I'm looking for the fastest way to determine if a `long`

value is a perfect square (i.e. its square root is another integer). I've done it the easy way, by using the built-in Math.sqrt() function, but I'm wondering if there is a way to do it faster by restricting yourself to integer-only domain. Maintaining a lookup table is impratical (since there are about 2^{31.5} integers whose square is less than 2^{63}).

Here is the very simple and straightforward way I'm doing it now:

```
public final static boolean isPerfectSquare(long n)
{
if (n < 0)
return false;
long tst = (long)(Math.sqrt(n) + 0.5);
return tst*tst == n;
}
```

*Notes: I'm using this function in many Project Euler problems. So no one else will ever have to maintain this code. And this kind of micro-optimization could actually make a difference, since part of the challenge is to do every algorithm in less than a minute, and this function will need to be called millions of times in some problems.*

**Update 2**: A new solution posted by A. Rex has proven to be even faster. In a run over the first 1 billion integers, the solution only required 34% of the time that the original solution used. While the John Carmack hack is a little better for small values of *n*, the benefit compared to this solution is pretty small.

Here is the A. Rex solution, converted to Java:

```
private final static boolean isPerfectSquare(long n)
{
// Quickfail
if( n < 0 || ((n&2) != 0) || ((n & 7) == 5) || ((n & 11) == 8) )
return false;
if( n == 0 )
return true;
// Check mod 255 = 3 * 5 * 17, for fun
long y = n;
y = (y & 0xffffffffL) + (y >> 32);
y = (y & 0xffffL) + (y >> 16);
y = (y & 0xffL) + ((y >> 8) & 0xffL) + (y >> 16);
if( bad255[(int)y] )
return false;
// Divide out powers of 4 using binary search
if((n & 0xffffffffL) == 0)
n >>= 32;
if((n & 0xffffL) == 0)
n >>= 16;
if((n & 0xffL) == 0)
n >>= 8;
if((n & 0xfL) == 0)
n >>= 4;
if((n & 0x3L) == 0)
n >>= 2;
if((n & 0x7L) != 1)
return false;
// Compute sqrt using something like Hensel's lemma
long r, t, z;
r = start[(int)((n >> 3) & 0x3ffL)];
do {
z = n - r * r;
if( z == 0 )
return true;
if( z < 0 )
return false;
t = z & (-z);
r += (z & t) >> 1;
if( r > (t >> 1) )
r = t - r;
} while( t <= (1L << 33) );
return false;
}
private static boolean[] bad255 =
{
false,false,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,
true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,false,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,
true ,false,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,
true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,false,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,
false,true ,false,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,
true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,
false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,false,
true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,
true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,false,
false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,
true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,
true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,false,true ,false,true ,true ,
false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,
true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,
true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,false,true ,true ,true ,true ,true ,
true ,true ,true ,false,false
};
private static int[] start =
{
1,3,1769,5,1937,1741,7,1451,479,157,9,91,945,659,1817,11,
1983,707,1321,1211,1071,13,1479,405,415,1501,1609,741,15,339,1703,203,
129,1411,873,1669,17,1715,1145,1835,351,1251,887,1573,975,19,1127,395,
1855,1981,425,453,1105,653,327,21,287,93,713,1691,1935,301,551,587,
257,1277,23,763,1903,1075,1799,1877,223,1437,1783,859,1201,621,25,779,
1727,573,471,1979,815,1293,825,363,159,1315,183,27,241,941,601,971,
385,131,919,901,273,435,647,1493,95,29,1417,805,719,1261,1177,1163,
1599,835,1367,315,1361,1933,1977,747,31,1373,1079,1637,1679,1581,1753,1355,
513,1539,1815,1531,1647,205,505,1109,33,1379,521,1627,1457,1901,1767,1547,
1471,1853,1833,1349,559,1523,967,1131,97,35,1975,795,497,1875,1191,1739,
641,1149,1385,133,529,845,1657,725,161,1309,375,37,463,1555,615,1931,
1343,445,937,1083,1617,883,185,1515,225,1443,1225,869,1423,1235,39,1973,
769,259,489,1797,1391,1485,1287,341,289,99,1271,1701,1713,915,537,1781,
1215,963,41,581,303,243,1337,1899,353,1245,329,1563,753,595,1113,1589,
897,1667,407,635,785,1971,135,43,417,1507,1929,731,207,275,1689,1397,
1087,1725,855,1851,1873,397,1607,1813,481,163,567,101,1167,45,1831,1205,
1025,1021,1303,1029,1135,1331,1017,427,545,1181,1033,933,1969,365,1255,1013,
959,317,1751,187,47,1037,455,1429,609,1571,1463,1765,1009,685,679,821,
1153,387,1897,1403,1041,691,1927,811,673,227,137,1499,49,1005,103,629,
831,1091,1449,1477,1967,1677,697,1045,737,1117,1737,667,911,1325,473,437,
1281,1795,1001,261,879,51,775,1195,801,1635,759,165,1871,1645,1049,245,
703,1597,553,955,209,1779,1849,661,865,291,841,997,1265,1965,1625,53,
1409,893,105,1925,1297,589,377,1579,929,1053,1655,1829,305,1811,1895,139,
575,189,343,709,1711,1139,1095,277,993,1699,55,1435,655,1491,1319,331,
1537,515,791,507,623,1229,1529,1963,1057,355,1545,603,1615,1171,743,523,
447,1219,1239,1723,465,499,57,107,1121,989,951,229,1521,851,167,715,
1665,1923,1687,1157,1553,1869,1415,1749,1185,1763,649,1061,561,531,409,907,
319,1469,1961,59,1455,141,1209,491,1249,419,1847,1893,399,211,985,1099,
1793,765,1513,1275,367,1587,263,1365,1313,925,247,1371,1359,109,1561,1291,
191,61,1065,1605,721,781,1735,875,1377,1827,1353,539,1777,429,1959,1483,
1921,643,617,389,1809,947,889,981,1441,483,1143,293,817,749,1383,1675,
63,1347,169,827,1199,1421,583,1259,1505,861,457,1125,143,1069,807,1867,
2047,2045,279,2043,111,307,2041,597,1569,1891,2039,1957,1103,1389,231,2037,
65,1341,727,837,977,2035,569,1643,1633,547,439,1307,2033,1709,345,1845,
1919,637,1175,379,2031,333,903,213,1697,797,1161,475,1073,2029,921,1653,
193,67,1623,1595,943,1395,1721,2027,1761,1955,1335,357,113,1747,1497,1461,
1791,771,2025,1285,145,973,249,171,1825,611,265,1189,847,1427,2023,1269,
321,1475,1577,69,1233,755,1223,1685,1889,733,1865,2021,1807,1107,1447,1077,
1663,1917,1129,1147,1775,1613,1401,555,1953,2019,631,1243,1329,787,871,885,
449,1213,681,1733,687,115,71,1301,2017,675,969,411,369,467,295,693,
1535,509,233,517,401,1843,1543,939,2015,669,1527,421,591,147,281,501,
577,195,215,699,1489,525,1081,917,1951,2013,73,1253,1551,173,857,309,
1407,899,663,1915,1519,1203,391,1323,1887,739,1673,2011,1585,493,1433,117,
705,1603,1111,965,431,1165,1863,533,1823,605,823,1179,625,813,2009,75,
1279,1789,1559,251,657,563,761,1707,1759,1949,777,347,335,1133,1511,267,
833,1085,2007,1467,1745,1805,711,149,1695,803,1719,485,1295,1453,935,459,
1151,381,1641,1413,1263,77,1913,2005,1631,541,119,1317,1841,1773,359,651,
961,323,1193,197,175,1651,441,235,1567,1885,1481,1947,881,2003,217,843,
1023,1027,745,1019,913,717,1031,1621,1503,867,1015,1115,79,1683,793,1035,
1089,1731,297,1861,2001,1011,1593,619,1439,477,585,283,1039,1363,1369,1227,
895,1661,151,645,1007,1357,121,1237,1375,1821,1911,549,1999,1043,1945,1419,
1217,957,599,571,81,371,1351,1003,1311,931,311,1381,1137,723,1575,1611,
767,253,1047,1787,1169,1997,1273,853,1247,413,1289,1883,177,403,999,1803,
1345,451,1495,1093,1839,269,199,1387,1183,1757,1207,1051,783,83,423,1995,
639,1155,1943,123,751,1459,1671,469,1119,995,393,219,1743,237,153,1909,
1473,1859,1705,1339,337,909,953,1771,1055,349,1993,613,1393,557,729,1717,
511,1533,1257,1541,1425,819,519,85,991,1693,503,1445,433,877,1305,1525,
1601,829,809,325,1583,1549,1991,1941,927,1059,1097,1819,527,1197,1881,1333,
383,125,361,891,495,179,633,299,863,285,1399,987,1487,1517,1639,1141,
1729,579,87,1989,593,1907,839,1557,799,1629,201,155,1649,1837,1063,949,
255,1283,535,773,1681,461,1785,683,735,1123,1801,677,689,1939,487,757,
1857,1987,983,443,1327,1267,313,1173,671,221,695,1509,271,1619,89,565,
127,1405,1431,1659,239,1101,1159,1067,607,1565,905,1755,1231,1299,665,373,
1985,701,1879,1221,849,627,1465,789,543,1187,1591,923,1905,979,1241,181
};
```

**Update**: I've tried the different solutions presented below.

- After exhaustive testing, I found that adding
`0.5`

to the result of Math.sqrt() is not necessary, at least not on my machine. - The John Carmack hack was faster, but it gave incorrect results starting at n=410881. However, as suggested by BobbyShaftoe, we can use the Carmack hack for n < 410881.
- Newton's method was a good bit slower than
`Math.sqrt()`

. This is probably because`Math.sqrt()`

uses something similar to Newton's Method, but implemented in the hardware so it's much faster than in Java. Also, Newton's Method still required use of doubles. - A modified Newton's method, which used a few tricks so that only integer math was involved, required some hacks to avoid overflow (I want this function to work with all positive 64-bit signed integers), and it was still slower than
`Math.sqrt()`

. - Binary chop was even slower. This makes sense because the binary chop will on average require 16 passes to find the square root of a 64-bit number.

The one suggestion which did show improvements was made by John D. Cook. You can observe that the last hex digit (i.e. the last 4 bits) of a perfect square must be 0, 1, 4, or 9. This means that 75% of numbers can be immediately eliminated as possible squares. Implementing this solution resulted in about a 50% reduction in runtime.

Working from John's suggestion, I investigated properties of the last *n* bits of a perfect square. By analyzing the last 6 bits, I found that only 12 out of 64 values are possible for the last 6 bits. This means 81% of values can be eliminated without using any math. Implementing this solution gave an additional 8% reduction in runtime (compared to my original algorithm). Analyzing more than 6 bits results in a list of possible ending bits which is too large to be practical.

Here is the code that I have used, which runs in 42% of the time required by the original algorithm (based on a run over the first 100 million integers). For values of *n* less than 410881, it runs in only 29% of the time required by the original algorithm.

```
private final static boolean isPerfectSquare(long n)
{
if (n < 0)
return false;
switch((int)(n & 0x3F))
{
case 0x00: case 0x01: case 0x04: case 0x09: case 0x10: case 0x11:
case 0x19: case 0x21: case 0x24: case 0x29: case 0x31: case 0x39:
long sqrt;
if(n < 410881L)
{
//John Carmack hack, converted to Java.
// See: http://www.codemaestro.com/reviews/9
int i;
float x2, y;
x2 = n * 0.5F;
y = n;
i = Float.floatToRawIntBits(y);
i = 0x5f3759df - ( i >> 1 );
y = Float.intBitsToFloat(i);
y = y * ( 1.5F - ( x2 * y * y ) );
sqrt = (long)(1.0F/y);
}
else
{
//Carmack hack gives incorrect answer for n >= 410881.
sqrt = (long)Math.sqrt(n);
}
return sqrt*sqrt == n;
default:
return false;
}
}
```

**Notes**:

- According to John's tests, using
`or`

statements is faster in C++ than using a`switch`

, but in Java and C# there appears to be no difference between`or`

and`switch`

. - I also tried making a lookup table (as a private static array of 64 boolean values). Then instead of either switch or
`or`

statement, I would just say`if(lookup[(int)(n&0x3F)]) { test } else return false;`

. To my surprise, this was (just slightly) slower.~~I'm not sure why.~~This is because array bounds are checked in Java.