

I have this simple little test. My expected answer for all the
calculations are 0 (zero), but both FPC and Delphi give different
results. Java is the only one that seems consistent regarding the
results.
Can anybody explain this, especially the first 3 very small negative
numbers that Delphi and FPC produces? I know not all floating point
values can be stored exactly (or something like that), and when doing
calculations, it might do a auto data type conversion. But is any of
that taking place here?
The only positive I can see, is that FPC and Delphi are consistent. :)
Here is the Object Pascal test:
===============[ TestOperatorPrecedence.pas ]=================
program TestOperatorPrecedence;
{$IFDEF FPC}
{$mode objfpc}{$H+}
{$ELSE}
{$apptype console}
{$ENDIF}
var
a,b,c,d: double;
ans: extended;
begin
a := 1.0;
b := 51009.9;
c := 51009.9;
d := 51009.9;
writeln(b);
writeln(c);
writeln(d);
writeln('');
ans := c  b * c / d;
writeln(ans);
ans := c  (b * c) / d;
writeln(ans);
ans := c  (b * c / d);
writeln(ans);
ans := c  b * (c / d);
writeln(ans);
ans := c  (b * (c / d));
writeln(ans);
end.
==============================================================
And the results are:
graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
> TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
5.10099000000000E+0004
5.10099000000000E+0004
5.10099000000000E+0004

3.55271367880050E0015
3.55271367880050E0015
3.55271367880050E0015
0.00000000000000E+0000
0.00000000000000E+0000
And here is the Java equivalent...
===============[ TestOperatorPrecedence.java ]================
public class TestOperatorPrecedence {
public static void main(String[] args) {
double b = 51009.9;
double c = 51009.9;
double d = 51009.9;
double ans;
System.out.println(b);
System.out.println(c);
System.out.println(d);
System.out.println("");
ans = c  b * c / d;
System.out.println(ans);
ans = c  (b * c) / d;
System.out.println(ans);
ans = c  (b * c / d);
System.out.println(ans);
ans = c  b * (c / d);
System.out.println(ans);
ans = c  (b * (c / d));
System.out.println(ans);
}
}
==============================================================
And the results are:
graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
> java TestOperatorPrecedence
51009.9
51009.9
51009.9

0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Regards,
Graeme
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Am 03.10.2018 um 10:40 schrieb [hidden email]:
> I have this simple little test. My expected answer for all the calculations are 0 (zero), but both FPC and Delphi give
> different results. Java is the only one that seems consistent regarding the results.
Compile/run on the same architecture, use the same data types (and not extended for Object Pascal and double for Java).
With 3.0.4 x86_64win64 I get (on i386win32 you get this if you use the same data types and compile with Cfsse2):
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004

0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
_______________________________________________
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Hi Florian,
Thanks for your reply. Initially I had all the data types as Double in
the Object Pascal example. I then thought that maybe there is some auto
datatype conversion, and tried storing the result in a Extended type
instead. It made no difference.
From your example, the only time there is a difference is when the
Cfsse2 is specified. What exactly does that do, because with or without
that, the results vary.
I'm running 64bit Windows 10 here, but using FPC 3.0.4 32bit compiler.
In Delphi I was using XE3 32bit compiler as well.
See here... I changed all the data types to Double before I did this
test:
graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
> fpc Criot Cfsse3 TestOperatorPrecedence.pas
Free Pascal Compiler version 3.0.2 [2017/02/13] for i386
Copyright (c) 19932017 by Florian Klaempfl and others
Target OS: Win32 for i386
Compiling TestOperatorPrecedence.pas
TestOperatorPrecedence.pas(10,3) Note: Local variable "a" is assigned
but never used
Linking TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
36 lines compiled, 0.1 sec, 35312 bytes code, 2436 bytes data
1 note(s) issued
graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
> TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004

0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
Perfect, the result I expected. Now the same code, but compiled without
Cfsse2 and the results change.
graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
> fpc Criot TestOperatorPrecedence.pas
Free Pascal Compiler version 3.0.2 [2017/02/13] for i386
Copyright (c) 19932017 by Florian Klaempfl and others
Target OS: Win32 for i386
Compiling TestOperatorPrecedence.pas
TestOperatorPrecedence.pas(10,3) Note: Local variable "a" is assigned
but never used
Linking TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
36 lines compiled, 0.1 sec, 35232 bytes code, 2436 bytes data
1 note(s) issued
graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
> TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004

3.5527136788005009E015
3.5527136788005009E015
3.5527136788005009E015
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
Sorry, but this makes no sense to me.
Regards,
Graeme
On 20181003 10:16, Florian Klämpfl wrote:
> Am 03.10.2018 um 10:40 schrieb [hidden email]:
>> I have this simple little test. My expected answer for all the
>> calculations are 0 (zero), but both FPC and Delphi give
>> different results. Java is the only one that seems consistent
>> regarding the results.
>
> Compile/run on the same architecture, use the same data types (and not
> extended for Object Pascal and double for Java).
_______________________________________________
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The explanation for the results is as follows:
the first three codings do the multiplication first, then the division.
the last two first division, then multiplication. That makes the
difference.
When division is done first, you get an intermediate result of 1.0 exactly.
The subsequent multiplication yields 51009.9 exactly, so the difference
is zero.
No risk for rounding errors.
When the multiplication is done first, you get a very large result which
cannot
be stored exactly in the machine representation. When divided by 51009.9,
the result differs by a little epsilon from 1.0, so the difference is shown
as the final result.
Depending on the FP representation chosen, you will see the difference
or not.
When I tested the program with my New Stanford Pascal compiler, I saw the
different computation sequence in the generated code, but I didn't get a
difference. But that's pure luck.
Example:
Multiplication first:
LOC 21
LOD R,1,416
LOD R,1,408
LOD R,1,416
MPR
LOD R,1,424
DVR
SBR
STR R,1,432
Division first:
LOC 23
LOD R,1,416
LOD R,1,408
LOD R,1,416
LOD R,1,424
DVR
MPR
SBR
STR R,1,432
The result was zero in both cases.
Kind regards
Bernd
Am 03.10.2018 um 10:40 schrieb [hidden email]:
> I have this simple little test. My expected answer for all the
> calculations are 0 (zero), but both FPC and Delphi give different
> results. Java is the only one that seems consistent regarding the
> results.
>
> Can anybody explain this, especially the first 3 very small negative
> numbers that Delphi and FPC produces? I know not all floating point
> values can be stored exactly (or something like that), and when doing
> calculations, it might do a auto data type conversion. But is any of
> that taking place here?
>
> The only positive I can see, is that FPC and Delphi are consistent. :)
>
> Here is the Object Pascal test:
>
> ===============[ TestOperatorPrecedence.pas ]=================
> program TestOperatorPrecedence;
>
> {$IFDEF FPC}
> {$mode objfpc}{$H+}
> {$ELSE}
> {$apptype console}
> {$ENDIF}
>
> var
> a,b,c,d: double;
> ans: extended;
> begin
> a := 1.0;
> b := 51009.9;
> c := 51009.9;
> d := 51009.9;
> writeln(b);
> writeln(c);
> writeln(d);
> writeln('');
>
> ans := c  b * c / d;
> writeln(ans);
>
> ans := c  (b * c) / d;
> writeln(ans);
>
> ans := c  (b * c / d);
> writeln(ans);
>
> ans := c  b * (c / d);
> writeln(ans);
>
>
> ans := c  (b * (c / d));
> writeln(ans);
> end.
> ==============================================================
>
> And the results are:
> graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
>> TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
> 5.10099000000000E+0004
> 5.10099000000000E+0004
> 5.10099000000000E+0004
> 
> 3.55271367880050E0015
> 3.55271367880050E0015
> 3.55271367880050E0015
> 0.00000000000000E+0000
> 0.00000000000000E+0000
>
>
> And here is the Java equivalent...
>
>
> ===============[ TestOperatorPrecedence.java ]================
> public class TestOperatorPrecedence {
>
> public static void main(String[] args) {
> double b = 51009.9;
> double c = 51009.9;
> double d = 51009.9;
> double ans;
>
> System.out.println(b);
> System.out.println(c);
> System.out.println(d);
> System.out.println("");
>
> ans = c  b * c / d;
> System.out.println(ans);
>
> ans = c  (b * c) / d;
> System.out.println(ans);
>
> ans = c  (b * c / d);
> System.out.println(ans);
>
> ans = c  b * (c / d);
> System.out.println(ans);
>
>
> ans = c  (b * (c / d));
> System.out.println(ans);
> }
> }
>
> ==============================================================
>
> And the results are:
> graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
>> java TestOperatorPrecedence
> 51009.9
> 51009.9
> 51009.9
> 
> 0.0
> 0.0
> 0.0
> 0.0
> 0.0
>
>
>
> Regards,
> Graeme
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> fpcpascal maillist  [hidden email]
> http://lists.freepascal.org/cgibin/mailman/listinfo/fpcpascal_______________________________________________
fpcpascal maillist  [hidden email]
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Am 03.10.2018 um 11:28 schrieb [hidden email]:
>
> graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
>> fpc Criot TestOperatorPrecedence.pas
> Free Pascal Compiler version 3.0.2 [2017/02/13] for i386
> Copyright (c) 19932017 by Florian Klaempfl and others
> Target OS: Win32 for i386
> Compiling TestOperatorPrecedence.pas
> TestOperatorPrecedence.pas(10,3) Note: Local variable "a" is assigned but never used
> Linking TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
> 36 lines compiled, 0.1 sec, 35232 bytes code, 2436 bytes data
> 1 note(s) issued
>
> graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
>> TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
> 5.1009900000000001E+004
> 5.1009900000000001E+004
> 5.1009900000000001E+004
> 
> 3.5527136788005009E015
> 3.5527136788005009E015
> 3.5527136788005009E015
> 0.0000000000000000E+000
> 0.0000000000000000E+000
>
>
> Sorry, but this makes no sense to me.
In 32 Bit by default the x87 CPU is used. The x87 FPU uses extended for calculations and intermediate results (this is
basically a difference with respect to all other FPUs having any significance during the last >20 years) by default.
There are no instructions to force operations with single/double precisions, there is only a status which allows to
switch to another precision, see below.
b * c / d calculated with extended precision differs from the plain double value of c.
To get the same results with the x87 FPU, add
uses
math;
......
SetPrecisionMode(pmDouble);
to your program.
Or:
change all variables to extended, so the constants are really stored with extended precision representing exactly the
value 51009.9.
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Am 03.10.2018 um 12:06 schrieb Florian Klämpfl:
> really stored with extended precision representing exactly the
> value 51009.9.
This was sloopy wording by myself: the representation is not exact for extended either, but it must be actually the best
possible presentation with extended precision.
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Some corrections, see below ...
Am 03.10.2018 um 11:54 schrieb Bernd Oppolzer:
> The explanation for the results is as follows:
>
> the first three codings do the multiplication first, then the division.
> the last two first division, then multiplication. That makes the
> difference.
>
> When division is done first, you get an intermediate result of 1.0
> exactly.
This is correct, because the same two input values go into the division.
1.0 can be represented correctly as FP value.
> The subsequent multiplication yields 51009.9 exactly, so the
> difference is zero.
Wording needs improvement; the value is not 51009.9 exactly, but it is the
nearest machine number, which is the same as the other operand (the same
number multiplied by 1.0) of the subtraction, so the result will be zero.
> No risk for rounding errors.
>
> When the multiplication is done first, you get a very large result
> which cannot
> be stored exactly in the machine representation. When divided by 51009.9,
> the result differs by a little epsilon from 1.0, so the difference is
> shown
Should be:
the result may differ by a little epsilon from the original machine
representation
of 51009.9; this epsilon may be shown instead of zero.
> as the final result.
>
> Depending on the FP representation chosen, you will see the difference
> or not.
> When I tested the program with my New Stanford Pascal compiler, I saw the
> different computation sequence in the generated code, but I didn't get a
> difference. But that's pure luck.
>
> Example:
this is in fact the real PCode produced by the New Stanford compiler
for the hypothetical stack machine; different for the two cases.
>
> Multiplication first:
>
> LOC 21
> LOD R,1,416
> LOD R,1,408
> LOD R,1,416
> MPR
> LOD R,1,424
> DVR
> SBR
> STR R,1,432
>
> Division first:
>
> LOC 23
> LOD R,1,416
> LOD R,1,408
> LOD R,1,416
> LOD R,1,424
> DVR
> MPR
> SBR
> STR R,1,432
>
> The result was zero in both cases.
>
> Kind regards
>
> Bernd
>
>
>
> Am 03.10.2018 um 10:40 schrieb [hidden email]:
>> I have this simple little test. My expected answer for all the
>> calculations are 0 (zero), but both FPC and Delphi give different
>> results. Java is the only one that seems consistent regarding the
>> results.
>>
>> Can anybody explain this, especially the first 3 very small negative
>> numbers that Delphi and FPC produces? I know not all floating point
>> values can be stored exactly (or something like that), and when doing
>> calculations, it might do a auto data type conversion. But is any of
>> that taking place here?
>>
>> The only positive I can see, is that FPC and Delphi are consistent. :)
>>
>> Here is the Object Pascal test:
>>
>> ===============[ TestOperatorPrecedence.pas ]=================
>> program TestOperatorPrecedence;
>>
>> {$IFDEF FPC}
>> {$mode objfpc}{$H+}
>> {$ELSE}
>> {$apptype console}
>> {$ENDIF}
>>
>> var
>> a,b,c,d: double;
>> ans: extended;
>> begin
>> a := 1.0;
>> b := 51009.9;
>> c := 51009.9;
>> d := 51009.9;
>> writeln(b);
>> writeln(c);
>> writeln(d);
>> writeln('');
>>
>> ans := c  b * c / d;
>> writeln(ans);
>>
>> ans := c  (b * c) / d;
>> writeln(ans);
>>
>> ans := c  (b * c / d);
>> writeln(ans);
>>
>> ans := c  b * (c / d);
>> writeln(ans);
>>
>>
>> ans := c  (b * (c / d));
>> writeln(ans);
>> end.
>> ==============================================================
>>
>> And the results are:
>> graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
>>> TestOperatorPrecedence.exe
>> 5.10099000000000E+0004
>> 5.10099000000000E+0004
>> 5.10099000000000E+0004
>> 
>> 3.55271367880050E0015
>> 3.55271367880050E0015
>> 3.55271367880050E0015
>> 0.00000000000000E+0000
>> 0.00000000000000E+0000
>>
>>
>> And here is the Java equivalent...
>>
>>
>> ===============[ TestOperatorPrecedence.java ]================
>> public class TestOperatorPrecedence {
>>
>> public static void main(String[] args) {
>> double b = 51009.9;
>> double c = 51009.9;
>> double d = 51009.9;
>> double ans;
>>
>> System.out.println(b);
>> System.out.println(c);
>> System.out.println(d);
>> System.out.println("");
>>
>> ans = c  b * c / d;
>> System.out.println(ans);
>>
>> ans = c  (b * c) / d;
>> System.out.println(ans);
>>
>> ans = c  (b * c / d);
>> System.out.println(ans);
>>
>> ans = c  b * (c / d);
>> System.out.println(ans);
>>
>>
>> ans = c  (b * (c / d));
>> System.out.println(ans);
>> }
>> }
>>
>> ==============================================================
>>
>> And the results are:
>> graeme.geldenhuys@UKCML500737 C:\devel\tests\OperatorPrecedence
>>> java TestOperatorPrecedence
>> 51009.9
>> 51009.9
>> 51009.9
>> 
>> 0.0
>> 0.0
>> 0.0
>> 0.0
>> 0.0
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>> Graeme
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> fpcpascal maillist  [hidden email]
>> http://lists.freepascal.org/cgibin/mailman/listinfo/fpcpascal>
> _______________________________________________
> fpcpascal maillist  [hidden email]
> http://lists.freepascal.org/cgibin/mailman/listinfo/fpcpascal_______________________________________________
fpcpascal maillist  [hidden email]
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El 03/10/18 a las 10:40, [hidden email] escribió:
> I have this simple little test. My expected answer for all the
> calculations are 0 (zero), but both FPC and Delphi give different
> results. Java is the only one that seems consistent regarding the
> results.
>
> Can anybody explain this, especially the first 3 very small negative
> numbers that Delphi and FPC produces? I know not all floating point
> values can be stored exactly (or something like that), and when doing
> calculations, it might do a auto data type conversion. But is any of
> that taking place here?
I don't know why you want to compare two floats, but you'd better use
currency type. Float is for calculus, but comparing float1=float2 (or
float1>float2) is rolling the dice. Obviously, the more precision, the
less errors. But an accurate, intuitive result, is not guaranteed.
People who play with maths may use something like
function equal(const f1,f2:Extended; const Error:extended=1E6):boolean;
begin
Result:=(abs(f1f2)<error);
end;
But for most applications, using a function like "equal" (and "less",
"lessOrEq" etc) everywhere is a burden that makes not sense. I think
that every programing language should include a fixed precision type.
Freepascal has at least currency, that is four decimals, use it.
What does java does? I don't know. Perhaps it just rounds the output,
try System.out.println(ans==0.0). Perhaps it uses a high precision that
*in this case* gets always 0.
But the question is that floating point representation can't store
accurately many numbers. To begin with, 0.1 in base 10, is periodic
number in binary 0.0001...001..001... so it has to truncate it, and when
you truncate, the result depends of the order of operations, no matter
the language or precision. So, it is matter of probability to get 1.0000
or 1.0001 or 0.9999, if you expect 1, psychologically 1.0001 looks
better result than 0.9999. Dephi or Freepascal are doing nothing wrong.

Saludos
Santiago A.
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This is one of the most useless collection of floating point myths I
have seen since a long time.
> I don't know why you want to compare two floats, but you'd better
> use currency type. Float is for calculus, but comparing
> float1=float2 (or float1>float2) is rolling the dice. Obviously, the
> more precision, the less errors. But an accurate, intuitive result,
> is not guaranteed.
With rolling a dice you mean, that the comparisons are only
randomly correct or what)? Since the floatingpoint numbers
are welldefined and exact (yes they are, and truncation/rounding
errors are the results from former computations and/or
the rounding of nonrepresentable numbers). All operations
are predictable, so there is no chance for random.
> People who play with maths may use something like
> function equal(const f1,f2:Extended; const Error:extended=1E6):boolean;
> begin
> Result:=(abs(f1f2)<error);
> end;
This function is nonsense and I doubt that 'math people' will use it.
First: it uses only absolute errors, so 1e7 and 1e4000 are equal.
Second: A tolerance of 1e6 is ridiculous, given that the machine epsilon
for 80bit extended is 1.0842e19.
> What does java does? I don't know. Perhaps it just rounds the
> output, try System.out.println(ans==0.0). Perhaps it uses a high
> precision that *in this case* gets always 0.
As already said, you can get the same values as Java, if you use the
same data types (double) and the same precision (53bit) with
Free Pascal (even with the X87 FPU)
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004
5.1009900000000001E+004

0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
0.0000000000000000E+000
> But the question is that floating point representation can't store
> accurately many numbers. To begin with, 0.1 in base 10, is periodic
> number in binary 0.0001...001..001... so it has to truncate it,
No is this only true if you use the truncate rounding mode, which
is not default (default is roundtonearest/even).
> and when you truncate, the result depends of the order of
> operations, no matter the language or precision. So, it is matter of
> probability to get 1.0000 or 1.0001 or 0.9999
Yes, but it is predictable and deterministic and no matter of
probability.
To conclude: The reason for the differences is the usage of
intermediate elevated precision (and this can occur also
e.g. for C where it is also allowed to use intermediate
higher precision). For Delphi/Free Pascal this phenomenon
does not occur if you always compute with the precision
appropriate to the data type, as e.g. with 64bit/SSE.
Regards,
Wolfgang
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This is one of the most useless collection of floating point myths I
have seen since a long time.
With rolling a dice you mean, that the comparisons are only
randomly correct or what)? Since the floatingpoint numbers
are welldefined and exact (yes they are, and truncation/rounding
errors are the results from former computations and/or
the rounding of nonrepresentable numbers). All operations
are predictable, so there is no chance for random.
The random comes from the input, not the output. If you know the numbers going in, you know the numbers coming out, certainly. But you rarely know the numbers going in , and most people don't know the deep details of what happens behind the scenes, and so sometimes some of those numbers going in give you surprising numbers coming out. Different implementations or different languages have different details, as well, which can also be surprising.
So the issue isn't technical, it is language. What was being said was vernacular, colloquial, imprecise, just to give you the impression that __unless you pay attention to the details__ the output you get could look "random" or appear to be a "crap shoot". I don't think the original poster meant that the results were truly random at all, only that if you don't take care to account for the details, you might get that impression.
Jeff.
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On 03/10/18 20:05, Santiago A. wrote:
> I don't know why you want to compare two floats, but you'd better use
> currency type.
I fully understand that. We do financial calculation up to 6 decimal
places, so can't use Currency data type.
Our real issue was the different results using the same calculation. I
thought order of precedence would apply in all cases, but couldn't fully
understand the outcomes we received. But after reading Florian and
Bernd's replies I now understand. The other issue was that our
application is 32bit, where 64bit would not have had this issue.
Regards,
Graeme

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El 06/10/18 a las 20:48, Graeme Geldenhuys escribió:
> On 03/10/18 20:05, Santiago A. wrote:
>> I don't know why you want to compare two floats, but you'd better use
>> currency type.
> I fully understand that. We do financial calculation up to 6 decimal
> places, so can't use Currency data type.
6 decimals, no currency that's a problem ;)
>
> Our real issue was the different results using the same calculation. I
> thought order of precedence would apply in all cases, but couldn't fully
> understand the outcomes we received. But after reading Florian and
> Bernd's replies I now understand. The other issue was that our
> application is 32bit, where 64bit would not have had this issue.
With 64 bits, reaching a 6 decimals error is more difficult, but it is
still an issue. In your example you have done a couple of operations and
you have got an error of 1E11. After a hundred of operations, you could
reach the fatal 1E6.
Once I had a problem like that, or integers, or floats. The best is
rounding a lot in intermediate results, rounding before comparing and
specify clearly the order:
i.e. if you add a list of items with a discount, you can get different
results if you apply the discount to each item and sum, than if you sum
the items and apply the discount to the total. will the difference be
less then 1E6? Depend on the numbers, and how many items you sum. So
you must specify : "Discount will be applied to each item".
64bits is a lot of precision, but don't be overconfident, even in such
case errors can skyrocket with divisions with small divisors and/or a
lot of operations. Comparing to zero is always dangerous, you'd better
round the number to 6 decimals before comparing.


Saludos
Santiago A.
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On 06/10/18 20:15, Santiago A. wrote:
>> places, so can't use Currency data type.
> 6 decimals, no currency that's a problem ;)
Yeah, tell me about it.
> you must specify : "Discount will be applied to each item".
> 64bits is a lot of precision, but don't be overconfident, even in such
> case errors can skyrocket with divisions with small divisors and/or a
> lot of operations. Comparing to zero is always dangerous, you'd better
> round the number to 6 decimals before comparing.
The product I work on is Royalties and Licensing across the globe for
very large and medium sized companies. A single contract can span
millions to billions of accounting lines, then you have to calculate
royalties on all those and make sure afterwards that adding them all up
still equals the original amounts. A huge pain and very lengthy process.
If it was up to me, I would have opted to converted all amounts to
integers as early as possible, do the calculations and then divide by
the correct amount to get the decimals required for reporting purposes.
But then, this product was developed long before I joined the company,
and changing it now would be a mammoth task. So for now, I've got to
work with what I've got  as most of us has to do. ;)
Regards,
Graeme

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Am 07.10.2018 um 00:46 schrieb Graeme Geldenhuys:
> On 06/10/18 20:15, Santiago A. wrote:
>>> places, so can't use Currency data type.
>> 6 decimals, no currency that's a problem ;)
> Yeah, tell me about it.
>
>> you must specify : "Discount will be applied to each item".
>> 64bits is a lot of precision, but don't be overconfident, even in such
>> case errors can skyrocket with divisions with small divisors and/or a
>> lot of operations. Comparing to zero is always dangerous, you'd better
>> round the number to 6 decimals before comparing.
> The product I work on is Royalties and Licensing across the globe for
> very large and medium sized companies. A single contract can span
> millions to billions of accounting lines, then you have to calculate
> royalties on all those and make sure afterwards that adding them all up
> still equals the original amounts. A huge pain and very lengthy process.
>
> If it was up to me, I would have opted to converted all amounts to
> integers as early as possible, do the calculations and then divide by
> the correct amount to get the decimals required for reporting purposes.
> But then, this product was developed long before I joined the company,
> and changing it now would be a mammoth task. So for now, I've got to
> work with what I've got  as most of us has to do. ;)
>
>
> Regards,
> Graeme
>
I examined the rounding problem with floating point arithmetic on
different platforms
in the 1995 time frame, when I had to find a solution for a customer of
mine (a large
insurance company) for the following problem: the insurance math package
should
yield the same results for computations using double float values,
although the computation
is done (using C) on very different platforms (for example Intel and IBM
mainframe),
where the floating point formats are not compatible. The source of the
problem, BTW,
is the binary or hexadecimal coding of the mantissa of the floating
point values,
which doesn't matter when doing scientific calculations, but which is a
problem,
when dealing with commercial problems and decimal rounding.
With some help from a math specialist, I found a solution (a rounding
function
for floating point values) which produces the same (decimal) results in
most cases,
no matter what the platform and the floating point representation is.
I then built this function (converted to Pascal) into the runtime of my
New Stanford Pascal compiler, so that every FP value is implicitly
rounded before
output (that is: before WRITE or WRITELN) to the number of decimal places
requested by this WRITE or WRITELN. This way, the output results of
WRITE and WRITELN of FP values after certain computations were the
same on all platforms (again: IBM mainframe and Windows PC, for example),
which was not the case before my extension.
The story is documented in more detail here (including the
Pascal source code of the rounding function):
http://berndoppolzer.de/job9i032.htmHave fun!
Another option: there are some libraries which support BCD arithmetic
(binary coded decimals) ... and even platforms which support decimal
arithmetic
directly; but this will probably be no option for you.
Kind regards
Bernd
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