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Jacob Roman

Difference Between Euler and Forward (Explicit) Euler

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When someone talks about "Euler integration" they are speaking ambiguously but are probably talking about forward Euler.

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There's no such thing as "regular Euler" if you're trying to be precise. Those are a set of equations which do forward Euler integration. More generally, forward Euler integration is y(t+h) = y(t) + y'(t)*h.

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Those are a set of equations which do forward Euler integration. More generally, forward Euler integration is y(t+h) = y(t) + y'(t)*h.

And I'd suggest you stayed away from them, because they are only sufficiently accurate for constant y'(t) [grin]

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"sufficiently accurate" is a rather vague term. The error term for forward Euler integration is O(h^2), which is worse than many other integrators but perfectly okay for many situations in which simulation speed is more important than accuracy. Forward Euler integration does get used quite a lot in the industry, due to its simplicity and speed.

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Well, in fact it is 100% accurate with linear functions (y'(t)=const.), but if I had written instead:
"And I'd suggest you stayed away from them, because they are only 100% accurate for constant y'(t)",
it would imply that all/some other numerical integration methods *are* 100% accurate (which -of course- is false), wouldn't it?

Btw, I've been keeping an eye on this thread, since I have no clue of the answer to the question of the OP... What's the difference anyway?

Does it have to do with being/and not being able to "go back" to time, if needed? e.g. to resolve a collision?

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Original post by someusername
And I'd suggest you stayed away from them, because they are only sufficiently accurate for constant y'(t) [grin]


I know it's inaccurate, but my physics engine is gonna allow the user to select from a number of different integration methods. I actually got a team of people together to design this engine, which we call DirectPhysics. It's gonna be an add on to DirectX. :D

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Original post by someusername
Does it have to do with being/and not being able to "go back" to time, if needed? e.g. to resolve a collision?

Not really. Forward Euler is distinguished from backward (Implicit) Euler in that it brings the derivative from the beginning of the timestep forwards over the rest of the timestep. Backward Euler is y(t+h) = y(t) + h*y'(t+h), bringing the derivative at the end of the timestep backwards over the rest of the timestep. (Note that backward Euler has no closed-form analytical solution in the general case.)

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