Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Development and technical paper
19 Sep 2016
Development and technical paper |  | 19 Sep 2016

Bit Grooming: statistically accurate precision-preserving quantization with compression, evaluated in the netCDF Operators (NCO, v4.4.8+)

Charles S. Zender

Data sets

netCDF Operators (NCO), version 4.6.1 Charles S. Zender

Short summary
We introduce Bit Grooming, a lossy compression algorithm that removes the bloat due to false precision, those bits and bytes beyond the meaningful precision of the data. Bit Grooming is statistically unbiased, applies to all floating-point numbers, and is easy to use. Bit Grooming reduces data storage requirements by 25–80 %. Unlike its best-known competitor Linear Packing, Bit Grooming imposes no software overhead on users, and guarantees its precision throughout the whole floating-point range.