Day 6 – Floating

I find technical topics relaxing, and it’s been too long since I have looked into the gaping maw of a handful of venomous formulas. Add to that the fact that this is a topic that I’ve been thinking about turning into a “one page cheat sheet”* with the most important facts summarised, and tonight I tackle…

IEEE 754

Or as their parents call them when they are at home: floating point numbers.

Both the best and the worst thing ever invented to deal with fractional numbers in computing. Providers of so much convenience. Providers of so many lost hairs.

I haven’t done enough research yet to write my one-pager*, but this will be the most interesting part of my day today.

The results of my research can be found at: Floating Point One-Pager (2013-07-28).


Footnotes

* I am availing myself of the web definition of “one page”, meaning that it could literally be any length by the time I am done.

References

Links to some pages I’m reading through to get some perspective on the subject:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_point
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-precision_floating-point_format
  • http://floating-point-gui.de/errors/rounding/
  • http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~demmel/cs267/lecture21/lecture21.html
  • http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19957-01/806-3568/ncg_goldberg.html

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