The development of the number field sieve

Volume 1554 of the series Lecture Notes in Mathematics pp 11-42


The number field sieve

  • A. K. LenstraAffiliated with
  • , H. W. LenstraJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University of California
  • , M. S. ManasseAffiliated withDEC SRC
  • , J. M. PollardAffiliated withTidmarsh Cottage

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The number field sieve is an algorithm to factor integers of the form r es for small positive r and |s|. The algorithm depends on arithmetic in an algebraic number field. We describe the algorithm, discuss several aspects of its implementation, and present some of the factorizations obtained. A heuristic run time analysis indicates that the number field sieve is asymptotically substantially faster than any other known factoring method, for the integers that it applies to. The number field sieve can be modified to handle arbitrary integers. This variant is slower, but asymptotically it is still expected to beat all older factoring methods.