Hi, sorry if this is a very naive question (I'm new to ruby), but I haven't found an explication yet. When comparing to floats in ruby I came across this: >> a = 0.1 => 0.1 >> b = 1 - 0.9 => 0.1 >> a == b => false >> a > b => true >> a < b => false >> a <=> b => 1 I'm a bit lost here, shouldn't (0.1) and (1 - 0.9) be equals regarding the == operator? I also found that for example 0.3 == (0.2 + 0.1) returns false, etc. guille PD: I'm using ruby 1.8.6 (2008-03-03 patchlevel 114) [universal-darwin9.0]

on 2008-10-27 17:51

on 2008-10-27 18:10

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 11:50 AM, guille lists <guilledist@gmail.com> wrote: >>> a == b > returns false, etc. Most people will point you to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_point_arithmetic There are several ways around it (using BigDecimal, Rational, Integers, etc.) Totally off-topic, but has any one figured out exactly why 1/9 (0.111...) plus 8/9 (0.888...) is 1 instead of 0.999... :-) Todd

on 2008-10-27 18:10

guille lists wrote: > I'm a bit lost here, shouldn't (0.1) and (1 - 0.9) be equals regarding > the == operator? Nope. Floating-point is always inexact. This is a computer thing, not a Ruby thing. The issue applies to all languages everywhere which use floating point. Here you can see the two values are slightly different: irb(main):001:0> 1 - 0.9 == 0.1 => false irb(main):002:0> [1 - 0.9].pack("D") => "\230\231\231\231\231\231\271?" irb(main):003:0> [0.1].pack("D") => "\232\231\231\231\231\231\271?"

on 2008-10-27 18:16

guille lists wrote: > I'm a bit lost here, shouldn't (0.1) and (1 - 0.9) be equals regarding > the == operator? No. The result of 1 - 0.9 using floating point math is not actually 0.1. In irb it is displayed as 0.1, but that's only because Float#inspect rounds. Using printf you can see that the result of 1-0.9 actually is 0.09999lots: >> printf "%.30f", 1-0.9 0.099999999999999977795539507497 0.1 itself isn't actually 0.1 either - it's 0.100000000000000005551115123126... Because of this you should not check two floats for equality (usually you want to check for a delta or not use floats at all). This is so because of the inherent inaccuracy of floating point maths. See this for more information: http://docs.sun.com/source/806-3568/ncg_goldberg.html HTH, Sebastian

on 2008-10-27 18:52

> Totally off-topic, but has any one figured out exactly why 1/9 > (0.111...) plus 8/9 (0.888...) is 1 instead of 0.999... :-) Ummm... because 1/9 + 8/9 == (1 + 8)/9 == 9/9 == 1 ? And... because 0.999... == 1? x = 0.999... 10x = 9.999... (10x - x) = 9.999... - 0.999... 9x = 9 x = 1

on 2008-10-27 20:32

Thanks a lot for the answers and references, and sorry for not having check deeper on google (http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/...). So I guess that if one wants to work for example with float numbers in the range [0,1], the best way to do it is by normalising from an integer interval depending on the precision you want, say [0,100] for two decimal digits precision, and so on. Is there any other better approach? Does the use of BigDecimal impose a severe penalty on performance? guille

on 2008-10-27 20:48

Matthew Moss wrote: >> Totally off-topic, but has any one figured out exactly why 1/9 >> (0.111...) plus 8/9 (0.888...) is 1 instead of 0.999... :-) > > Ummm... because 1/9 + 8/9 == (1 + 8)/9 == 9/9 == 1 ? > > And... because 0.999... == 1? > > x = 0.999... > 10x = 9.999... > (10x - x) = 9.999... - 0.999... > 9x = 9 > x = 1 While your answer is correct, you cannot subtract infinities as shown in your proof. Look at this: x == 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 - ... x == 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + ... ---------------------------------------- 2x == 1 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + ... x == 0.5 Does x == 0.5? No, because x was never a number in the first place because the given series does not converge. Your proof appears to work because you've already assumed 0.99999... converges, but that is what you are trying to prove. P.S. Euler thought the answer was x == 0.5.

on 2008-10-27 21:12

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 11:09 AM, Todd Benson <caduceass@gmail.com> wrote: > > Totally off-topic, but has any one figured out exactly why 1/9 > (0.111...) plus 8/9 (0.888...) is 1 instead of 0.999... :-) > I figured it out once, but I can't remember precisely how it worked. TwP

on 2008-10-27 21:14

-------- Original-Nachricht -------- > Datum: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 04:31:06 +0900 > Von: "guille lists" <guilledist@gmail.com> > An: ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org > Betreff: Re: float equality > > > guille Dear guille, you could use some approximate equality check: class Float def approx_equal?(other,threshold) if (self-other).abs<threshold # "<" not exact either ;-) return true else return false end end end a=0.1 b=1.0-0.9 threshold=10**(-5) p a.approx_equal?(b,threshold) Best regards, Axel

on 2008-10-27 21:31

Mathematically 1.(0) is the same thing as 0.(9). Computers simply represent this to whatever precision they can.

on 2008-10-27 21:41

On Oct 27, 2008, at 2:29 PM, Bilyk, Alex wrote: > Mathematically 1.(0) is the same thing as 0.(9). Computers simply > represent this to whatever precision they can. > Hmmm ... my humor is a little to obtuse today. I was hoping the word "precisely" would cause a mental link to the word "precision" which is what this problem is all about -- precision and computer representations of floating point values. Alas. I'll stick with my day job of writing software. Blessings, TwP

on 2008-10-27 21:58

On Oct 27, 2008, at 2:48 PM, The Higgs bozo wrote: >> (10x - x) = 9.999... - 0.999... > x == 0.5 > > Does x == 0.5? No, because x was never a number in the first place > because the given series does not converge. Your proof appears to > work because you've already assumed 0.99999... converges, but that is > what you are trying to prove. But 0.999... does converge, while 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 +... does not.

on 2008-10-27 22:02

>> x == 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + ... > But 0.999... does converge, while 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 +... does not. On re-reading, I see that you weren't so much questioning whether 0.999... converges, but that my proof uses circular reasoning. Yeah, I suppose that's correct. Still, 0.999... does converge and is 1. Nyah! :p I just don't remember the better proof I once knew.

on 2008-10-28 03:50

The Higgs bozo wrote: > guille lists wrote: >> I'm a bit lost here, shouldn't (0.1) and (1 - 0.9) be equals regarding >> the == operator? > > Nope. Floating-point is always inexact. What you mean is that binary floating point inexactly represents decimal fractions. > This is a computer thing, not > a Ruby thing. The issue applies to all languages everywhere which use > floating point. ...binary floating point.