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Real Numbers, Machine Numbers and Errors

  • P. M. Dew
  • K. R. James

Abstract

Calculations with real numbers, whether performed by computer or by hand, are subject to numerical error. This form of error is unavoidable in numerical computation and should not be confused with ‘gross errors’ arising from programming mistakes or from incorrect design or misuse of algorithms. On a computer, numerical error is fundamentally machine dependent: its size depends on the way in which real numbers are represented in the computer. This is an important consideration for us to bear in mind when developing a mathematical library.

Keywords

Truncation Error Fractional Part Decimal Place Relative Precision Machine Number 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Dew
    • 1
  • K. R. James
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer StudiesUniversity of LeedsUK

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