# floating point arithmetic

Discussion in 'Python' started by fred8865, Aug 26, 2008.

1. ### fred8865Guest

Hi all,

I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.
How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?
thank you

regards
xtd

fred8865, Aug 26, 2008

2. ### MensanatorGuest

On Aug 26, 4:11 pm, fred8865 <> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
> they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.
> How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?

Try actually using floating point numbers, not integers:

>>> 180.0/100

1.8

or

>>> float(180)/100

1.8

> thank you
>
> regards
> xtd

Mensanator, Aug 26, 2008

3. ### John MachinGuest

On Aug 27, 7:11 am, fred8865 <> wrote:

> I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
> they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.

It's not "hence". What you are seeing is truncating integer division.

> How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?

>>> 180 / 100

1
>>> 180 / 100.

1.8
>>> 180 / float(100)

1.8
>>> from __future__ import division
>>> 180 / 100

1.8

John Machin, Aug 26, 2008
4. ### Rob ClewleyGuest

> I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
> they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.

No, that's not the reason you get 1, it's because the current version
of python does integer division by default. Try doing 180.0/100 or
including

from __future__ import division

at the top of your scripts before dividing your numbers.

> How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?

There are few occasions for "regular" users to worry about the
inaccuracy of floating point, unless you are doing very technical
calculations at high precision. If you need decimals to be represented
"perfectly" in python (e.g. you are writing scripts for financial
applications), try importing the decimal package (look it up in the
python docs).

-Rob

Rob Clewley, Aug 26, 2008
5. ### fred8865Guest

thanks guys

fred8865 wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
> they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.
> How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?
> thank you
>
> regards
> xtd

fred8865, Aug 27, 2008
6. ### Terry ReedyGuest

John Machin wrote:
> On Aug 27, 7:11 am, fred8865 <> wrote:
>
>> I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
>> they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.

>
> It's not "hence". What you are seeing is truncating integer division.
>
>> How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?

>
>>>> 180 / 100

> 1
>>>> 180 / 100.

> 1.8
>>>> 180 / float(100)

> 1.8
>>>> from __future__ import division
>>>> 180 / 100

> 1.8
> --

Or start using 3.0, which fixed this ;-)

>>> 180/100

1.8

Terry Reedy, Aug 27, 2008
7. ### Gabriel GenellinaGuest

En Tue, 26 Aug 2008 18:11:30 -0300, fred8865 <> escribiï¿½:

> I understand that due to different arithmetic used in floating points
> they are just approximations. Hence, 180/100=1 in my python interpreter.
> How can I tackle this problem of inaccurate floating point numbers?
> thank you

In the current Python versions (2.2 and up), 180/100 means integer
division (because both operands are integer).
If you want a floating point result, use 180.0/100 or
float(some_variable)/100

Starting with Python 3.0, the / operator will return a floating point
result ("true division"). So in that Python version, 180/100 gives 1.8
To enable that behavior on Python 2.x, execute "from __future__ import
division":

>>> 180/100

1
>>> from __future__ import division
>>> 180/100

1.8

In any Python version, 180//100 always means integer division:

>>> 180//100

1

--
Gabriel Genellina

Gabriel Genellina, Aug 27, 2008