Extended Euclidean Algorithm

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The greatest common divisor of two integers and can be found by the Euclidean algorithm by successive repeated application of the division algorithm. The extended Euclidean algorithm not only computes but also returns the numbers and such that . The remainder of the step in the Euclidean algorithm can be expressed in the form , where and can be determined from the corresponding quotient and the values , or two rows above them using the relations and , respectively. This forward method requires no back substitutions and reduces the amount of computation involved in finding the coefficients and of the linear combination.

Contributed by: Štefan Porubský (March 2011)
Based on a program by: Michael Trott
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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The result saying that the greatest common divisor of any two integers and can be written as their linear combination is also known as the Bachet–Bézout theorem (actually, Bézout formulated it for polynomials).

For more information, see the Wikipedia entry for Extended Euclidean algorithm.

The underlying Mathematica code is an adaptation of the code used in the Demonstration Euclidean Algorithm Steps by Michael Trott.

(The author was supported by project 1ET200300529 of the Information Society of the National Research Program of the Czech Republic and by the Institutional Research Plan AV0Z10300504; the Demonstration was submitted 2008-06-20, revised 2010-03-13.)



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