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Author Goldberg, David
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©1991
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword NaN ♦ Denormalized number ♦ Exception ♦ Floating-point ♦ Floating-point standard ♦ Gradual underflow ♦ Guard digit ♦ Overflow ♦ Relative error ♦ Rounding error ♦ Rounding mode ♦ Ulp ♦ Underflow
Abstract Floating-point arithmetic is considered as esoteric subject by many people. This is rather surprising, because floating-point is ubiquitous in computer systems: Almost every language has a floating-point datatype; computers from PCs to supercomputers have floating-point accelerators; most compilers will be called upon to compile floating-point algorithms from time to time; and virtually every operating system must respond to floating-point exceptions such as overflow. This paper presents a tutorial on the aspects of floating-point that have a direct impact on designers of computer systems. It begins with background on floating-point representation and rounding error, continues with a discussion of the IEEE floating point standard, and concludes with examples of how computer system builders can better support floating point.
ISSN 03600300
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1991-03-01
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 15577341
Journal ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 1
Page Count 44
Starting Page 5
Ending Page 48


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Source: ACM Digital Library