Fun With Floating Point Arithmetic, Part Three

I’ve been getting lots of mail, questions and pointers to interesting articles on some of the trials and tribulations of using floating point arithmetic correctly. Please do keep it coming! Though I am certainly no expert in this area, I’m happy to take a crack at any questions you might have. To sum up the story…

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Straight from the source

One of the truly great things about working here is that Distinguished Engineers take time out of their busy schedules to answer random questions. Many thanks to Anders and Scott for sharing their insights. Incidentally, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ll sometimes ask interview candidates how good a C++ programmer they are on a scale from one…

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Floating Point And Benford’s Law, Part Two

A number of readers asked for an explanation of my offhand comment that Benford’s Law can be used to show that binary is the best base for doing floating point math. One of the desired properties of a floating point system is that the “representation error” is as small as possible. For example, suppose we…

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Benford’s Law

While I was poking through my old numeric analysis textbooks to refresh my memory for this series on floating point arithmetic, I came across one of my favourite weird facts about math. A nonzero base-ten integer starts with some digit other than zero. You might naively expect that given a bunch of “random” numbers, you’d…

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Still Scratching The Surface

I was pleased to learn earlier today that Scott Wiltamuth, one of the designers of C#, has started blogging. I’m looking forward to seeing what Scott has to say about the past, present, and future of language design for .NET. I first encountered Scott the day I did my internship interview, over ten years ago. Bob…


Floating Point Arithmetic, Part One

A month ago I was discussing some of the issues in integer arithmetic, and I said that issues in floating point arithmetic were a good subject for another day. Over the weekend I got some questions from a reader about floating point arithmetic, so this seems like as good a time as any to address…

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Riddle Me This, Google, Part Three

Happy New Year everyone!  Let’s start 2005 off with another episode of Riddle Me This, Google.  Yes, once more, I’ve looked through the 43500 google queries that have resulted in page hits on my blog in the last six months. (Over 200 a day!) For most of those hits, Google delivered the searcher to a…

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