## Q42853: Logically Same DOUBLE Precision Assignments, Different Results

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Article: Q42853
Product(s): See article
Version(s): 4.00 4.00b 4.50
Operating System(s): MS-DOS
Keyword(s): ENDUSER | B_BasicCom | mspl13_basic
Last Modified: 15-DEC-1989
Assigning SINGLE or DOUBLE precision variables to logically equivalent
expressions that use functions and temporary variables differently may
return values that vary slightly at the limits of their precision.
These variations can range above or below the expected integral value,
and can thus affect results returned from the INT function. This is
not a software problem, but is due to the way that the compiler
optimizes different expressions and rounds off values at the limits of
precision differently in different expressions. The binary math used
by the compiler cannot precisely represent all floating-point values
at each intermediate step in a calculation, and round-off errors are
unavoidable. For more information, query on the word IEEETUTR.
This information applies to Microsoft QuickBASIC Versions 4.00, 4.00b,
and 4.50, to Microsoft BASIC Compiler Versions 6.00 and 6.00b, and to
Microsoft BASIC PDS Version 7.00. This occurs both in the QuickBASIC
environment (or the QuickBASIC Extended environment of BASIC PDS 7.00)
and in executable programs compiled with BC.EXE.
The following program demonstrates the behavior. The variable "A#" is
assigned to three different expressions that are logically equivalent
but yield different floating-point results that vary at the limits of
double precision. These slight variations affect the results returned
by the INT function if the floating-point value is slightly less than
the "expected" integral value.
CLS
Log10# = LOG(10#)
FOR I% = 1 TO 3
X# = 1#
SELECT CASE I%
CASE 1
PRINT "A# = LOG(X#) / LOG(10#)"
CASE 2
PRINT "A# = LOG(X#) / Log10#"
CASE 3
PRINT "A# = logX# / Log10#"
CASE ELSE
END SELECT
DO
X# = X# * 10#
logX# = LOG(X#)
' The following three assignment statements are all logically
' identical but all produce slightly different results for
' different values of X#.
' Values of X# used: 10, 100, 1000, 10000
SELECT CASE I%
CASE 1
A# = LOG(X#) / LOG(10#)
CASE 2
A# = LOG(X#) / Log10#
CASE 3
A# = logX# / Log10#
CASE ELSE
END SELECT
IntegPart# = INT(A#)
FractPart# = A# - INT(A#)
PRINT "A# = "; A#; TAB(27); "INT(A#) = "; IntegPart#;
PRINT TAB(43); "A# - INT(A#) = "; FractPart#
LOOP UNTIL X# > 1000#
PRINT
NEXT I%
END
The program output is as follows:
A# = LOG(X#) / LOG(10#)
A# = 1 INT(A#) = 1 A# - INT(A#) = 0
A# = 2 INT(A#) = 2 A# - INT(A#) = 0
A# = 3 INT(A#) = 3 A# - INT(A#) = 0
A# = 4 INT(A#) = 4 A# - INT(A#) = 0
A# = LOG(X#) / Log10#
A# = .9999999999999999 INT(A#) = 0
A# - INT(A#) = .9999999999999999
A# = 2 INT(A#) = 1
A# - INT(A#) = .9999999999999998
A# = 3 INT(A#) = 2
A# - INT(A#) = .9999999999999996
A# = 4 INT(A#) = 3
A# - INT(A#) = .9999999999999996
A# = logX# / Log10#
A# = 1 INT(A#) = 1 A# - INT(A#) = 0
A# = 2 INT(A#) = 2 A# - INT(A#) = 0
A# = 3 INT(A#) = 2 A# - INT(A#) =
.9999999999999996
A# = 4 INT(A#) = 4 A# - INT(A#) = 0
```

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