b7  3870bf7e63c3451a  08992149b3e2f8b7 
R2 (the product):  bf5acdde4c41ee0c  ad2d786c6e4d66b7  43a7d857503fd261  d3d29c7be46b1f7c 
UNIX> gf_mult a9af3adef0d23242 61fd8433b25fe7cd 64h
bf5acdde4c41ee0c
UNIX>
4.5 Quick Starting Example #4: Using w = 128
Finally, the program in gf_example_4.c uses GF(2^{128}). Since there is not universal support for uint128 t, the library
represents 128bit numbers as arrays of two uint64 t's. The function pointers for multiplication, division and region
multiplication now accept the return values as arguments:
gf.multiply.w128(&gf, a, b, c);
Again, we can use gf_mult and gf_div to verify the results:
UNIX> gf_example_4
e252d9c145c0bf29b85b21a1ae2921fa  *  b23044e7f45daf4d70695fb7bf249432  = 
7883669ef3001d7fabf83784d52eb414 
4 IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON ALIGNMENT WHEN MULTIPLYING REGIONS 12
multiply_region by e252d9c145c0bf29b85b21a1ae2921fa
R1 (the source): f4f56f08fa92494c5faa57ddcd874149 b4c06a61adbbec2f4b0ffc68e43008cb
R2 (the product): b1e34d34b031660676965b868b892043 382f12719ffe3978385f5d97540a13a1
UNIX> gf_mult e252d9c145c0bf29b85b21a1ae2921fa f4f56f08fa92494c5faa57ddcd874149 128h
b1e34d34b031660676965b868b892043
UNIX> gf_div 382f12719ffe3978385f5d97540a13a1 b4c06a61adbbec2f4b0ffc68e43008cb 128h
e252d9c145c0bf29b85b21a1ae2921fa
UNIX>
5 Important Information on Alignment when Multiplying Regions
In order to make multiplication of regions fast, we often employ 64 and 128 bit instructions. This has ramifications
for pointer alignment, because we want to avoid bus errors, and because on many machines, loading and manipulating
aligned quantities is much faster than unalinged quantities.
When you perform multiply_region.wxx(gf, source, dest, value, size, add ), there are three requirements:

The pointers source and dest must be aligned for wbit words. For w = 4 and w = 8, there is no restriction;
however for w = 16, the pointers must be multiples of 2, for w = 32, they must be multiples of 4, and for
w ϵ {64, 128}, they must be multiples of 8.
 The size must be a multiple of [ w /
8 .]
With w = 4 and w = 8, w/
8 = 1 and there is no restriction. The other
sizes must be multiples of w /
8 because you have to be multiplying whole elements of GF(2^{w }) .
 The source and dest pointers must be aligned identically with respect to each other for the implementation
chosen. This is subtle, and we explain it in detail in the next few paragraphs. However, if you'd rather not figure
it out, the following recommendation will always work in GFComplete:
If you want to be safe, make sure that source and dest are both multiples of 16. That is not a
strict requirement, but it will always work!
If you want to relax the above recommendation, please read further.
When performing multiply_region.wxx() , the implementation is typically optimized for a region of bytes whose
size must be a multiple of a variable s ,, and which must be aligned to a multiple of another variable t . For example,
when doing multiply_region.w32() in GF(2^{16 }) with SSE enabled, the implementation is optimized for regions of
32 bytes, which must be aligned on a 16byte quantity. Thus, s = 32 and t = 16. However, we don't want multiply_
region.w32() to be too restrictive, so instead of requiring source and dest to be aligned to 16byte regions, we
require that (source mod 16) equal (dest mod 16). Or, in general, that (source mod t) equal (dest mod t).
Then, multiply_region.wxx() proceeds in three phases. In the first phase, multiply.wxx() is called on successive
words until (source mod t) equals zero. The second phase then performs the optimized region multiplication on
chunks of s bytes, until the remaining part of the region is less than s bytes. At that point, the third phase calls
multiply.wxx() on the last part of the region.
A detailed example helps to illustrate. Suppose we make the following call in GF(2^{16}) with SSE enabled:
multiply region.w32(gf, 0x10006, 0x20006, a, 274, 0)
2 FILES IN THE LIBRARY 13
Figure 2: Example of multiplying a region of 274 bytes in GF(216) when (source mod 16) = (dest mod 16) = 6. The
alignment parameters are s = 32 and t = 16. The multiplication is in three phases, which correspond to the initial
unaligned region (10 bytes), the aligned region of sbyte chunks (256 bytes), and the final leftover region (8 bytes).
First, note that source and dest are aligned on twobyte quantities, which they must be in GF(2^{16}). Second, note
that size is a multiple of [ 16/
8 ] = 2. And last, note that (source mod 16) equals (dest mod 16). We illustrate the three
phases of region multiplication in Figure 2. Because (source mod 16) = 6, there are 10 bytes of unaligned words that
are multiplied with five calls to multiply.w32() in the first phase. The second phase multiplies 256 bytes (eight chunks
of s = 32 bytes) using the SSE instructions. That leaves 8 bytes remaining for the third phase.
When we describe the defaults and the various implementation options, we specify s and t as "alignment parameters."
One of the advanced region options is using an alternate mapping of words to memory ("ALTMAP"). These interact
in a more subtle manner with alignment. Please see Section 7.9 for details.
6 The Defaults
GFComplete implements a wide variety of techniques for multiplication, division and region multiplication. We have
set the defaults with three considerations in mind:

Speed: Obviously, we want the implementations to be fast. Therefore, we choose the fastest implementations
that don’t violate the other considerations. The compilation environment is considered. For example, if SSE is
enabled, region multiplication in GF(2^{4 }) employs a single multiplication table. If SSE is not enabled, then a
"double" table is employed that performs table lookup two bytes at a time.

Memory Consumption: We try to keep the memory footprint of GFComplete low. For example, the fastest
way to perform multiply.w32() in GF(2^{32}) is to employ 1.75 MB of multiplication tables (see Section 7.4
below). We do not include this as a default, however, because we want to keep the default memory consumption
of GFComplete low.
6 THE DEFAULTS 14
3. Compatibility with "standard" implementations: While there is no de facto standard of Galois Field arithmetic,
most libraries implement the same fields. For that reason, we have not selected composite fields, alternate
polynomials or memory layouts for the defaults, even though these would be faster. Again, see section 7.7 for
more information.
Table 1 shows the default methods used for each poweroftwo word size, their alignment parameters s and t, their
memory consumption and their rough performance. The performance tests are on an Intel Core i73770 running at
3.40 GHz, and are included solely to give a flavor of performance on a standard microprocessor. Some processors
will be faster with some techniques and others will be slower, so we only put numbers in so that you can ballpark it.
For other values of w between 1 and 31, we use table lookup when w ≤ 8, discrete logarithms when w ≤ 16 and
"Bytwop" for w ≤ 32.
With SSE
w  Memory Usage  multiply() Implementation  Performance (Mega Ops / s)  multiply region() Implementation 
s  t  Performance (MB/s) 
4  <1K  Table  501  Table 
16  16  11,659 
8  136K  Table  501  Split Table (8,4) 
16  16  11,824 
16  896K  Log  260  Split Table (16,4) 
32  16  7,749 
32  <1K  CarryFree  48  Split Table (32,4) 
64  16  5,011 
64  2K  CarryFree  84  Split Table (64,4) 
128  16  2,402 
128  64K  CarryFree  48  Split Table (128,4) 
16  16  833 
Without SE
w  Memory Usage  multiply() Implementation  Performance (Mega Ops / s)  multiply region() Implementation 
s  t  Performance (MB/s) 
4  4K  Table  501  Double Table 
16  16  11,659 
8  128K  Table  501  Table 
1  1  1,397 
16  896K  Log  266  Split Table (16,8) 
32  16  2,135 
32  4K  Bytwop  19  Split Table (32,4) 
4  4  1,149 
64  16K  Bytwop  9  Split Table (64,4) 
8  8  987 
128  64K  Bytwop  1.4  Split Table (128,4) 
16  8  833 
Table 1: The default implementations, memory consumption and rough performance when w is a power of two. The
variables s and t are alignment variables described in Section 5.
A few comments on Table 1 are in order. First, with SSE, the performance of multiply() is faster when w = 64
than when w = 32. That is because the primitive polynomial for w = 32, that has historically been used in Galois
Field implementations, is subideal for using carryfree multiplication (PCLMUL). You can change this polynomial
(see section 7.7) so that the performance matches w = 64.
The region operations for w = 4 and w = 8 without SSE have been selected to have a low memory footprint. There
are better options that consume more memory, or that only work on large memory regions (see section 6.1.5).
There are times that you may want to stray from the defaults. For example:

You may want better performance.
6 THE DEFAULTS 15
 You may want a lower memory footprint.
 You may want to use a different Galois Field or even a ring.
 You only care about multiplying a region by the value two.
Our command line tools allow you to deviate from the defaults, and we have two C functions gf_init_hard()
and create_gf_from_argv() that can be called from application code to override the default methods. There are six
commandline tools that can be used to explore the many techniques implemented in GFComplete:
 gf_methods is a tool that enumerates most of the possible commandline arguments that can be sent to the other
tools
 gf_mult and gf_div are explained above. You may change the multiplication and division technique in these
tools if you desire
 gf_unit performs unit tests on a set of techniques to verify correctness
 gf_time measures the performance of a particular set of techniques
 time_tool.sh makes some quick calls to gf_time so that you may gauge rough performance.
 gf_poly tests the irreducibility of polynomials in a Galois Field
To change the default behavior in application code, you need to call gf_init_hard() rather than gf_init_easy().
Alternatively, you can use create_g_from_argv(), included from gf_method.h, which uses an argvstyle array of
strings to specify the options that you want. The procedure in gf_method.c parses the array and makes the proper
gf_init_hard() procedure call. This is the technique used to parse the command line in gf_mult, gf_div, gf_unit et al.
6.1.1 Changing the Components of a Galois Field with create gf_from_argv()
There are five main components to every Galois Field instance:
 w
 Multiplication technique
 Division technique
 Region technique(s)
 Polynomial
The procedures gf_init_hard() and create_gf_from_argv() allow you to specify these parameters when you create
your Galois Field instance. We focus first on create_gf_from_argv(), because that is how the tools allow you to specify
the components. The prototype of create_gf_from_argv() is as follows:
int create_gf_from_argv(gf_t *gf, int w, int argc, char **argv, int starting);
You pass it a pointer to a gf_t, which it will initialize. You specify the word size with the parameter w, and then you
pass it an argc/argv pair as in any C or C++ program. You also specify a starting argument, which is where in argv
the specifications begin. If it successfully parses argc and argv, then it creates the gf_t using gf_init_hard() (described
below in section 6.4). It returns one past the last index of argv that it considered when creating the gf_t. If it fails, then
it returns zero, and the gf_t is unmodified.
For example, gf_mult.c calls create gf_from_argv() by simply passing argc and argv from its main() declaration,
and setting starting to 4.
6 THE DEFAULTS 16
To choose defaults, argv[starting] should equal "". Otherwise, you specify the component that you are changing
with "m" for multiplication technique, "d" for division technique, "r" for region technique, and "p" for the
polynomial. You may change multiple components. You end your specification with a single dash. For example, the
following call multiplies 6 and 5 in GF(2^{4}) with polynomial 0x19 using the "SHIFT" technique for multiplication
(we'll explain these parameters later):
UNIX> ./gf_mult 6 5 4 p 0x19 m SHIFT 
7
UNIX>
If create_gf_from_argv() fails, then you can call the procedure gf_error(), which prints out the reason why create_
gf_from_argv() failed.
6.1.2 Changing the Polynomial
Galois Fields are typically implemented by representing numbers as polynomials with binary coefficients, and then
using the properties of polynomials to define addition and multiplication. You do not need to understand any of that to
use this library. However, if you want to learn more about polynomial representations and how they construct fields,
please refer to The Paper.
Multiplication is based on a special polynomial that we will refer to here as the "defining polynomial." This
polynomial has binary coefficients and is of degree w. You may change the polynomial with "p" and then a number
in hexadecimal (the leading "0x" is optional). It is assumed that the wth bit of the polynomial is set  you may include
it or omit it. For example, if you wish to set the polynomial for GF(2^{16}) to x^{16} + x^{5} + x^{3} + x^{2} + 1, rather than its
default of x^{16} + x^{12} + x^{3} + x + 1, you may say "p 0x1002d," "p 1002d," "p 0x2d" or "p 2d."
We discuss changing the polynomial for three reasons in other sections:
 Leveraging carryfree multiplication (section 7.7).
 Defining composite fields (section 7.6).
 Implementing rings (section 7.8.1).
Some words about nomenclature with respect to the polynomial. A Galois Field requires the polynomial to be
irreducible .. That means that it cannot be factored. For example, when the coefficients are binary, the polynomial x^{5}+
x^{4}+x+1 may be factored as (x^{4}+1)(x+1). Therefore it is not irreducible and cannot be used to define a Galois Field.
It may, however, be used to define a ring. Please see section 7.8.1 for a discussion of ring support in GFComplete.
There is a subset of irreducible polynomials called primitive. These have an important property that one may enumerate
all of the elements of the field by raising 2 to successive posers. All of the default polynomials in GFComplete
are primitive. However, so long as a polynomial is irreducible, it defines a Galois Field. Please see section 7.7 for a
further discussion of the polynomial.
One thing that we want to stress here is that changing the polynomial changes the field, so fields with different
polynomialsmay not be used interchangeably. So long as the polynomial is irreducible, it generates a Galois Field that
is isomorphic to all other Galois Fields; however the multiplication and division of elements will differ. For example,
the polynomials 0x13 (the default) and 0x19 in GF(2^{4}) are both irreducible, so both generate valid Galois Fields.
However, their multiplication differs:
UNIX> gf_mult 8 2 4 p 0x13 
3
UNIX> gf_mult 8 2 4 p 0x19 
9
6 THE DEFAULTS 17
UNIX> gf_div 3 8 4 p 0x13 
2
UNIX> gf_div 9 8 4 p 0x19 
2
UNIX>
6.1.3 Changing the Multiplication Technique
The following list describes the multiplication techinques that may be changed with "m". We keep the description
here brief. Please refer to The Paper for detailed descriptions of these techniques.
"TABLE:" Multiplication and division are implemented with tables. The tables consume quite a bit of memory
(2^{w} × 2 ^{w} × ^{w}/
8 bytes), so they are most useful when w is small. Please see "SSE," "LAZY," "DOUBLE" and
"QUAD" under region techniques below for further modifications to "TABLE" to perform multiply_region()
"LOG:" This employs discrete (or "Zeph") logarithm tables to implement multiplication and division. The
memory usage is roughly (3 × 2^{w} × w /
8 bytes), so they are most useful when w is small, but they tolerate
larger w than "TABLE." If the polynomial is not primitive (see section 6.1.2), then you cannot use "LOG" as
an implementation. In that case, gf_init_hard() or create_gf_from_argv() will fail
"LOG ZERO:" Discrete logarithm tables which include extra room for zero entries. This more than doubles
the memory consumption to remove an if statement (please see [GMS08] or The Paper for more description). It
doesn’t really make a huge deal of difference in performance
"LOG ZERO EXT:" This expends even more memory to remove another if statement. Again, please see The
Paper for an explanation. As with "LOG ZERO," the performance difference is negligible
"SHIFT:" Implementation straight from the definition of Galois Field multiplication, by shifting and XORing,
then reducing the product using the polynomial. This is slooooooooow, so we don’t recommend you use it
"CARRY FREE:" This is identical to "SHIFT," however it leverages the SSE instruction PCLMUL to perform
carryfreemultiplications in single instructions. As such, it is the fastest way to perform multiplication for large
values of w when that instruction is available. Its performance depends on the polynomial used. See The Paper
for details, and see section 7.7 below for the speedups available when w = 16 and w = 32 if you use a different
polynomial than the default one
"BYTWO p:" This implements multiplication by successively multiplying the product by two and selectively
XORing the multiplicand. See The Paper for more detail. It can leverage Anvin’s optimization that multiplies
64 and 128 bits of numbers in GF(2^{w}) by two with just a few instructions. The SSE version requires SSE2
"BYTWO b:" This implements multiplication by successively multiplying the multiplicand by two and selectively
XORing it into the product. It can also leverage Anvin's optimization, and it has the feature that when
you're multiplying a region by a very small constant (like 2), it can terminate the multiplication early. As such,
if you are multiplying regions of bytes by two (as in the Linux RAID6 ReedSolomon code [Anv09]), this is
the fastest of the techniques, regardless of the value of w. The SSE version requires SSE2
"SPLIT:" Split multiplication tables (like the LR tables in [GMS08], or the SIMD tables for w ≤ 8 in [LHy08,
Anv09, PGM13b]). This argument must be followed by two more arguments, w_{a} and w_{b}, which are the index
sizes of the subtables. This implementation reduces the size of the table from "TABLE," but requires multiple
6 THE DEFAULTS 18
With the exception of "COMPOSITE", only one multiplication technique can be provided for a given Galois
Field instance. Composite fields may use composite fields as their base fields, in which case the specification will be
recursive.
6 THE DEFAULTS 19
6.1.4 Changing the Division Technique
There are two techniques for division that may be set with "d". If "d" is not specified, then appropriate defaults
are employed. For example, when the multiplication technique is "TABLE," a table is created for division as well as
multiplication. When "LOG" is specified, the logarithm tables are used for division. With "COMPOSITE," a special
variant of Euclid's algorithm is employed that performs division using multiplication and division in the base field.
Otherwise, Euclid's algorithm is used. Please see The Paper for a description of Euclid's algorithm applied to Galois
Fields.
If you use "d", you must also specify the multiplication technique with "m."
To force Euclid's algorithm instead of the defaults, you may specify it with "d EUCLID." If instead, you would
rather convert elements of a Galois Field to a binary matrix and find an element's inverse by inverting the matrix,
then specify "d MATRIX." In all of our tests, "MATRIX" is slower than "EUCLID." "MATRIX" is also not defined
for w > 32.
6.1.5 Changing the Region Technique
The following are the region multiplication options ("r"):

"SSE:" Use SSE instructions. Initialization will fail if the instructions aren't supported. Table 2 details the
multiplication techniques which can leverage SSE instructions and which versions of SSE are required.
Multiplication Technique  multiply()  multiply_region()  SSE Version  Comments 
"TABLE"    Yes  SSSE3  Only for GF(2^{4}). 
"SPLIT"    Yes  SSSE3  Only when the second argument equals 4. 
"SPLIt"    Yes  SSE4  When w = 64 and not using "ALTMAP". 
"BYTWO p"    Yes  SSE2  
"BYTWO p"    Yes  SSE2  
Table 2: Multiplication techniques which can leverage SSE instructions when they are available.
 "NOSSE:" Force nonSSE version
 "DOUBLE:" Use a table that is indexed on two words rather than one. This applies only to w = 4, where
the table is indexed on bytes rather than 4bit quantities, and to w = 8, where the table is indexed on shorts
rather than bytes. In each case, the table lookup performs two multiplications at a time, which makes region
multiplication faster. It doubles the size of the lookup table.
 "QUAD:" Use a table that is indexed on four words rather than two or one. This only applies to w = 4, where
the table is indexed on shorts. The "Quad" table may be lazily created or created ahead of time (the default). If
the latter, then it consumes 2^{4} × 2^{16} × 2 = 2 MB of memory.
 "LAZY:" Typically it's clear whether tables are constructed upon initialization or lazily when a region operation
is performed. There are two times where it is ambiguous: "QUAD" when w = 4 and "DOUBLE" when w = 8.
If you don't specify anything, these tables are created upon initialization, consuming a lot of memory. If you
specify "LAZY," then the necessary row of the table is created lazily when you call "multiply_region().
6 THE DEFAULTS 20
 "ALTMAP:" Use an alternate mapping, where words are split across different subregions of memory. There
are two places where this matters. The first is when implementing "SPLIT w 4" using SSE when w > 8. In
these cases, each byte of the word is stored in a different 128bit vector, which allows the implementation to
better leverage 16byte table lookups. See section 7.4 for examples, and The Paper or [PGM13b] for detailed
explanations.
The second place where it matters is when using "COMPOSITE." In this case, it is advantageous to split each
memory region into two chunks, and to store half of each word in a different chunk. This allows us to call
region_multiply() recursively on the base field, which is much faster than the alternative. See Section 7.6 for
examples, and The Paper for an explanation.
It is important to note that with "ALTMAP," the words are not "converted" from a standard mapping to an
alternate mapping and back again. They are assumed to always be in the alternate mapping. This typically
doesn't matter, so long as you always use the same "ALTMAP" calls. Please see section 7.9 for further details
on "ALTMAP," especially with respect to alignment.
 "CAUCHY:" Break memory into w subregions and perform only XOR's as in Cauchy ReedSolomon coding
[BKK^{+}95] (also described in The Paper). This works for any value of w ≤ 32, even those that are not
powers of two. If SSE2 is available, then XOR's work 128 bits at a time. For "CAUCHY" to work correctly,
size must be a multiple of w .
It is possible to combine region multiplication options. This is fully supported as long as gf_methods has the combination
listed. If multiple region options are required, they should be specified independently (as flags for gf_init_hard()
and independent options for commandline tools and create_gf_from_argv()).
6.2 Determining Supported Techniques with gf methods
The program gf_methods prints a list of supported methods on standard output. It is called as follows:
./gf methods w BADC LUMDRB
The first argument is w , which may be any legal value of w . The second argument has the following flags:
 "B:" This only prints out "basic" methods that are useful for the given value of w . It omits "SHIFT" and other
methods that are never really going to be useful.
 "A:" In constrast, this specifies to print "all" methods.
 "D:" This includes the "EUCLID" and "MATRIX" methods for division. By default, they are not included.
 "C:" This includes the "CAUCHY" methods for region multiplication. By default, it is not included.
You may specify multiple of these as the second argument. If you include both "B" and "A," then it uses the last
one specified.
The last argument determines the output format of gf_methods. If it is "L," then it simply lists methods. If it
is "U," then the output contains gf_unit commands for each of the methods. For the others, the output contains
gf_time_tool.sh commands for M ultiplication,Division,Region multiplications with multiple buffer sizes, and the
Best region multiplication.
gf_methods enumerates combinations of flags, and calls create_gf_from_argv() to see if the combinations are
supported. Although it enumerates a large number of combinations, it doesn't enumerate all possible parameters for
"SPLIT," "GROUP" or "COMPOSITE."
Some examples of calling gf_methods are shown below in section 6.3.2.
6 THE DEFAULTS 21
6.3 Testing with gf_unit , gf_time , and time_tool.sh
gf_unit and gf_time may be used to verify that a combination of arguments works correctly and efficiently on your
platform. If you plan to stray from the defaults, it is probably best to run both tools to ensure there are no issues with
your environment. gf_unit will run a set of unit tests based on the arguments provided to the tool, and gf_time will
time Galois Field methods based on the provided arguments.
The usage of gf_ unit is:
gf_unit w tests seed method
The usage of gf_ time is:
gf_time w tests seed buffersize iterations method
The seed is an integer negative one uses the current time. The tests are specified by a listing of characters. The
following tests are supported (All are supported by gf_time. Only ', 'S' and 'R' are supported by gf_unit):
 'M': Single multiplications
 'D': Single divisions
 'I': Single inverses
 'G': Region multiplication of a buffer by a random constant
 '0': Region multiplication of a buffer by zero (does nothing andbzero())
 '1': Region multiplication of a buffer by one (does memcpy() and XOR)
 '2': Region multiplication of a buffer by two – sometimes this is faster than general multiplication
 'S': All three single tests
 'R': All four region tests
 'A': All seven tests
Here are some examples of calling gf_unit and gf_time to verify that "m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP " works
in GF(2^{32}), and to get a feel for its performance. First, we go to the test directory and call gf_unit:
UNIX> cd test
UNIX> ./gf_unit 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
Args: 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP  / size (bytes): 684
UNIX>
gf_unit reports on the arguments and how may bytes the gf_t consumes. If it discovers any problems or inconsistencies
with multiplication, division or region multiplication, it will report them. Here, there are no problems.
Next, we move to the tools directory and run performance tests on a 10K buffer, with 10,000 iterations of each test:
UNIX> cd ../tools
UNIX> ./gf_time 32 A 1 10240 10000 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
Seed: 1388435794
Multiply:  4.090548 s  Mops:  24.414  5.968 Megaops/s 
Divide:  37.794962 s  Mops:  24.414  0.646 Megaops/s 
Inverse:  33.709875 s  Mops:  24.414  0.724 Megaops/s 
RegionRandom: XOR: 0  0.035210 s  MB:  97.656  2773.527 MB/s 
RegionRandom: XOR: 1  0.036081 s  MB:  97.656  2706.578 MB/s 
RegionByZero:XOR: 0  0.003199 s  MB:  97.656  30523.884 MB/s 
RegionByZero: XOR: 1  0.000626 s  MB:  97.656  156038.095 MB/s 
6 THE DEFAULTS 22
RegionByOne: XOR: 0  0.003810 s  MB:  97.656  25628.832 MB/s 
RegionByOne: XOR: 1  0.008363 s  MB:  97.656  11677.500 MB/s 
RegionByTwo: XOR: 0  0.032942 s  MB:  97.656  2964.486 MB/s 
RegionByTwo: XOR: 1  0.033488 s  MB:  97.656  2916.153 MB/s 
UNIX>
The first column of output displays the name of the test performed. Region tests will test with and without the XOR
flag being set (see Section 4.3 for an example). The second column displays the total time the test took to complete
measured in seconds (s). The third column displays the size of the test measured in millions of operations (Mops) for
single tests and in Megabytes (MB) for the region tests. The final column displays the speed of the tests calculated
from the second and third columns, and is where you should look to get an idea of a method's performance.
If the output of gf_unit and gf_time are to your satisfaction, you can incorporate the method into application code
using create gf_from_argv() or gf_init hard().
The performance of "RegionByZero" and "RegionByOne" will not change from test to test, as all methods make
the same calls for these. "RegionByZero" with "XOR: 1" does nothing except set up the tests. Therefore, you may
use it as a control.
6.3.1 time tool.sh
Finally, the shell script time_tool.sh makes a bunch of calls to gf_time to give a rough estimate of performance. It is
called as follows:
usage sh time_tool.sh MDRB w method
The values for the first argument are MDRB, for Multiplication, Division,Region multiplications with multiple
buffer sizes, and the Best region multiplication. For the example above, let's call time_tool.sh to get a rough idea of
performance:
UNIX> sh time_tool.sh M 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
M speed (MB/s): 6.03 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
UNIX> sh time_tool.sh D 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
D speed (MB/s): 0.65 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
UNIX> sh time_tool.sh R 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
Region BufferSize:  16K (MB/s):  3082.91  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  32K (MB/s):  3529.07  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  64K (MB/s):  3749.94  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  128K (MB/s):  3861.27  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  512K (MB/s):  3820.82  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  1M (MB/s):  3737.41  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  2M (MB/s):  3002.90  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region BufferSize:  4M (MB/s):  2760.77  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
Region Best (MB/s):  3861.27  WMethod: 32  m SPLIT 32 4  r ALTMAP  
UNIX> sh time_tool.sh B 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
Region Best (MB/s): 3929.09 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
UNIX>
We say that time_tool.sh is "rough" because it tries to limit each test to 5 ms or less. Thus, the time granularity
is fine, which means that the numbers may not be as precise as they could be were the time granularity to be course.
When in doubt, you should make your own calls to gf_time with a lot of iterations, so that startup costs and roundoff
error may be minimized.
6 THE DEFAULTS 23
6.3.2 An example of gf methods and time tool.sh
Let's give an example of how some of these components fit together. Suppose we want to explore the basic techniques
in GF(2^{32}). First, let's take a look at what gf_methods suggests as "basic" methods:
UNIX> gf_methods 32 B L
w=32: 
w=32: m GROUP 4 8 
w=32: m SPLIT 32 4 
w=32: m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
w=32: m SPLIT 32 8 
w=32: m SPLIT 8 8 
w=32: m COMPOSITE 2  
w=32: m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP 
UNIX>
You'll note, this is on my old Macbook Pro, which doesn't support (PCLMUL), so "CARRY FREE" is not included
as an option. Now, let's run the unit tester on these to make sure they work, and to see their memory consumption:
UNIX> gf_methods 32 B U
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m GROUP 4 8 
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 4 
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 8 
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m SPLIT 8 8 
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m COMPOSITE 2  
../test/gf_unit 32 A 1 m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP 
UNIX> gf_methods 32 B U  sh
Args: 32 A 1  / size (bytes): 684
Args: 32 A 1 m GROUP 4 8  / size (bytes): 1296
Args: 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 4  / size (bytes): 684
Args: 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP  / size (bytes): 684
Args: 32 A 1 m SPLIT 32 8  / size (bytes): 4268
Args: 32 A 1 m SPLIT 8 8  / size (bytes): 1839276
Args: 32 A 1 m COMPOSITE 2   / size (bytes): 524648
Args: 32 A 1 m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP  / size (bytes): 524648
UNIX>
As anticipated, "SPLIT 8 8" consumes quite a bit of memory! Now, let's see how well they perform with both
single multiplications and region multiplications:
UNIX> gf_methods 32 B M
sh time_tool.sh M 32 
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m GROUP 4 8 
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m SPLIT 32 4 
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP 
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m SPLIT 32 8 
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m SPLIT 8 8 
6 THE DEFAULTS 24
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m COMPOSITE 2 
sh time_tool.sh M 32 m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP
UNIX> gf_methods 32 B M  sh
M speed (MB/s): 5.90 WMethod: 32
M speed (MB/s): 14.09 WMethod: 32 m GROUP 4 8
M speed (MB/s): 5.60 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4
M speed (MB/s): 5.19 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP
M speed (MB/s): 5.98 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 8
M speed (MB/s): 22.10 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 8 8
M speed (MB/s): 34.98 WMethod: 32 m COMPOSITE 2 
M speed (MB/s): 34.16 WMethod: 32 m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP
UNIX> gf_methods 32 B B  sh
Region Best (MB/s): 2746.76 WMethod: 32
Region Best (MB/s): 177.06 WMethod: 32 m GROUP 4 8
Region Best (MB/s): 2818.75 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4
Region Best (MB/s): 3818.21 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP
Region Best (MB/s): 728.68 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 32 8
Region Best (MB/s): 730.97 WMethod: 32 m SPLIT 8 8
Region Best (MB/s): 190.20 WMethod: 32 m COMPOSITE 2 
Region Best (MB/s): 1837.99 WMethod: 32 m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP
UNIX>
The default is quite a bit slower than the best performing methods for both single and region multiplication. So
why are the defaults the way that they are? As detailed at the beginning of this chapter, we strive for lower memory
consumption, so we don't use "SPLIT 8 8," which consumes 1.75MB.We don't implement alternate fields by default,
which is why we don't use "COMPOSITE." Finally, we don't implement alternate mappings of memory by default,
which is why we don't use "m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP ."
Of course, you may change these defaults if you please.
Test question: Given the numbers above, it would appear that "COMPOSITE" yields the fastest performance of
single multiplication, while "SPLIT 32 4" yields the fastest performance of region multiplication. Should I use two
gf t's in my application – one for single multiplication that uses "COMPOSITE," and one for region multiplication
that uses "SPLIT 32 4?"
The answer to this is "no." Why? Because composite fields are different from the "standard" fields, and if you mix
these two gf_t's, then you are using different fields for single multiplication and region multiplication. Please read
section 7.2 for a little more information on this.
6.4 Calling gf_init_hard()
We recommend that you use create_gf_from_argv() instead of gf_init_hard(). However, there are extra things that
you can do with gf_init_hard(). Here's the prototype:
int gf_init_hard(gf_t *gf
int w
int mult_type
int region_type
int divide_type
uint64_t prim_poly
int arg1
int arg2
6 THE DEFAULTS 25
GFP base_gf,
void *scratch_memory);
The arguments mult type, region type and divide type allow for the same specifications as above, except the
types are integer constants defined in gf complete.h:
typedef enum {GF_MULT_DEFAULT,
GF_MULT_SHIFT
GF_MULT_CARRY_FREE
GF_MULT_GROUP
GF_MULT_BYTWO_p
GF_MULT_BYTWO_b
GF_MULT_TABLE
GF_MULT_LOG_TABLE
GF_MULT_LOG_ZERO
GF_MULT_LOG_ZERO_EXT
GF_MULT_SPLIT_TABLE
GF_MULT_COMPOSITE } gf_mult_type_t;
#define GF_REGION_DEFAULT (0x0)
#define GF_REGION_DOUBLE_TABLE (0x1)
#define GF_REGION_QUAD_TABLE (0x2)
#define GF_REGION_LAZY (0x4)
#define GF_REGION_SSE (0x8)
#define GF_REGION_NOSSE (0x10)
#define GF_REGION_ALTMAP (0x20)
#define GF_REGION_CAUCHY (0x40)
typedef enum { GF_DIVIDE_DEFAULT
GF_DIVIDE_MATRIX
GF_DIVIDE_EUCLID } gf_division_type_t;
You can mix the region types with bitwise or. The arguments to GF_MULT_GROUP,GF_MULT_SPLIT_TABLE
and GF_MULT_COMPOSITE are specified in arg1 and arg2. GF_MULT_COMPOSITE also takes a base field
in base_gf. The base field is itself a gf_t, which should have been created previously with create_gf_fro_argv(),
gf_init_easy() or gf_init_hard(). Note that this base_gf has its own base_gf member and can be a composite field
itself.
You can specify an alternate polynomial in prim_poly. For w ≤ 32, the leftmost one (the one in bit position w) is
optional. If you omit it, it will be added for you. For w = 64, there's no room for that one, so you have to leave it off.
For w = 128, your polynomial can only use the bottommost 64 bits. Fortunately, the standard polynomial only uses
those bits. If you set prim_poly to zero, the library selects the "standard" polynomial.
Finally, scratch_memory is there in case you don't want gf_init_hard() to call malloc(). Youmay call gf_scratch_size()
to find out how much extra memory each technique uses, and then you may pass it a pointer for it to use in scratc_memory.
If you set scratch memory to NULL, then the extra memory is allocated for you with malloc(). If you use gf_init_easy()
or create_gf_from_argv(), or you use gf_init_hard() and set scratch_memory to NULL, then you should call gf_free()
to free memory. If you use gf_init_hard() and use your own scratch_memory you can still call gf_free(), and it will
not do anything.
Both gf_init_hard() and gf_scratch_size() return zero if the arguments don't specify a valid gf_t. When that happens,
you can call gf_error() to print why the call failed.
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 26
We'll give you one example of calling gf_ init_hard(). Suppose you want to make a gf_ init_hard() call to be
equivalent to "m SPLIT 16 4 r SSE r ALTMAP " and you want to allocate the scratch space yourself. Then you'd
do the following:
gf_t gf;
void *scratch;
int size;
size = gf_scratch_size(16, GF_MULT_SPLIT_TABLE,
GF_REGION_SSE  GF_REGION_ALTMAP,
GF_DIVIDE_DEFAULT,
16, 4);
if (size == 0) { gf_error(); exit(1); } /* It failed. That shouldn’t happen */
scratch = (void *) malloc(size);
if (scratch == NULL) { perror("malloc"); exit(1); }
if (!gf_init_hard(&gf, 16, GF_MULT_SPLIT_TABLE,
GF_REGION_SSE  GF_REGION_ALTMAP,
GF_DIVIDE_DEFAULT,
0, 16, 4, NULL, scratch)) {
gf_error();
exit(1);
}
6.5 gf_size()
You can call gf_size(gf_t *gf) to learn the memory consumption of the gf_t. It returns all memory consumed by the
gf_t, including the gf_t itself, any scratch memory required by the gf_ t, and the memory consumed by the subfield
if the field is "COMPOSITE." If you provided your own memory to gf_init_hard(), it does not report the size of
this memory, but what the size should be, as determined by gf_scratch size(). gf_ unit() prints out the return value of
gf_size() on the given field.
7 Further Information on Options and Algorithms
7.1 Inlining Single Multiplication and Division for Speed
Obviously, procedure calls are more expensive than single instructions, and the mechanics of multiplication in "TABLE"
and "LOG" are pretty simple. For that reason, we support inlining for "TABLE" when w = 4 and w = 8, and
for "LOG" when w = 16. We elaborate below.
When w = 4, you may inline multiplication and division as follows. The following procedures return pointers to
the multiplication and division tables respectively:
uint8_t *gf_w4_get_mult_table(gf_t * gf);
uint8_t *gf_w4_get_div_table(gf_t * gf);
The macro Gf_W4_INLINE_MULTDIV (table, a, b) then multiplies or divides a by b using the given table. This
of course only works if the multiplication technique is "TABLE," which is the default for w = 4. If the multiplication
technique is not "TABLE," then gf_w4_get_mult_table() will return NULL.
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 27
When w = 8, the procedures gf_w8_et_mult_table() and gf_ w8_get_div_table(), and the macro
GF_W8_INLINE_MULTDIV (table, a, b) work identically to the w = 4 case.
When w = 16, the following procedures return pointers to the logarithm table, and the two inverse logarithm tables
respectively:
uint16_t *gf_w16_get_log_table(gf_t * gf);
uint16_t *gf_w16_get_mult_alog_table(gf_t * gf);
uint16_t *gf_w16_get_div_alog_table(gf_t * gf);
The first inverse logarithm table works for multiplication, and the second works for division. They actually point
to the same table, but to different places in the table. You may then use the macro GF_W16_INLINE_MULT(log,
alog, a, b ) to multiply a and b, and the macro GF_W16_INLINE_DIV (log, alog, a, b ) to divide a and b. Make
sure you use the alog table returned by gf_w16_get_mult_alog_table() for multiplication and the one returned by
gf_w16_get_div_alog_table() for division. Here are some timings:
UNIX> gf_time 4 M 0 10240 10240 
Seed: 0
Multiply: 0.228860 s Mops: 100.000 436.949 Megaops/s
UNIX> gf_inline_time 4 0 10240 10240
Seed: 0
Inline mult: 0.096859 s Mops: 100.000 1032.424 Megaops/s
UNIX> gf_time 8 M 0 10240 10240 
Seed: 0
Multiply: 0.228931 s Mops: 100.000 436.812 Megaops/s
UNIX> gf_inline_time 8 0 10240 10240
Seed: 0
Inline mult: 0.114300 s Mops: 100.000 874.889 Megaops/s
UNIX> gf_time 16 M 0 10240 10240 
Seed: 0
Multiply: 0.193626 s Mops: 50.000 258.229 Megaops/s
UNIX> gf_inline_time 16 0 10240 10240
Seed: 0
Inline mult: 0.310229 s Mops: 100.000 322.342 Megaops/s
UNIX>
7.2 Using different techniques for single and region multiplication
You may want to "mix and match" the techniques. For example, suppose you'd like to use "m SPLIT 8 8" for
multiply() in GF(2^{32}), because it's fast, and you don't mind consuming all of that space for tables. However, for
multiply_region(), you'd like to use "m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP," because that's the fastest way to implement
multiply_region(). Unfortunately, There is no way to create a gf_t that does this combination. In this case, you should
simply create two gf_t's, and use one for multiply() and the other for multiply_region(). All of the implementations
may be used interchangably with the following exceptions:

"COMPOSITE" implements a different Galois Field.
 If you change a field's polynomial, then the resulting Galois Field will be different.
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 28

If you are using "ALTMAP" to multiply regions, then the contents of the resulting regions of memory will
depend on the multiplication technique, the size of the region and its alignment. Please see section 7.9 for a
detailed explanation of this.
 If you are using "CAUCHY" to multiply regions, then like "ALTMAP," the contents of the result regions of
memory the multiplication technique and the size of the region. You don't have to worry about alignment.
7.3 General w
The library supports Galois Field arithmetic with 2 < w ≤ 32. Values of w which are not whole number powers of
2 are handled by the functions in gf_wgen.c . For these values of w , the available multiplication types are "SHIFT,"
"BYTw O p," "BYTw O b," "GROUP," "TABLE" and "LOG." "LOG" is only valid for w < 28 and "TABLE"
is only valid for w < 15. The defaults for these values of w are "TABLE" for w < 8, "LOG" for w < 16, and
"BYTw O p" for w < 32.
7.4 Arguments to "SPLIT"
The "SPLIT" technique is based on the distributive property of multiplication and addition:
a * (b + c) = (a * b) + (a * c).
This property allow s us to, for example, split an eight bit w ord into tw o fourbit components and calculate the product
by performing tw o table lookups in 16element tables on each of the compoents, and adding the result. There is much
more information on "SPLIT" in The Paper. Here w e describe the version of "SPLIT" implemented in GFComplete.
"SPLIT" takes tw o arguments, w hich are the number of bits in each component of a, w hich w e call w _{a}, and the
number of bits in each component of b, w hich w e call w _{b.} If the tw o differ, it does not matter w hich is bigger  the
library recognizes this and performs the correct implementation. The legal values of w _{a} and w _{b} fall into five categories:

w _{a} is equal to w and w _{b} is equal to four. In this case, b is broken up into w /4
fourbit w ords w hich are used
in 16element lookup tables. The tables are created on demand in multiply_region() and the SSSE3 instruction
mm_shuffle_epi8() is leveraged to perform 16 lookups in parallel. Thus, these are very fast implementations.
w hen w ≥ 16, you should combine this w ith "ALTMAP" to get the best performance (see The Paper
or [PGM13b] for explanation). If you do this please see section 7.9 for information about "ALTMAP" and
alignment.
If you don't use "ALTMAP," the implementations for w ∈ {16, 32, 64} convert the standard representation into
"ALTMAP," perform the multiplication w ith "ALTMAP" and then convert back to the standard representation.
The performance difference using "ALTMAP" can be significant:
gf time 16 G 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 16 4   Speed = 8,389 MB/s 
gf time 16 G 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 16 4 r ALTMAP   Speed = 8,389 MB/s 
gf time 32 G 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 32 4   Speed = 5,304 MB/s 
gf time 32 G 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP   Speed = 7,146 MB/s 
gf time 64 G 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 64 4   Speed = 2,595 MB/s 
gf time 64 G 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 64 4 r ALTMAP   Speed = 3,436 MB/s 
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 29
 2. w_{a} is equal to w and w_{b} is equal to eight. Now, b is broken into bytes, each of these is used in its own 256element
lookup table. This is typically the best w_{a}y to perform multiply_region() without SSE.
Because this is a region optimization, when you specify these options, you get a default multiply() see
Table 1 for a listing of the defaults. See section 7.2 for using a different multiply() than the defaults.

3. w_{a} is equal to w and w _{b} is equal to 16. This is only valid for w = 32 and w = 64. Now , b is broken into shorts,
each of these is used in its own 64Kelement lookup table. This is typically slower than when w _{b} equals 8, and
requires more amortization (larger buffer sizes) to be effective.
 4. w _{a} and w _{b} are both equal to eight. Now both a and b are broken into bytes,
and the products of the various bytes
are looked up in multiple 256 × 256 tables. In GF(2^{16}), there are three of these tables. In GF(232), there are
seven, and in GF(2^{64}) there are fifteen. Thus, this implementation can be a space hog. How ever, for w = 32,
this is the fastest way to perform multiply() on some machines.
when this option is employed, multiply_region() is implemented in an identical fashion to when w _{a} = w
and w _{b} = 8.
 5. w_{a} = 32 and w_{b} = 2. (w = 32 only). I was playing with a different way to use mm_shuffle_epi8(). It works,
but it's slower than when w_{b} = 4.
7.5 Arguments to "GROUP"
The "GROUP" multiplication option takes tw o arguments, g_{s} and g_{r}. It implements multiplication in the same manner
as "SHIFT," except it uses a table of size 2^{gs} to perform g^{s} shifts at a time, and a table of size 2^{gr} to perform g^{r}
reductions at at time. The program gf_methods only prints the options 4 4 and 4 8 as arguments for "GROUP."
However, other values of g_{s} and g_{r} are legal and sometimes desirable:

For w ≤ 32 and w = 64, any values of g_{s} and g_{r} may be used, so long as they are less than or equal to w and so
long as the tables fit into memory. There are four exceptions to this, listed below .
 For w = 4, "GROUP" is not supported.
 For w = 8, "GROUP" is not supported.
 For w = 16, "GROUP" is only supported for gs = gr = 4.
 For w = 128 "GROUP" only supports g_{s} = 4 and g_{r } ∈ {4, 8, 16}.
The way that gs and gr impact performance is as follows. The "SHIFT" implementation works by performing a
carryfree multiplication in w steps, and then performing reduction in w steps. In "GROUP," the carryfree multiplication
is reduced to w /g_{s}steps, and the reduction is reduced to w /g_{r}
. Both require tables. The table for the carryfree
multiplication must be created at the beginning of each multiply() or multiply_region(), while the table for reduction
is created when the gf_t is initialized. For that reason, it makes sense for g_{r} to be bigger than g_{s.}
To give a flavor for the impact of these arguments, Figure 3 show s the performance of varying g_{s} and g_{r} for
single multiplication and region multiplication respectively, in GF(2^{32}) and GF(2^{64}). As the graphs demonstrate,
multiply() performs better w ith smaller values of gs, w hile multiply region() amortizes the creation of the shifting
table, and can tolerate larger values of g_{s.} w hen g_{s} equals g_{r,} there are some optimizations that we handencode.
These can be seen clearly in the multiply_region() graphs.
7 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 30
Figure 3: The performance of multiply() and multiply_region() using "GROUP," and varying the arguments
g_{s}
and g_{r.} All graphs are heat maps with black equaling zero. The region size is 100KB.
7.6 Considerations with "COMPOSITE"
As mentioned above, using "ALTMAP" with "COMPOSITE" allows multiply_region() to recursively call multiply_
region(), rather than simply calling multiply() on every word in the region. The difference can be pronounced:
gf time 32 G 0 10240 10240 m COMPOSITE 2  
Speed = 322 MB/s 
gf time 32 G 0 10240 10240 m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP 
Speed = 3,368 MB/s 
gf time 32 G 0 10240 10240 m COMPOSITE 2 m SPLIT 16 4 r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP 
Speed = 3,925 MB/s 
There is support for performing multiply() inline for the "TABLE" implementations for w ∈ {4, 8} and for the
"LOG" implementation for w = 16 (see section 7.1). These are leveraged by multiply() in "COMPOSITE," and
by multiply_region() if you are not using "ALTMAP." To demonstrate this, in the table below, you can see that the
performance of multiply() with "SPLIT 8 4" is 88 percent as fast than the default in w = 8 (which is "TABLE").
When you use each as a base field for "COMPOSITE" with w = 16, the one with "SPLIT 8 4" is now just 37 percent
as fast. The difference is the inlining of multiplication in the base field when "TABLE" is employed:
gf time 8 M 0 1048576 100  Speed = 501 Megaops/s 
gf time 8 M 0 1048576 100 m SPLIT 8 4  Speed = 439 Megaops/s 
gf time 8 M 0 1048576 100 m COMPOSITE 2   Speed = 207 Megaops/s 
gf time 8 M 0 1048576 100 m COMPOSITE 2 m SPLIT 8 4   Speed = 77 Megaops/s 
You can keep making recursive definitions of composites field if you want. For example, this one's not too slow for
region operations (641 MB/s):
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 31
gf time 128 G 0 1048576 100 m COMPOSITE 2 m COMPOSITE 2 m COMPOSITE 2
m SPLIT 16 4 r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP 
Please see section 7.8.1 for a discussion of polynomials in composite fields.
7.7 "CARRY FREE" and the Primitive Polynomial
If your machine supports the PCLMUL instruction, then we leverage that in "CARRY FREE." This implementation
first performs a carry free multiplication of two wbit numbers, which yields a 2wbit number. It does this with
one PCLMUL instruction. To reduce the 2wbit number back to a wbit number requires some manipulation of the
polynomial. As it turns out, if the polynomial has a lot of contiguous zeroes following its leftmost one, the number of
reduction steps may be minimized. For example, with w = 32, we employ the polynomial 0x100400007, because that
is what other libraries employ. This only has 9 contiguous zeros following the one, which means that the reduction
takes four steps. If we instead use 0x1000000c5, which has 24 contiguous zeros, the reduction takes just two steps.
You can see the difference in performance:
gf time 32 M 0 1048576 100 m CARRY FREE   Speed = 48 Megaops/s 
gf time 32 M 0 1048576 100 m CARRY FREE p 0xc5   Speed = 81 Megaops/s 
This is relevant for w = 16 and w = 32, where the "standard" polynomials are suboptimal with respect to
"CARRY FREE." For w = 16, the polynomial 0x1002d has the desired property. It’s less important, of course,
with w = 16, because "LOG" is so much faster than CARRY FREE.
7.8 More on Primitive Polynomials
7.8.1 Primitive Polynomials that are not Primitive
The library is willing to work with most polynomials, even if they are not primitive or irreducible. For example, the
polynomial x^{4} + x^{3} +x^{2} +x+1 is irreducible, and therefore generates a valid Galois Field for GF(2^{4}). However, it
is not primitive, because 2^{5} = 1. For that reason, if you use this polynomial, you cannot use the "LOG" method. The
other methods will work fine:
UNIX> gf_mult 2 2 4 p 0xf 
4
UNIX> gf_mult 4 2 4 p 0xf 
8
UNIX> gf_mult 8 2 4 p 0xf 
15
UNIX> gf_mult 15 2 4 p 0xf 
1
UNIX> gf_div 1 15 4 p 0xf 
2
UNIX> gf_div 1 15 4 p 0xf m LOG 
usage: gf_div a b w [method]  does division of a and b in GF(2ˆw)
Bad Method Specification: Cannot use Log tables because the polynomial is not primitive.
UNIX>
If a polynomial is reducible, then it does not define a Galois Field, but instead a ring. GFComplete attempts to
work here where it can; however certain parts of the library will not work:
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 32

Division is a best effort service. The problemis that often quotients are not unique. If divide() returns a nonzero
number, then that number will be a valid quotient, but it may be one of many. If the multiplication technique is
"TABLE," then if a quotient exists, one is returned. Otherwise, zero is returned. Here are some examples  the
polynomial x^{4} + 1 is reducible, and therefore produces a ring. Below, we see that with this polynomal, 1*6 = 6
and 14*6 = 6. Therefore, 6/6 has two valid quotients: 1 and 14. GFComplete returns 14 as the quotient:
UNIX> gf_mult 1 6 4 p 0x1 
6
UNIX> gf_mult 14 6 4 p 0x1 
6
UNIX> gf_div 6 6 4 p 0x1 
14
UNIX>
 When "EUCLID" is employed for division, it uses the extended Euclidean algorithm for GCD to find a number's
inverse, and then it multiplies by the inverse. The problem is that not all numbers in a ring have inverses. For
example, in the above ring, there is no number a such that 6a = 1. Thus, 6 has no inverse. This means that even
though 6/6 has quotients in this ring, "EUCLID" will fail on it because it is unable to find the inverse of 6. It will
return 0:
UNIX> gf_div 6 6 4 p 0x1 m TABLE d EUCLID 
0
UNIX>
 Inverses only work if a number has an inverse. Inverses may not be unique.
 "LOG" will not work. In cases where the default would be "LOG," "SHIFT" is used instead.
Due to problems with division, gf_unit may fail on a reducible polynomial. If you are determined to use such a
polynomial, don't let this error discourage you.
7.8.2 Default Polynomials for Composite Fields
GFComplete will successfully select a default polynomial in the following composite fields:
 w = 8 and the default polynomial (0x13) is employed for GF(2^{4})
 w = 16 and the default polynomial (0x11d) is employed for GF(2^{8})
 w = 32 and the default polynomial (0x1100b) is employed for GF(2^{16})
 w = 32 and 0x1002d is employed for GF(2^{16})
 w = 32 and the base field for GF(w16) is a composite field that uses a default polynomial
 w = 64 and the default polynomial (0x100400007) is employed for GF(2^{32})
 w = 64 and 0x1000000c5 is employed for GF(2^{32})
 w = 64 and the base field for GF(w^{32}) is a composite field that uses a default polynomial
 w = 128 and the default polynomial (0x1b) is employed for GF(2^{64})
 w = 128 and the base field for GF(w^{64 }) is a composite field that uses a default polynomial
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 33
7.8.3 The Program gf poly for Verifying Irreducibility of Polynomials
The program gf_poly uses the BenOr algorithm[GP97] to determine whether a polynomial with coefficients in GF(2^{w })
is reducible. Its syntax is:
gf_poly w method power:coef power:coef ...
You can use it to test for irreducible polynomials with binary coefficients by specifying w = 1. For example, from
the discussion above, we know that x^{4} +x+1 and x^{4} +x^{3} +x^{2} +x+1 are both irreducible, but x^{4} +1 is reducible.
gf_poly confirms:
UNIX> gf_poly 1  4:1 1:1 0:1
Poly: xˆ4 + x + 1
Irreducible.
UNIX> gf_poly 1  4:1 3:1 2:1 1:1 0:1
Poly: xˆ4 + xˆ3 + xˆ2 + x + 1
Irreducible.
UNIX> gf_poly 1  4:1 0:1 r
Poly: xˆ4 + 1
Reducible.
UNIX>
For composite fields GF((2^{l})^{2}), we are looking for a value s such that x^{2} + sx + 1 is irreducible. That value
depends on the base field. For example, for the default field GF(2^{32}), a value of s = 2 makes the polynomial
irreducible. However, if the polynomial 0xc5 is used (so that PCLMUL is fast  see section 7.7), then s = 2 yields a
reducible polynomial, but s = 3 yields an irreducible one. You can use gf_poly to help verify these things, and to help
define s if you need to stray from the defaults:
UNIX> gf_poly 32  2:1 1:2 0:1
Poly: xˆ2 + (0x2)x + 1
Irreducible.
UNIX> gf_poly 32 p 0xc5  2:1 1:2 0:1
Poly: xˆ2 + (0x2)x + 1
Reducible.
UNIX> gf_poly 32 p 0xc5  2:1 1:3 0:1
Poly: xˆ2 + (0x3)x + 1
Irreducible.
UNIX>
gf_unit does random sampling to test for problems. In particular, it chooses a random a and a random b, multiplies
them, and then tests the result by dividing it by a and b. When w is large, this sampling does not come close to
providing complete coverage to check for problems. In particular, if the polynomial is reducible, there is a good
chance that gf_unit won't discover any problems. For example, the following gf_unit call does not flag any problems,
even though the polynomial is reducible.
UNIX> gf_unit 64 A 0 m COMPOSITE 2 p 0xc5  p 2 
UNIX>
How can we demonstrate that this particular field has a problem? Well, when the polynomial is 0xc5, we can factor
x^{2} + 2x + 1 as (x + 0x7f6f95f9)(x + 0x7f6f95fb). Thus, in the composite field, when we multiply 0x17f6f95f9 by
0x17f6f95fb, we get zero. That's the problem:
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 34
UNIX> gf_mult 7f6f95f9 7f6f95fb 32h p 0xc5 
1
UNIX> gf_mult 17f6f95f9 17f6f95fb 64h m COMPOSITE 2 p 0xc5  p 2 
0
UNIX>
7.9 "ALTMAP" considerations and extract_word()
There are two times when you may employ alternate memory mappings:
 When using "SPLIT" and w_{b} = 4.
 When using "COMPOSITE."
Additionally, by default, the "CAUCHY" region option also employs an alternate memory mapping.
When you use alternate memory mappings, the exact mapping of words in GF(2^{w }) to memory depends on the
situation, the size of the region, and the alignment of the pointers. To help you figure things out, we have included the
procedures extract_word.wxx() as part of the gf_t struct. This procedure takes four parameters:
 A pointer to the gf_t.
 The beginning of the memory region.
 The number of bytes in the memory region.
 The desired word number: n.
It then returns the nth word in memory. When the standard mapping is employed, this simply returns the n
th contiguous word in memory. With alternate mappings, each word may be split over several memory regions, so
extract_word() grabs the relevant parts of each memory region to extract the word. Below, we go over each of the
above situations in detail. Please refer to Figure 2 in Section 5 for reference.
7.9.1 Alternate mappings with "SPLIT"
The alternate mapping with "SPLIT" is employed so that we can best leverage mm_shuffle_epi8(). Please read [PGM13b]
for details as to why. Consider an example when w = 16. In the main region of memory (the middle region in Figure
2), multiplication proceeds in units of 32 bytes, which are each broken into two 16byte regions. The first region
holds the high bytes of each word in GF(2^{16}), and the second region holds the low bytes.
Let's look at a very detailed example, from gf_example_5.c. This program makes the following call, where gf has
been initialized for w = 16, using "SPLIT" and "ALTMAP:"
gf.multiply_region.w32(&gf, a, b, 0x1234, 30*2, 0);
In other words, it is multiplying a region a of 60 bytes (30 words) by the constant 0x1234 in GF(2^{16}), and placing
the result into b. The pointers a and b have been set up so that they are not multiples of 16. The first line of output
prints a and b:
a: 0x10010008c b: 0x10010015c
As described in Section 5, the regions of memory are split into three parts:
6 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 35
 4 bytes starting at 0x1001008c / 0x10010015c.
 32 bytes starting at 0x10010090 / 0x100100160.
 24 bytes starting at 0x100100b0 / 0x100100180.
In the first and third parts, the bytes are laid out according to the standard mapping. However, the second part is
split into two 16byte regions one that holds the high bytes of each word and one that holds the low bytes. To help
illustrate, the remainder of the output prints the 30 words of a and b as they appear in memory, and then the 30 return
values of extract_word.w32():
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 
a:  640b  07e5  2fba  ce5d  f1f9  3ab8  c518  1d97  45a7 
0160 
b:  1ba3  644e  84f8  be3c  4318  4905  b2fb  46eb  ef01 
a503 
10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19 
a:  3759  b107  9660  3fde  b3ea  8a53  75ff  46dc  c504 
72c2 
b:  da27  e166  a0d2  b3a2  1699  3a3e  47fb  39af  1314 
8e76 
20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29 
a:  b469  1b97  e91d  1dbc  131e  47e0  c11a  7f07  76e0 
fe86 
b:  937c  a5db  01b7  7f5f  8974  05e1  cff3  a09c  de3c 
4ac0 
Word  0:  0x640b  *  0x1234  =  0x1ba3 Word 15:  0x4575  *  0x1234  =  0xef47 
Word  1:  0x07e5  *  0x1234  =  0x644e Word 16:  0x60dc  *  0x1234  =  0x03af 
Word  2:  0xba59  *  0x1234  =  0xf827 Word 17:  0x0146  *  0x1234  =  0xa539 
Word  3:  0x2f37  *  0x1234  =  0x84da Word 18:  0xc504  *  0x1234  =  0x1314 
Word  4:  0x5d07  *  0x1234  =  0x3c66 Word 19:  0x72c2  *  0x1234  =  0x8e76 
Word  5:  0xceb1  *  0x1234  =  0xbee1 Word 20:  0xb469  *  0x1234  =  0x937c 
Word  6:  0xf960  *  0x1234  =  0x18d2 Word 21:  0x1b97  *  0x1234  =  0xa5db 
Word  7:  0xf196  *  0x1234  =  0x43a0 Word 22:  0xe91d  *  0x1234  =  0x01b7 
Word  8:  0xb8de  *  0x1234  =  0x05a2 Word 23:  0x1dbc  *  0x1234  =  0x7f5f 
Word  9:  0x3a3f  *  0x1234  =  0x49b3 Word 24:  0x131e  *  0x1234  =  0x8974 
Word  10:  0x18ea  *  0x1234  =  0xfb99 Word 25:  0x47e0  *  0x1234  =  0x05e1 
Word  11:  0xc5b3  *  0x1234  =  0xb216 Word 26:  0xc11a  *  0x1234  =  0xcff3 
Word  12:  0x9753  *  0x1234  =  0xeb3e Word 27:  0x7f07  *  0x1234  =  0xa09c 
Word  13:  0x1d8a  *  0x1234  =  0x463a Word 28:  0x76e0  *  0x1234  =  0xde3c 
Word  14:  0xa7ff  *  0x1234  =  0x01fb Word 29:  0xfe86  *  0x1234  =  0x4ac0 
In the first region are words 0 and 1, which are identical to how they appear in memory: 0x640b and 0x07e5. In
the second region are words 2 through 17. These words are split among the two sixteenbyte regions. For example,
word 2, which extract_word() reports is 0xba59, is constructed from the low byte in word 2 (0xba) and the low byte
in word 10 (0x59). Since 0xba59 * 0x1234 = 0xf827, we see that the low byte in word 2 of b is 0xf8, and the low byte
in word 10 is 0x27.
When we reach word 22, we are in the third region of memory, and words are once again identical to how they
appear in memory.
While this is confusing, we stress that that so long as you call multiply_region() with pointers of the same alignment
and regions of the same size, your results with ALTMAP will be consistent. If you call it with pointers of
7 FURTHER INFORMATION ON OPTIONS AND ALGORITHMS 36
different alignments, or with different region sizes, then the results will not be consistent. To reiterate, if you don't use
ALTMAP, you don't have to worry about any of this  words will always be laid out contiguously in memory.
When w = 32, the middle region is a multiple of 64, and each word in the middle region is broken into bytes, each
of which is in a different 16byte region. When w = 64, the middle region is a multiple of 128, and each word is
stored in eight 16byte regions. And finally, whenw = 128, the middle region is a multiple of 128, and each word is
stored in 16 16byte regions.
7.9.2 Alternate mappings with "COMPOSITE"
With "COMPOSITE," the alternate mapping divides the middle region in half. The lower half of each word is stored
in the first half of the middle region, and the higher half is stored in the second half. To illustrate, gf example 6
performs the same example as gf example 5, except it is using "COMPOSITE" in GF((2^{16})^{2}), and it is multiplying
a region of 120 bytes rather than 60. As before, the pointers are not aligned on 16bit quantities, so the region is broken
into three regions of 4 bytes, 96 bytes, and 20 bytes. In the first and third region, each consecutive four byte word is a
word in GF(2^{32}). For example, word 0 is 0x562c640b, and word 25 is 0x46bc47e0. In the middle region, the low two
bytes of each word come from the first half, and the high two bytes come from the second half. For example, word 1
as reported by extract_word() is composed of the lower two bytes of word 1 of memory (0x07e5), and the lower two
bytes of word 13 (0x3fde). The product of 0x3fde07e5 and 0x12345678 is 0x211c880d, which is stored in the lower
two bytes of words 1 and 13 of b.
a: 0x10010011c b: 0x1001001ec
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 
a:  562c640b  959407e5  56592fba  cbadce5d  1d1cf1f9  35d73ab8  6493c518  b37c1d97 
8e4545a7 
c0d80160 
b:  f589f36c  f146880d  74f7b349  7ea7c5c6  34827c1a  93cc3746  bfd9288b 
763941d1 
bcd33a5d 
da695e64 
10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19 
a:  965b3759  cb3eb107  1b129660  95a33fde  95a7b3ea  d16c8a53  153375ff 
f74646dc  35aac504 
98f972c2 
b:  fd70f125  3274fa8f  d9dd34ee  c01a211c  d4402403  8b55c08b  da45f0ad 
90992e18  b65e0902 
d91069b5 
20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29 
a:  5509b469  7f8a1b97  3472e91d  9ee71dbc  de4e131e  46bc47e0  5bc9c11a 
931d7f07  c85cfe86 
fe86 
b:  fc92b8f5  edd59668  b4bc0d90  a679e4ce  1a98f7d0  6038765f  b2ff333f  e7937e49 
fa5a5867 
79c00ea2 
Word  0:  0x562c640b  *  0x12345678  =  0xf589f36c Word 15:  0xb46945a7  *  0x12345678  =  0xb8f53a5d 
Word  1:  0x3fde07e5  *  0x12345678  =  0x211c880d Word 16:  0x55098e45  *  0x12345678  =  0xfc92bcd3 
Word  2:  0x95a39594  *  0x12345678  =  0xc01af146 Word 17:  0x1b970160  *  0x12345678  =  0x96685e64 
Word  3:  0xb3ea2fba  *  0x12345678  =  0x2403b349 Word 18:  0x7f8ac0d8  *  0x12345678  =  0xedd5da69 
Word  4:  0x95a75659  *  0x12345678  =  0xd44074f7 Word 19:  0xe91d3759  *  0x12345678  =  0x0d90f125 
Word  5:  0x8a53ce5d  *  0x12345678  =  0xc08bc5c6 Word 20:  0x3472965b  *  0x12345678  =  0xb4bcfd70 
Word  6:  0xd16ccbad  *  0x12345678  =  0x8b557ea7 Word 21:  0x1dbcb107  *  0x12345678  =  0xe4cefa8f 
Word  7:  0x75fff1f9  *  0x12345678  =  0xf0ad7c1a Word 22:  0x9ee7cb3e  *  0x12345678  =  0xa6793274 
Word  8:  0x15331d1c  *  0x12345678  =  0xda453482 Word 23:  0x131e9660  *  0x12345678  =  0xf7d034ee 
Word  9:  0x46dc3ab8  *  0x12345678  =  0x2e183746 Word 24:  0xde4e1b12  *  0x12345678  =  0x1a98d9dd 
Word  10:  0xf74635d7  *  0x12345678  =  0x909993cc Word 25:  0x46bc47e0  *  0x12345678  =  0x6038765f 
Word  11:  0xc504c518  *  0x12345678  =  0x0902288b Word 26:  0x5bc9c11a  *  0x12345678  =  0xb2ff333f 
Word  12:  0x35aa6493  *  0x12345678  =  0xb65ebfd9 Word 27:  0x931d7f07  *  0x12345678  =  0xe7937e49 
8 THREAD SAFETY 37
Word 13:  0x72c21d97  *  0x12345678  =  0x69b541d1  Word 28: 
0xd40676e0  *  0x12345678  =  0xfa5a5867 
Word 14:  0x98f9b37c  *  0x12345678  =  0xd9107639  Word 29: 
0xc85cfe86  *  0x12345678  =  0x79c00ea2 
As with "SPLIT," using multiply_region() with "COMPOSITE" and "ALTMAP" will be consistent only if the
alignment of pointers and region sizes are identical.
7.9.3 The mapping of "CAUCHY"
With "CAUCHY," the region is partitioned into w subregions, and each word in the region is broken into w bits,
each of which is stored in a different subregion. To illustrate, gf_example_7 multiplies a region of three bytes by 5
in GF(2^{3}) using "CAUCHY:"
UNIX> gf_example_7
a: 0x100100190 b: 0x1001001a0
a: 0x0b 0xe5 0xba
b: 0xee 0xba 0x0b
a bits: 00001011 11100101 10111010
b bits: 11101110 10111010 00001011
Word 0: 3 * 5 = 4
Word 1: 5 * 5 = 7
Word 2: 2 * 5 = 1
Word 3: 5 * 5 = 7
Word 4: 4 * 5 = 2
Word 5: 6 * 5 = 3
Word 6: 2 * 5 = 1
Word 7: 6 * 5 = 3
UNIX>
The program prints the three bytes of a and b in hexadecimal and in binary. To see how words are broken up,
consider word 0, which is the lowest bit of each of the three bytes of a (and b). These are the bits 1, 1 and 0 in a, and
0, 0, and 1 in b. Accordingly, the word is 3 in a, and 3*5 = 4 in b. Similarly, word 7 is the high bit in each byte: 0, 1, 1
(6) in a, and 1, 1, 0 (3) in b.
With "CAUCHY," multiply_region()may be implemented exclusively with XOR operations. Please see [BKK^{+}95]
for more information on the motivation behind "CAUCHY."
8 Thread Safety
Once you initialize a gf_t, you may use it wontonly in multiple threads for all operations except for the ones below.
With the implementations listed below, the scratch space in the gf_t is used for temporary tables, and therefore you
cannot call region_multiply, and in some cases multiply from multiple threads because they will overwrite each
others' tables. In these cases, if you want to call the procedures from multiple threads, you should allocate a separate
gf_t for each thread:

All "GROUP" implementations are not thread safe for either region_multiply() or multiply(). Other than
"GROUP," multiply() is always threadsafe.
9 LISTING OF PROCEDURES 38

For w = 4, region_multiply.w32() is unsafe in in "m TABLE r QUAD r LAZY."
 For w = 8, region_multiply.w32() is unsafe in in "m TABLE r DOUBLE r LAZY."
 For w = 16, region_multiply.w32() is unsafe in in "m TABLE."
 For w ∈ {32, 64, 128}, all "SPLIT" implementations are unsafe for region_multiply(). This means that if the
default uses "SPLIT" (see Table 1 for when that occurs), then region_multiply() is not thread safe.
 The "COMPOSITE" operations are only safe if the implementations of the underlying fields are safe.
9 Listing of Procedures
The following is an alphabetical listing of the procedures, data types and global variables for users to employ in
GFcomplete.
 GF_W16_INLINE_DIV() in gf_complete.h: This is a macro for inline division when w = 16. See section 7.1.
 GF_W16_INLINE_MULT() in gf_complete.h: This is a macro for inline multiplication when w = 16. See
section 7.1.
 GF_W4_INLINE_MULTDIV() in gf_complete.h: This is a macro for inline multiplication/division when w =
4. See section 7.1.
 GF_W8_INLINE_MULTDIV() in gf_complete.h: This is a macro for inline multiplication/division when w =
8. See section 7.1.
 MOA_Fill_Random_Region() in gf_rand.h: Fills a region with random numbers.
 MOA_Random_128() in gf_rand.h: Creates a random 128bit number.
 MOA_Random_32() in gf_rand.h: Creates a random 32bit number.
 MOA_Random_64() in gf_rand.h: Creates a random 64bit number.
 MOA_Random_W() in gf_rand.h: Creates a random wbit number, where w ≤ 32.
 MOA_Seed() in gf_rand.h: Sets the seed for the random number generator.
 gf_errno in gf_complete.h: This is to help figure out why an initialization call failed. See section 6.1.
 gf_create_gf_from_argv() in gf method.h: Creates a gf t using C style argc/argv. See section 6.1.1.
 gf_division_type_t in gf_complete.h: the different ways to specify division when using gf_init_hard(). See
section 6.4.
 gf_error() in gf_complete.h: This prints out why an initialization call failed. See section 6.1.
 gf_extract in gf_complete.h: This is the data type of extract_word() in a gf t. See section 7.9 for an example
of how to use extract word().
9 LISTING OF PROCEDURES 39

gf_free() in gf_complete.h: If gf_init easy(), gf_init hard() or create_gf_from_argv() allocated memory, this
frees it. See section 6.4.
 gf_func_a_b in gf_complete.h: This is the data type of multiply() and divide() in a gf_t. See section 4.2 for
examples of how to use multiply() and divide()
 gf_func_a_b in gf_complete.h: This is the data type of multiply() and divide() in a gf_t. See section 4.2 for
examples of how to use multiply() and divide()
 gf_func_a in gf_complete.h: This is the data type of inverse() in a gf_t
 gf_general_add() in gf_general.h: This adds two gf_general_t's
 gf_general_divide() in gf_general.h: This divides two gf_general t's
 gf_general_do_region_check() in gf_general.h: This checks a region multiply of gf_general_t's
 gf_general_do_region_multiply() in gf_general.h: This does a region multiply of gf_general_t's
 gf_general_do_single_timing_test() in gf_general.h: Used in gf_time.c
 gf_general_inverse() in gf_general.h: This takes the inverse of a gf_general_t
 gf_general_is_one() in gf_general.h: This tests whether a gf_general_t is one
 gf_general_is_two() in gf_general.h: This tests whether a gf_general_t is two
 gf_general_is_zero() in gf_general.h: This tests whether a gf_general_t is zero
 gf_general_multiply() in gf_general.h: This multiplies two gf_general_t's. See the implementation of gf_mult.c
for an example
 gf_general_s_to_val() in gf_general.h: This converts a string to a gf_general t. See the implementation of
gf_mult.c for an example
 gf_general_set_one() in gf_general.h: This sets a gf_general_t to one
 gf_general_set_random() in gf_general.h: This sets a gf_general_t to a random number
 gf_general_set_two() in gf_general.h: This sets a gf_general_t to two
 gf_general_set_up_single_timing_test() in gf_general.h: Used in gf_time.c
 gf_general_set_zero() in gf_general.h: This sets a gf_general_t_to_zero
 gf_general_t_in .gf_general.h: This is a general data type for all values of w. See the implementation of gf_mult.c
for examples of using these
 gf_general_val_to_s() ingf_general.h: This converts a gf_general_t to a string. See the implementation of
gf_mult.c for an example
 gf_init_easy() in gf_complete.h: This is how you initialize a default gf_t. See 4.2 through 4.5 for examples of
calling gf_init_easy()
9 LISTING OF PROCEDURES 40
 gf_init hard() in gf_complete.h: This allows you to initialize a gf_t without using the defaults. See 6.4. We
recommend calling create gf_from argv() when you can, instead of gf_ init_hard()
 gf_ mult_type_t in gf_complete.h: the different ways to specify multiplication when using gf_init hard(). See
section 6.4
 gf_region_type_t in gf_complete.h: the different ways to specify region multiplication when using gf_init_hard().
See section 6.4
 gf_region_in gf_complete.h: This is the data type of multiply_region() in a gf_t. See section 4.3 for an example
of how to use multiply_region()
 gf_scratch_size() in gf_complete.h: This is how you calculate how much memory a gf_t needs. See section 6.4.
 gf_size() in gf_complete.h: Returns the memory consumption of a gf_t. See section 6.5.
 gf_ val_128_t in gf_complete.h: This is how you store a value where w ≤ 128. It is a pointer to two 64bit
unsigned integers. See section 4.4
 gf_val_32_t in gf_ complete.h: This is how you store a value where w ≤ 32. It is equivalent to a 32bit unsigned
integer. See section 4.2
 gf_ val_64_t in gf_complete.h: This is how you store a value where w ≤ 64. It is equivalent to a 64bit unsigned
integer. See section 4.5
 gf_w16_get_div_alog_table() in gf_ complete.h: This returns a pointer to an inverse logarithm table that can be
used for inlining division when w = 16. See section 7.1
 gf_w16_get_log_table() in gf_complete.h: This returns a pointer to a logarithm table that can be used for inlining
when w = 16. See section 7.1
 gf_w16_get_mult_alog_table() in gf_complete.h: This returns a pointer to an inverse logarithm table that can be
used for inlining multiplication when w = 16. See section 7.1
 gf_ w4 get div table() in gf_complete.h: This returns a pointer to a division table that can be used for inlining
when w = 4. See section 7.1
 gf_w4_get_mult_table() in gf_complete.h: This returns a pointer to a multiplication table that can be used for
inlining when w = 4. See section 7.1
 gf_w8_get_div_table() in gf_complete.h: This returns a pointer to a division table that can be used for inlining
when w = 8. See section 7.1
 gf_w8_get_mult_table() in gf_complete.h: This returns a pointer to a multiplication table that can be used for
inlining when w = 8. See section 7.1
10 TROUBLESHOOTING 41
 SSE support. Leveraging SSE instructions requires processor support as well as compiler support. For example,
the Mac OS 10.8.4 (and possibly earlier versions) default compile environment fails to properly compile
PCLMUL instructions. This issue can be fixed by installing an alternative compiler; see Section 3 for details
 Initialization segfaults. You have to already have allocated your gf_t before you pass a pointer to it in
bgf_init_easy(), create_gf_ from_argv(), or bgf_ini_hard()
 GFComplete is slower than it should be. Perhaps your machine has SSE, but you haven't specified the SSE
compilation flags. See section 3 for how to compile using the proper flags
 Bad alignment. If you get alignment errors, see Section 5
 Mutually exclusive region types. Some combinations of region types are invalid. All valid and implemented
combinations are printed by bgf_methods.c
 Incompatible division types. Some choices of multiplication type constrain choice of divide type. For example,
"COMPOSITE" methods only allow the default division type, which divides by finding inverses (i.e.,
neither "EUCLID" nor "MATRIX" are allowed). For each multiplication method printed by gf_methods.c, the
corresponding valid division types are also printed
 Arbitrary "GROUP" arguments. The legal arguments to "GROUP" are specified in section 7.5
 Arbitrary "SPLIt" arguments. The legal arguments to "SPLIt" are specified in section 7.4
 Threading problems. For threading questions, see Section 8
 No default polynomial. If you change the polynomial in a base field using "COMPOSITE," then unless it is
a special case for which GFComplete finds a default polynomial, you'll need to specify the polynomial of the
composite field too. See 7.8.2 for the fields where GFComplete will support default polynomials
 Encoding/decoding with different fields. Certain fields are not compatible. Please see section 7.2 for an
explanation
 "ALTMAP" is confusing. We agree. Please see section 7.9 for more explanation.
 I used "ALTMAP" and it doesn't appear to be functioning correctly. With 7.9, the size of the region and
its alignment both matter in terms of how "ALTMAP" performs multiply_region(). Please see section 7.9 for
detailed explanation
 Where are the erasure codes?. This library only implements Galois Field arithmetic, which is an underlying
component for erasure coding. Jerasure will eventually be ported to this library, so that you can have fast erasure
coding
11 Timings
We don't want to get too detailed with timing, because it is quite machine specific. However, here are the timings on
an Intel Core i73770 CPU running at 3.40 GHz, with 4 × 256 KB L2 caches and an 8MB L3 cache. All timings are
obtained with gf_time or gf_inline_time, in user mode with the machine dedicated solely to running these jobs.
10 TROUBLESHOOTING 41
Figure 4: Speed of doing single multiplications for w ∈ {4, 8, 16}.
11.1 Multiply()
The performance of multiply() is displayed in Figures 4 for w ∈ {4, 8, 16} and 5 for w ∈ {32, 64, 128}. These
numbers were obtained by calling gf_time with the size and iterations both set to 10240. We plot the speed in megaops
per second.
As would be anticipated, the inlined operations (see section 7.1) outperform the others. Additionally, in all
cases with the exception of w = 32, the defaults are the fastest performing implementations. With w = 32,
"CARRY FREE" is the fastest with an alternate polynomial (see section 7.7). Because we require the defaults to
use a "standard" polynomial, we cannot use this implementation as the default.
11.2 Divide()
For the "TABLE" and "LOG" implementations, the performance of division is the same as multiplication. This means
that for w ∈ {4, 8, 16}, it is very fast indeed. For the other implementations, division is implemented with Euclid's
method, and is several factors slower than multiplication.
In Figure 6, we plot the speed of a few implementations of the larger word sizes. Compared to the "TABLE" and
"LOG" implemenations for the smaller word sizes, where the speeds are in the hundreds of megaops per second,
these are very slow. Of note is the "COMPOSITE" implementation for w = 32, which is much faster than the others
10 TROUBLESHOOTING 43
Figure 5: Speed of doing single multiplications for w ∈ {32, 64, 128}.
because it uses a special application of Euclid's method, which relies on division in GF(2^{16}), which is very fast.
11.3 Multiply_Region()
Tables 3 through 8 show the performance of the various region operations. It should be noted that for GF(2^{16 })
through GF(2^{128}), the default is not the fastest implementation of multiply_region(). The reasons for this are outlined
in section 6
For these tables, we performed 1GB worth of multiply_region() calls for all regions of size 2i bytes for 10 ≤ i ≤
30. In the table, we plot the fastest speed obtained.
We note that the performance of "CAUCHY" can be improved with techniques from [LSXP13] and [PSR12].
REFERENCES 44
Figure 6: Speed of doing single divisions for w ∈ {32, 64, 128}.
Method  Speed (MB/s) 
m TABLE (Default)   11879.909 
m TABLE r CAUCHY   9079.712 
m BYTWO b   5242.400 
m BYTWO p   4078.431 
m BYTWO b r NOSSE   3799.699 
m TABLE r QUAD   3014.315 
m TABLE r DOUBLE   2253.627 
m TABLE r NOSSE   2021.237 
m TABLE r NOSSE   1061.497 
m LOG   503.310 
m SHIFT   157.749 
m CARRY FREE   86.202 
Table 3: Speed of various calls to multiply_region() for w = 4.
References
[Anv09] H. P. Anvin. The mathematics of RAID6. http://kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/hpa/
raid6.pdf, 2009.
[BKK^{+}95] J. Blomer, M. Kalfane, M. Karpinski, R. Karp, M. Luby, and D. Zuckerman. An XORbased erasureresilient
coding scheme. Technical Report TR95048, International Computer Science Institute, August
1995.
[GMS08] K. Greenan, E. Miller, and T. J. Schwartz. Optimizing Galois Field arithmetic for diverse processor
architectures and applications. In MASCOTS 2008: 16th IEEE Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and
Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems, Baltimore, MD, September 2008.
[GP97] S. Gao and D. Panario. Tests and constructions of irreducible polynomials over finite fields. In Foundations
of Computational Mathematics, pages 346–361. Springer Verlag, 1997.
REFERENCES 45
Method  Speed (MB/s) 
m SPLIT 8 4 (Default)  13279.146 
m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP   5516.588 
m TABLE r CAUCHY   4968.721 
m BYTWO b   2656.463 
m TABLE r DOUBLE   2561.225 
m TABLE   1408.577 
m BYTWO b r NOSSE   1382.409 
m BYTWO p   1376.661 
m LOG ZERO EXT   1175.739 
m LOG ZERO   1174.694 
m LOG   997.838 
m SPLIT 8 4 r NOSSE   885.897 
m BYTWO p r NOSSE   589.520 
m COMPOSITE 2    327.039 
m SHIFT   106.115 
m CARRY FREE   104.299 
Table 4: Speed of various calls to multiply region() for w = 4.
[LBOX12] J. Luo, K. D. Bowers, A. Oprea, and L. Xu. Efficient software implementations of large finite fields
GF(2^{n}) for secure storage applications. ACM Transactions on Storage, 8(2), February 2012.
[LD00] J. Lopez and R. Dahab. Highspeed software multiplication in f_{2m}. In Annual International Conference
on Cryptology in India, 2000.
[LHy08] H. Li and Q. Huanyan. Parallelized network coding with SIMD instruction sets. In International Symposium
on Computer Science and Computational Technology, pages 364369. IEEE, December 2008.
[LSXP13] J. Luo, M. Shrestha, L. Xu, and J. S. Plank. Efficient encoding schedules for XORbased erasure codes.
IEEE Transactions on Computing,May 2013.
[Mar94] G. Marsaglia. The mother of all random generators. ftp://ftp.taygeta.com/pub/c/mother.
c, October 1994.
[PGM13a] J. S. Plank, K. M. Greenan, and E. L. Miller. A complete treatment of software implementations of
finite field arithmetic for erasure coding applications. Technical Report UTCS13717, University of
Tennessee, September 2013.
[PGM13b] J. S. Plank, K. M. Greenan, and E. L. Miller. Screaming fast Galois Field arithmetic using Intel SIMD
instructions. In FAST2013: 11th Usenix Conference on File and Storage Technologies, San Jose, February
2013.
[Pla97] J. S. Plank. A tutorial on ReedSolomon coding for faulttolerance in RAIDlike systems. Software 
Practice & Experience, 27(9):9951012, September 1997.
REFERENCES 46
Method  Speed (MB/s) 
m SPLIT 16 4 r ALTMAP   10460.834 
m SPLIT 16 4 r SSE (Default)   8473.793 
m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP   5215.073 
m LOG r CAUCHY   2428.824 
m TABLE   2319.129 
m SPLIT 16 8   2164.111 
m SPLIT 8 8   2163.993 
m SPLIT 16 4 r NOSSE   1148.810 
m LOG   1019.896 
m LOG ZERO   1016.814 
m BYTWO b   738.879 
m COMPOSITE 2    596.819 
m BYTWO p   560.972 
m GROUP 4 4   450.815 
m BYTWO b r NOSSE   332.967 
m BYTWO p r NOSSE   249.849 
m CARRY FREE   111.582 
m SHIFT   95.813 
Table 5: Speed of various calls to multiply region() for w = 4.
[PMG^{+}13] J. S. Plank, E. L. Miller, K. M. Greenan, B. A. Arnold, J. A. Burnum, A. W. Disney, and A. C. McBride.
GFComplete: A comprehensive open source library for Galois Field arithmetic. version 1.0. Technical
Report UTCS13716, University of Tennessee, September 2013.
[PSR12] J. S. Plank, C. D. Schuman, and B. D. Robison. Heuristics for optimizing matrixbased erasure codes for
faulttolerant storage systems. In DSN2012: The International Conference on Dependable Systems and
Networks, Boston, MA, June 2012. IEEE.
[Rab89] M. O. Rabin. Efficient dispersal of information for security, load balancing, and fault tolerance. Journal
of the Association for Computing Machinery, 36(2):335348, April 1989.
REFERENCES 47
Method  Speed (MB/s) 
m SPLIT 32 4 r SSE r ALTMAP 
m SPLIT 32 4 (Default)
m COMPOSITE 2 m SPLIT 16 4 r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP 
m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP 
m SPLIT 8 8
m SPLIT 32 8
m SPLIT 32 16
m SPLIT 8 8 r CAUCHY
m SPLIT 32 4 r NOSSE
m CARRY FREE p 0xc5
m COMPOSITE 2 
m BYTWO b
m BYTWO p
m GROUP 4 8
m GROUP 4 4
m CARRY FREE
m BYTWO b r NOSSE
m BYTWO p r NOSSE
m SHIFT

7185.440
5063.966
4176.440
3360.860
1345.678
1340.656
1262.676
1143.263
480.859
393.185
332.964
309.971
258.623
242.076
227.399
226.785
143.403
111.956
52.295

Table 6: Speed of various calls to multiply region() w = 4.
Method  Speed (MB/s) 
m SPLIT 64 4 r ALTMAP 
m SPLIT 64 4 r SSE (Default) 
m COMPOSITE 2 m SPLIT 32 4 r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP 
m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP 
m SPLIT 64 16 
m SPLIT 64 8 
m CARRY FREE 
m SPLIT 64 4 r NOSSE 
m GROUP 4 4 
m GROUP 4 8 
m BYTWO b 
m BYTWO p 
m SPLIT 8 8 
m BYTWO p r NOSSE 
m COMPOSITE 2  
m BYTWO b r NOSSE 
m SHIFT 

3522.798
2647.862
2461.572
1860.921
1066.490
998.461
975.290
545.479
230.137
153.947
144.052
124.538
98.892
77.912
77.522
36.391
25.282

Table 7: Speed of various calls to multiply region() for w = 4.
REFERENCES 48
Method  Speed (MB/s) 
m SPLIT 128 4 r ALTMAP
m COMPOSITE 2 m SPLIT 64 4 r ALTMAP  r ALTMAP
m COMPOSITE 2  r ALTMAP
m SPLIT 128 8 (Default)
m CARRY FREE 
m SPLIT 128 4 
m COMPOSITE 2 
m GROUP 4 8 
m GROUP 4 4 
m BYTWO p 
m BYTWO b 
m SHIFT 

1727.683
1385.693
1041.456
872.619
814.030
500.133
289.207
133.583
116.187
25.162
25.157
14.183

Table 8: Speed of various calls to multiply region() for w = 4.