Computing a square root for the number field sieve
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The number field sieve is a method proposed by Lenstra, Lenstra, Manasse and Pollard for integer factorization (this volume, pp. 11–42). A heuristic analysis indicates that this method is asymptotically faster than any other existing one. It has had spectacular successes in factoring numbers of a special form. New technical difficulties arise when the method is adapted for general numbers (this volume, pp. 50–94). Among these is the need for computing the square root of a huge algebraic integer given as a product of hundreds of thousands of small ones. We present a method for computing such a square root that avoids excessively large numbers. It works only if the degree of the number field that is used is odd. The method is based on a careful use of the Chinese remainder theorem.
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