The Matrix Template Library 2 (MTL2) is a high-performance generic
component library that provides comprehensive linear algebra
functionality for a wide variety of matrix formats.
As with the
Standard Template Library (STL),
MTL2 uses a five-fold approach, consisting of generic
functions, containers, iterators, adaptors, and function objects, all
developed specifically for high performance numerical linear algebra.
Within this framework, MTL2 provides generic algorithms corresponding to
the mathematical operations that define linear algebra. Similarly,
the containers, adaptors, and iterators are used to represent and to
manipulate concrete linear algebra objects such as matrices and
To many scientific computing users, however, the advantages of an
elegant programming interface are secondary to issues of performance.
Generic programming is a powerful tool in this regard as well -
performance tuning can itself be described in a generic fashion.
These performance tuning abstractions are realized in a generic
low-level library - the Basic Linear Algebra Instruction Set (BLAIS).
Experimental results show that MTL2 with the BLAIS achieves performance
that is as good as, or better than, vendor-tuned libraries. Thus, MTL2
demonstrates that the proper abstractions can be used to achieve high
levels of performance, contrary to conventional wisdom. In addition,
MTL2 requires orders of magnitude fewer lines of code for its
implementation, with the concomitant savings in development and
- July 5, 2005: Distribution 2.1.2-22, which is adapted to the stricter
syntax requirements in new compilers like gcc 4.0 can be
- In parallel, Peter Gottschling
and Dave Abrahams started the
development of MTL version 4.0.
It was planned to have an alpha version already released.
"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow"
Robert De Niro said in "Wag the dog".
This is certainly true for crisis management but we doubt the same
applies for scientific software development.
This development is now continued in Germany at SimuNova UG
with support from Dresden University of Technology, see
The Matrix Template Library is:
- Generic, Orthogonal, and Comprehensive:
- MTL2 includes a large number of data formats and
algorithms, including most popular sparse and dense matrix formats and
functionality equivalent to Level 3
- Flexible and Extensible:
- The MTL2 interface is designed to allow new functionality to be easily incorporated.
- High Performance:
- With a good optimizing
compiler, such as KAI's
C++, MTL2 provides performance equal to (and in many cases better
than) vendor-tuned math libraries.
- MTL2 is extensively tested on a regular basis.
- MTL2 is written in ANSI C++ and can
be compiled and used on any target platform with an ANSI C++ compiler.
Currently, compilers known to work are KAI's C++ on various
platforms, MIPSp ro 7.3 on SGI, Visual C++ 6.0 and Metrowerks
CodeWarrior Pro 5 on NT, egcs-2.91.60 and gcc 2.95.x on various
platforms. See FAQ for more information.
This is version 2.1.2 of MTL2 and its second full release.
The development of MTL2 is terminated.