A method for compressing data for storage or transmission. Given a complex polynomial and a value assigned to each root, a root generated data file (RGDF) is created, one entry at a time. Each entry is mapped to a point in a complex plane. An iterative root finding technique is used to map the coordinates of the point to the coordinates of one of the roots of the polynomial. The value associated with that root is assigned to the entry. An equational data compression (EDC) method reverses this procedure. Given a target data file, the EDC method uses a search algorithm to calculate a set of m complex numbers and a value map that will generate the target data file. The error between a simple target data file and generated data file is typically less than 10%. Data files can be transmitted or stored without loss by transmitting the m complex numbers, their associated values, and an error file whose size is at most one-tenth of the size of the input data file.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.