34 pages, 2 figuresInternational audienceThis article concerns the computational problem of counting the lattice points inside convex polytopes, when each point must be counted with a weight associated to it. We describe an efficient algorithm for computing the highest degree coefficients of the weighted Ehrhart quasi-polynomial for a rational simple polytope in varying dimension, when the weights of the lattice points are given by a polynomial function h. Our technique is based on a refinement of an algorithm of A. Barvinok [Computing the Ehrhart quasi-polynomial of a rational simplex, Math. Comp. 75 (2006), pp. 1449--1466] in the unweighted case (i.e., h = 1). In contrast to Barvinok's method, our method is local, obtains an approximation on the level of generating functions, handles the general weighted case, and provides the coefficients in closed form as step polynomials of the dilation. To demonstrate the practicality of our approach we report on computational experiments which show even our simple implementation can compete with state of the art software
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