Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeBG
I'll keep it simple.
When factoring with ECM, you run the algorithm on the number using multiple different curves of the same "size", each of which can yield a factor (or not). It is known how many (different) curves you need at each factor size to get a certain probability to find a factor (of that size). The sigma parameter is a number, from which the parameters (like coefficients) of the curve are derived. Testing with the same number with the same sigma, b1 and b2 would yield absolutely the same result. Running 100 curves means randomly choosing 100 sigmas.
You might also notice that sigmas start with "0:" or "1:" – those are different parametizations. Basically, also just different ways to get curves.

I have wondered about the purpose of Sigma for a long time. I cannot say that I understand all of what is above. Only some of it. It appears that B1 and B2 dictate the size of the curve. In time, I can probably get the rest of it.