higher precision doubles

Discussion in 'Java' started by Jan Burse, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    Dear All

    IEEE allows to internally calculate with additional bits.
    Is it possible to have awailable these ops? Like an add
    with this higher precision? How could we store such a
    result? Would there be a wrapper like Double?

    Jan Burse, Aug 5, 2011
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  2. Jan Burse

    Stefan Ram Guest

    See also:

    Stefan Ram, Aug 5, 2011
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  3. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    I was thinking about double extended, where the precision does
    not stay fixed but is increased.


    Double extended has in minimum 79 bit whereby 63 bit are mantissa
    and 15 bit are exponent.

    I was wondering whether I can take advantage of an AMD64. Since
    it has 80bit IEEE floating point registers:

    Paragraph 1.2
    Jan Burse, Aug 6, 2011
  4. Jan Burse

    BGB Guest

    note: all major x86 chips have 80 bit FPU registers (this is not new).

    however, no, one can't directly use them from Java AFAIK, but would
    instead likely need to use JNI calls into C land or similar, even then,
    it would depend some on the C compiler (many C compilers use an 80-bit
    "long double" type, whereas MSVC treats "long double" as an alias for

    also possible is, of course, to use BigDecimal or similar (as others
    have noted), or implement ones' own higher-precision floating point
    numbers in-software (say, implementing 128 bit or more floating-point

    or implement a float256 format, with a 31-bit exponent and 224 bit mantissa.

    yes, granted, implementing larger floating-point values is kind of a
    pain, and performance would be worse than with any natively-supported

    or such...
    BGB, Aug 6, 2011
  5. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    Motivating example, in Go we have:

    func main() {
    x := math.Sin(2*math.Pi)
    fmt.Printf("x = %.30f, is zero = %v\n", x, x == 0)

    x = 0.000000000000000000000000000000, is zero = true

    In Java we have:

    public static double zero1() {
    return Math.sin(2*Math.PI);

    public static double zero2() {
    return StrictMath.sin(2*StrictMath.PI);

    public static void main(String[] args) {

    Jan Burse, Aug 6, 2011
  6. Jan Burse

    markspace Guest

    I honestly don't find this very motivating. Zero is what you make of it.
    In engineering I learning that 6 digits are sufficient for almost any
    practical task. 30 is way overkill.

    As far as printing is concerned, don't get confused by the funny
    numbers. It's just a matter of understanding and selecting the correct

    Counter motivating example:

    public class FpPrint {

    public static void main( String[] args )
    System.out.printf( "%6.6f\n", Math.sin( Math.PI * 2 ) );
    System.out.printf( "%6.6f\n", StrictMath.sin( StrictMath.PI * 2
    ) );

    BUILD SUCCESSFUL (total time: 0 seconds)

    Here we understand what significant digits mean, and we print the
    correct and desired number of digits. We're good.

    There's many times many accumulated errors between 0 and 2 x 10^-16 .
    Just because the default Java printer doesn't print a "0" doesn't mean
    we should panic. That's really all your demonstrating here: the default
    printing behavior of System.out.println.
    markspace, Aug 6, 2011
  7. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest


    According to ISO LIA it is desired NOT to print eps or a multiple
    of eps as zero. This doesn't bother me at all, it rather shows
    the high quality of the Java float writing algorithm.

    So if you add x == 0 to your solution, you would get:
    And BTW the negative sign in front of the zero anyway indicates
    that some rounding was going on, and not a true zero was returned
    by the computation. And you could try x == 0 || x == -0, if this
    is possible, and you would still get false.

    Jan Burse, Aug 6, 2011
  8. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    BigDecimal Ops with MathContext would probably do, although I
    have never tried it. But would need to do my own DECIMAL80,
    since there is only DECIMAL64 and DECIMAL128. And would not
    cover any exponent restriction, only mantissa restriction.

    But wait, would BigDecimal really do? I am asking here for
    pi and sin. But when I look at BigDecimal I only see some
    basic arithmetic and some number theory.

    So where is the trigonomy package for BigDecimal?


    Jan Burse, Aug 6, 2011
  9. Jan Burse

    Eric Sosman Guest

    (Shrug.) Since {Mm}ath.P{Ii} is inexact in both languages --
    and in any language whatsoever that uses base-N floating-point
    with any precision you care to name -- the "correct" answer from
    Go is more a matter of coincidence than of anything important.
    Eric Sosman, Aug 6, 2011
  10. Jan Burse

    markspace Guest

    "x == 0" is kind of a known rube-ism. You can't compare floating point
    directly with any scalar, it just doesn't work. You have to implement
    some sort of range check. It is a bit of a bummer that Java doesn't
    provide such a method by default, but it's also not hard to implement.

    public class FpPrint {

    public static void main( String[] args )
    System.out.printf( "%6.6f\n", Math.sin( Math.PI * 2 ) );
    System.out.printf( "%6.6f\n", StrictMath.sin( StrictMath.PI * 2
    ) );
    DoubleComparator c = new DoubleComparator( 0.000001 );
    System.out.println( c.compare(
    StrictMath.sin( StrictMath.PI * 2 ), 0.0 ) );

    class DoubleComparator {
    private final double constraint;

    public DoubleComparator( double constraint )
    this.constraint = constraint;

    public boolean compare( double d1, double d2 ) {
    return Math.abs(d1-d2) < constraint;
    markspace, Aug 6, 2011
  11. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    I guess 2*pi is "exact" in the sense that the operation * itself
    has no loss, since we only need to adjust the exponent.

    I forget to mention, we also get a non-zero value for sin(pi)
    in Java, and not only for sin(2*pi).

    Easiest reduction is sin(x) = cos(x-pi/2). But this reduction
    seems not to be used:

    double x=Math.PI;
    System.out.println("pi="+x+", sin(pi)="+Math.sin(x));
    System.out.println("pi-pi/2="+x+", cos(pi-pi/2)="+Math.cos(x));
    System.out.println("pi/2="+x+", cos(pi/2)="+Math.cos(x));

    pi=3.141592653589793, sin(pi)=1.2246467991473532E-16
    pi/2=1.5707963267948966, cos(pi/2)=6.123233995736766E-17
    pi-pi/2=1.5707963267948966, cos(pi-pi/2)=6.123233995736766E-17

    So it seems that the error in PI representation seems the
    only reason to be not to return zero. So we have sin(x) with
    x approximating pi. The error is:

    sin(x) - sin(pi) = sin(pi+(x-pi)) - 0.
    = - sin(x-pi)
    ~ - (x - pi)
    = pi - x

    So I guess the PI representation is below the real pi. Since
    we get a positive result for sin(x). Lets check:

    Java PI:
    real pi:

    Well the above idea does also not work, we only get:

    System.out.println("PI-pi="+x+", sin(PI-pi)="+Math.sin(x));

    PI-pi=2.38462643383E-16, sin(PI-pi)=2.38462643383E-16

    But not 1.2246467991473532E-16. But we can try a fully exact decimal
    development of the approximate machine PI. Using the double to
    BigDecimal conversion we get (a thing I like most with the
    BigDecimal package):

    System.out.println("PI="+new BigDecimal(Math.PI));



    Java PI:
    real pi:

    Everything fits perfectly.

    Question is why Go gets zero?


    Small-angle Approximation taken from here:

    Additional PI Digits taken from here:
    Jan Burse, Aug 6, 2011
  12. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    Then take x==0.0 . That is what I want to
    know, and not |x|<eps (this is not
    the issue of this post).

    Actually I trust the runtime to make an
    exact widening of 0 to 0.0. Or when the
    compiler already does it for me, I also
    trust them.

    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
  13. Jan Burse

    BGB Guest

    I am not aware of any (but, Java is not my main language FWIW), but it
    is possible for one to write these themselves.

    for example, see here:

    I had actually done this when implementing some of my own math functions
    (mostly in the case of implementing quaternions and also a float128
    type), however, this was in C.
    BGB, Aug 7, 2011
  14. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    The same strategy like ISO LIA is following. You have
    the mathematical definition of sin, pi, etc.. And then
    you have the machine objects SIN, PI, etc..

    And then you have some requirements between these two
    things. So each machine real x maps directly to a
    mathematical real, but a mathematical real maps to
    its nearest machine real if one exists, or if there
    are two such machine reals, i.e. if the mathematical
    real is exactly between two machine reals, then further
    rules might be postulated.

    So SIN, the machine function should ideally work as the
    mathematical sin, and then before returning its result
    pick a machine real as described above. Thats all I
    expect from any trigonometric package. And it is
    demonstrable (I guess, I didn't verify) that the ideal
    can be turned into a practice. Modern FPUs exactly need
    to do this in case they comply with some ISO
    LIA standard.

    So the requirements for sin are very high. One cannot
    go on an just set SIN(PI)=0. Would not pass any LIA
    ISO compliance test.
    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
  15. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
  16. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    People might be interested in realiable calculation of
    sin(x)/x and the like, since sin(x)/x is a fourier
    transform of the rectangle function. But I must admit
    that I am not working on some pressing stuff concerning
    sin, the question arose more out of curiosity.


    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
  17. Jan Burse

    BGB Guest

    probably somewhere near 0?...
    BGB, Aug 7, 2011
  18. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    I could have equally well asked for lower precision floats,
    things like tiny floats packed into 16 bit or 8 bit. They
    are useful for graphic processing.

    In both cases, lower precision or higher precision floats,
    the JLS is not relevant since JLS does not support these.
    Also some packages or ways to access them might have totally
    different names from java.lang.Math.

    Lower or higher precisions might be covered by IEEE 754,
    but there are also a couple of other standards around,
    like IEEE 854 which is closer to BigDecimal, since the exponent
    is base 10.

    I gave Math.sin(2*Math.PI) only as an example of what I
    eventually want to do with the higer precision floats.
    But since I do not have the higher precision floats, I
    showed how the myHighPrecPackage.sin(2*myHighPrecPackage.PI)
    would work with normal precision.

    So pointing me to JLS is like turning cycles, only confirming
    that Java has only float and double. Except with the possibility
    that normal arithmetic is done with higher precision when
    the strictfp modifier is not used. But this doesn't help for
    trigonometric functions.

    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
  19. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    Well I probably would need another test case for whether
    strictfp influences Math.sin. Since I guess Math.PI is
    always the same, with or without strictfp. Will try
    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
  20. Jan Burse

    Jan Burse Guest

    I guess you looking too far. The higher precision is just
    parameter of the representation. From a far angel we have
    the requirement that float fit into 32 bit and double into
    64 bit. In my post 06.08.2011 13:03 I was writing:
    So no need to show you any application. I am just interested
    in the 80 bit. Whether I CAN work with them or not. I am
    not interested in the question whether I SHOULD work
    with them. In my post 06.08.2011 00:20, I was asking this
    as follows:
    We can also dig a little bit further what the representation
    parameters are. In particular we have:

    Mantissa Exponent
    double 64bit: 52 bit 11 bit
    double 80bit: 64 bit 15 bit

    So here I can restate my question:

    I would like for whatever reason work with 80bit
    floats as defined above in Java. I am interested
    in the full set of arithmetic functions, I/O and
    trigonometric functions. How could I do that?

    Best Regards
    Jan Burse, Aug 7, 2011
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