MATLAB Answers

Problem when testing long decimal numbers

조회 수: 5(최근 30일)
Ali El-Baz
Ali El-Baz 2021년 7월 4일
편집: John D'Errico 2021년 7월 4일
I generated a set of numbers (integers and long decimals) and I tested them are they integers or not.
e.g., when I tested the number 2.00000000000000000000000000095861, I write
>> mod(2.00000000000000000000000000095861,1)
ans =
0
i.e., the number 2.00000000000000000000000000095861 is integer. Althought, it is decimal.
Note: The same problem occurs when using Floor function for testing the long decimal number is it integer or not.
What is the problem? I appreciate your help.

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John D'Errico
John D'Errico 2021년 7월 4일
편집: John D'Errico 2021년 7월 4일
The problem is merely your understanding of floating point numbers and the methods used to store them.
MATLAB uses only 52 binary bits of precision to store a floating point number.
What would it require to store that number?
log2(str2sym('2.00000000000000000000000000095861') - 2)
ans = 
So 100 binary bits would just barely suffice to approximate that number, but not that closely. And as I said, MATLAB stores a floating point number as a DOUBLE, thus only 52 binary bits. There is no 16 byte floating point class, and even that would probably be barely sufficient. And of course, if you had such a long precision form available, we would constantly see questions just like yours...
"Why won't MATLAB exactly represent this number?
2.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000095861
The answer is to understand how a number is stored and how to work with that. This sometimes requires a good grounding in numerical methods.

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