Concept

Factor base

Summary
In computational number theory, a factor base is a small set of prime numbers commonly used as a mathematical tool in algorithms involving extensive sieving for potential factors of a given integer. Usage in factoring algorithms A factor base is a relatively small set of distinct prime numbers P, sometimes together with -1. Say we want to factorize an integer n. We generate, in some way, a large number of integer pairs (x, y) for which x \neq \pm y, x^2 \equiv y^2 \pmod{n}, and x^2 \pmod{n} \text{ and }y^2 \pmod{n} can be completely factorized over the chosen factor base—that is, all their prime factors are in P. In practice, several integers x are found such that x^2 \pmod{n} has all of its prime factors in the pre-chosen factor base. We represent each x^2 \pmod{n} expression as a vector of a matrix with integer entries being the exponents of factors in the factor base. Linear combinations of the rows corresp
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