# Algorithms for polylogarithms¶

The polylogarithm is defined for \(s, z \in \mathbb{C}\) with \(|z| < 1\) by

and for \(|z| \ge 1\) by analytic continuation, except for the singular point \(z = 1\).

## Computation for small z¶

The power sum converges rapidly when \(|z| \ll 1\). To compute the series expansion with respect to \(s\), we substitute \(s \to s + x \in \mathbb{C}[[x]]\) and obtain

where

The remainder term \(\left| \sum_{k=N}^{\infty} T(k) \right|\) is bounded
via `mag_polylog_tail()`

.

## Expansion for general z¶

For general complex \(s, z\), we write the polylogarithm as a sum of two Hurwitz zeta functions

in which \(s = 1-v\). With the principal branch of \(\log(-z)\), we obtain the conventional analytic continuation of the polylogarithm with a branch cut on \(z \in (1,+\infty)\).

To compute the series expansion with respect to \(v\), we substitute \(v \to v + x \in \mathbb{C}[[x]]\) in this formula (at the end of the computation, we map \(x \to -x\) to obtain the power series for \(\operatorname{Li}_{s+x}(z)\)). The right hand side becomes

where \(E_1 = (i/(2 \pi))^{v+x}\), \(Z_1 = \zeta(v+x,\ldots)\), \(E_2 = (1/(2 \pi i))^{v+x}\), \(Z_2 = \zeta(v+x,\ldots)\).

When \(v = 1\), the \(Z_1\) and \(Z_2\) terms become Laurent series with a leading \(1/x\) term. In this case, we compute the deflated series \(\tilde Z_1, \tilde Z_2 = \zeta(x,\ldots) - 1/x\). Then

Note that \((E_1 + E_2) / x\) is a power series, since the constant term in \(E_1 + E_2\) is zero when \(v = 1\). So we simply compute one extra derivative of both \(E_1\) and \(E_2\), and shift them one step. When \(v = 0, -1, -2, \ldots\), the \(\Gamma(v+x)\) prefactor has a pole. In this case, we proceed analogously and formally multiply \(x \, \Gamma(v+x)\) with \([E_1 Z_1 + E_2 Z_2] / x\).

Note that the formal cancellation only works when the order \(s\) (or \(v\)) is an exact integer: it is not currently possible to use this method when \(s\) is a small ball containing any of \(0, 1, 2, \ldots\) (then the result becomes indeterminate).

The Hurwitz zeta method becomes inefficient when \(|z| \to 0\) (it gives an indeterminate result when \(z = 0\)). This is not a problem since we just use the defining series for the polylogarithm in that region. It also becomes inefficient when \(|z| \to \infty\), for which an asymptotic expansion would better.