--- Roahn Wynar <

rwynar@...> wrote:

> Sorry about the lame questions, but I am not clear on a point that should be

> obvious....

>

> My implementation of the Pollard p-1 algorithm seems to work pretty well

> except when it is given a prime number to chew on. I claim to understand the

> theory of the algorithm, but I can't quite see how it can recognize a prime

> number if it attempts to factor one....

>

> Could anyone help me understand how the Pollard p-1 factoring algorithm

> terminates if the algorithm is given a prime number to start with? My

> implementation seems to just keep on going!

It searches for factors. For an arbitrary prime it will take an excessively

long time, as the only factor is the entire number. It's just doing what it

says on the tin. If you want to detect the case where p is prime, which you do,

perform a PRP test on it first.

Phil

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