Mathematics and Actuarial Science, Butler University
Indianapolis, IN 46208 USA
Jonathan P. Sorenson
Let P(n) denote the largest prime divisor of n, andlet Ψ(x,y) be the number of integers n ≤ x with P(n) ≤ y. Inthispaper we present improvements to Bernstein’s algorithm, which finds rigorous upper and lower bounds for Ψ(x,y). Bernstein’s original algorithm runs in time roughly linear in y. Our first, easy improvement runs in time roughly y 2/3. Then, assuming the Riemann Hypothesis, we show how to drastically improve this. In particular, if log y is a fractional power of log x, which is true in applications to factoring and cryptography, then our new algorithm has a running time that is polynomial in log y, and gives bounds as tight as, and often tighter than, Bernstein’s algorithm.