KuṬṭAka

Tech

What is Kuṭṭaka?

Kuṭṭaka is an algorithm for finding integer solutions of linear Diophantine equations. A linear Diophantine equation is an equation of the form ax + by = c where x and y are unknown quantities and a, b, and c are known quantities with integer values. The algorithm was originally invented by the Indian astronomer-mathematician Āryabhaṭa (476–550 CE) and is described very briefly in his Āryabhaṭīya. Āryabhaṭa did not give the algorithm the name Kuṭṭaka, and his description of the method was mostly obscure and incomprehensible. It was Bhāskara I (c. 600 – c. 680) who gave a detailed description of the algorithm with several examples from astronomy in his Āryabhatiyabhāṣya, who gave the algorithm the name Kuṭṭaka. In Sanskrit, the word Kuṭṭaka means pulverization (reducing to powder), and it indicates the nature of the algorithm. The algorithm in essence is a process where the coefficients in a given linear Diophantine equation are broken up into smaller numbers to get a linear Diophantine equation with smaller coefficients. In general, it is easy to find integer solutions of linear Diophantine equations with small coefficients. From a solution to the reduced equation, a solution to the original equation can be determined. Many Indian mathematicians after Aryabhaṭa have discussed the Kuṭṭaka method with variations and refinements. The Kuṭṭaka method was considered to be so important that the entire subject of algebra used to be called Kuṭṭaka-ganita or simply Kuṭṭaka. Sometimes the subject of solving linear Diophantine equations is also called Kuṭṭaka. In literature, there are several other names for the Kuṭṭaka algorithm like Kuṭṭa, Kuṭṭakāra and Kuṭṭikāra. There is also a treatise devoted exclusively to a discussion of Kuṭṭaka. Such specialized treatises are very rare in the mathematical literature of ancient India. The treatise written in Sanskrit is titled Kuṭṭākāra Śirōmaṇi and is authored by one Devaraja. The Kuṭṭaka algorithm has much similarity with and can be considered as a precursor of the modern day Extended Euclidean algorithm. The latter algorithm is a procedure for finding integers x and y satisfying the condition ax + by = gcd(a, b).

Technology Types

indian mathematic

Synonyms

KutakaKuttaka ganitaKuttakaraKuttikara

Tech Info

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