March 1, 2003
The error autocorrection effect means that in a calculation all the intermediate errors compensate each other, so the final result is much more accurate than the intermediate results. In this case standard interval estimates (in the framework of interval analysis including the so-called a posteriori interval analysis of Yu. Matijasevich) are too pessimistic. We shall discuss a very strong form of the effect which appears in rational approximations to functions. The error autocorrection effect occurs in all efficient methods of rational approximation (e.g., best approxmations, Padé approximations, multipoint Padé approximations, linear and nonlinear Padé-Chebyshev approximations, etc.), where very significant errors in the approximant coefficients do not affect the accuracy of this approximant. The reason is that the errors in the coefficients of the rational approximant are not distributed in an arbitrary way, but form a collection of coefficients for a new rational approximant to the same approximated function. The understanding of this mechanism allows to decrease the approximation error by varying the approximation procedure depending on the form of the approximant. Results of computer experiments are presented. The effect of error autocorrection indicates that variations of an approximated function under some deformations of rather a general type may have little effect on the corresponding rational approximant viewed as a function (whereas the coefficients of the approximant can have very significant changes). Accordingly, while deforming a function for which good rational approximation is possible, the corresponding approximant’s error can rapidly increase, so the property of having good rational approximation is not stable under small deformations of the approximated functions. This property is “individual”, in the sense that it holds for specific functions.