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ST7-1.57.30.1 Pivot Ratios and Ill Conditioning
Digital computers work with a finite number of significant figures, which makes them prone to rounding errors when numbers of significantly different magnitudes are combined; this can lead to a loss of precision. Pivots are named for their participation in the reduction of the global stiffness matrix. The pivot ratio compares the maximum and minimum pivot values in the matrix during the factorisation stage, and is an indicator of a solutions numerical stability. This is also known as stiffness matrix conditioning.
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