Radix economy is a way of measuring the

relative efficiency of various number systems. The economy is measured as a product of the radix (

*r*) and the width, (

*w*), where

*r*^{w} equals some

constant value, compared across different radices.

Why is this a useful measure? The economy measures how much space is required to store given values. For instance, taking the number one thousand, in various radices:

- width 1000, economy 1000 (obviously not useful)
- width 9.97, economy 19.9
- width 6.29, economy 18.9 (The lowest)
- width 4.98, economy 19.9
- width 4.29, economy 21.5
- width 3.86, economy 23.1
- width 3.55, economy 24.8
- width 3.32, economy 26.6
- width 3.14, economy 28.3
- width 3.00, economy 30.0

Taking radices as a

continuous spectrum, the most efficient base is

*e*, but it's hard to

build computers using base-e logic. Which is the whole point of radix economy - building hardware. Unfortunately,

Moore's Law has put

binary computers so far ahead in

optimization that the 5% increase in

efficiency of base 3 is not worth discarding

decades of advances in base 2 efficiency.