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Questions tagged [floating-point]

A method of representing numbers by a fixed number of significant digits, and the exponent of some base number. They are characterized in the form ${(significant digits)}*base^{exponent}$. Typically, numbers are represented with respect to base = 2 (binary).

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24
votes
4answers
7k views

How to add large exponential terms reliably without overflow errors?

A very common problem in Markov Chain Monte Carlo involves computing probabilities that are sum of large exponential terms, $ e^{a_1} + e^{a_2} + ... $ where the components of $a$ can range from ...
15
votes
3answers
62k views

How to determine the amount of FLOPs my computer is capable of

I would like to determine the theoretical number of FLOPs (Floating Point Operations) that my computer can do. Can someone please help me with this. (I would like to compare my computer to some ...
25
votes
5answers
643 views

Is there software that can autogenerate numerically-accurate floating point C routines from symbolic formulae?

Given a real function of real variables, is there software available that can automatically generate numerically-accurate code to calculate the function over all inputs on a machine equipped with IEEE ...
6
votes
3answers
138 views

Accurate evaluation of the sign of a polynomial

Let $p$ be a polynomial with floating-point coefficients and let $a$ be a floating-point value. Is there a method for accurately evaluating the sign of $p(a)$ in floating-point arithmetic? I don't ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Compute hypergeometric function ratio: $\frac{_{2}F_{1}(a+1,b;c;x)}{_{2}F_{1}(a,b;c;x)}$?

I need a numerically stable way to compute the following ratio: $$\frac{_{2}F_{1}(a+1,b;c;x)}{_{2}F_{1}(a,b;c;x)}$$ All the parameters are real numbers, with $a< 0$,$\ $ $b,c > 0$ and $0<x&...
30
votes
2answers
7k views

When should log1p and expm1 be used?

I have a simple question that is really hard to Google (besides the canonical What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating-Point Arithmetic paper). When should functions such as ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

Krylov subspace iterative methods in floating point arithmetic

Is there any work that considers Krylov subspace iterative methods in floating point arithmetic? I'm especially interested in how rounding errors influence the convergence and the accuracy of the ...
7
votes
2answers
434 views

Sum over very small exponentials: Underflow

I am trying to compute (in C) a sum like $S = \sum_i \exp( - a_i )$, where $10^{4} < a_i < 10^{5}$ are approximately normal distributed. So even if I do the Log-Sum-Exp trick $S = \exp(\...
10
votes
4answers
616 views

Relevance of fixed-point and arbitrary precision computations

I see very few non-floating point computing libraries/packages around. Given the various inaccuracies of floating point representation, the question arises why there aren't at least some fields where ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Does mean removal increase accuracy of numerical differentiation?

I wish to compute the derivative of a vector through numerical differentiation. Let's say, we use a standard 2nd order central difference scheme, to arrive at a differentiation matrix, and apply it on ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

Intervals where the sign of a polynomial can be computed reliably

This is a follow-up of a previous question. Let $p$ be a polynomial with floating-point coefficients. Is there a method for finding intervals where evaluating $p$ in floating-point arithmetic always ...
3
votes
1answer
425 views

Finite difference method basic implementation on Octave

Trying to study the error of FDM for a second order derivative versus step size I calculated the coefficients and validated them, but the output has errors for small step sizes. The function in ...