I have come across the TenSEAL tutorial on implementing homomorphic encryption (HE) and they mention the global_scale parameter.


global_scale: the scaling factor, here set to 2^40.

I am struggling to understand what it means and how to set its value in relation to the polynomial degree (poly_modulus_degree). For example, if I want to choose poly_modulus_degree=64, what should be the value of global_scale? can someone explain it to me? thank you.


1 Answer 1


The scaling factor is the precision you get when encoding real values as integers.

In the tutorial you linked:

"The first step of the CKKS scheme is encoding a vector of real numbers into a plaintext polynomial. The scaling factor defines the encoding precision for the binary representation of the number."

So if you have a real number, say, $100.9391$ with a scaling factor $f=10000$, then it would be encoded as the integer $100.9391 * 10000 = 1009391$. To decode, you divide by the scaling factor: $1009391 / 10000 = 100.9391$. This encoding/decoding is required because homomorphic encryption schemes operate over the integers (or polynomials with integer coefficients) and so we need a way to represent real numbers.


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