Re: Odd behavior?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg101858] Re: [mg101850] Odd behavior?
- From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akozlowski at gmail.com>
- Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 05:59:28 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <200907191115.HAA20885@smc.vnet.net>
First and above all you have to understand that the results you are getting have (essentially) nothing to do with Mathematica. You are doing computations with MachinePrecision which means that they area all performed entirely by your processor and Mathematica is only reporting the results. So if you want to blame someone for these "poor solutions" your choice is: 1. Processor makers for making binary (rather then decimal) processors which cannot represent these decimal fractions with perfect accuracy 2. The laws of numerical analysis, which cause the order of computations to matter in doing this sort of inexact arithmetic If you are not looking for someone to blame you could follow the common advice in such situations and read the manual (as well as looking into to an introductory text on basic numerical analysis, particularly the section on binary representation of numbers with finite precision). As for Mathematica: there are only a few bits of information relevant to this. One is that it is Precision rather than Accuracy that gives you relevant information, and your case the Precision is always the same: $MachinePrecision. If the precision is $MachinePrecision then Accuracy is defined purely formally as $MachinePrecision- Log[10,Abs[x]] and carries no useful information beside what is already included in the value Abs[x]. (In other words, reporting the value of your computation and its Accuracy you were simply reporting the same thing twice). The second useful piece of information is that: Chop[5.1 - 4.5 - 0.6] 0 Andrzej Kozlowski On 19 Jul 2009, at 04:15, elliot wrote: > The expression 5.1 - 4.5 - 0.6 gives different answers depending on > the version of Mathematica. Version 6 says 0. (which is obviously > what we expect) with an accuracy of about 307. Version 7 says > -3.33067x10^-16 with an accuracy of about 31. Also, in version 7, if > the expression is changed to 5.1 - (4.5 + 0.6) the answer it gives > is 0. with an accuracy of about 307. Both versions were run on three > different computers. > > Anybody know what changed or what I can do to prevent such poor > solutions (besides forcing a specific order of evaluation)? Thanks. >
- Odd behavior?
- From: elliot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Odd behavior?