[Haskell-cafe] floating point operations and representation
Don Stewart
dons at galois.com
Wed Mar 12 21:27:59 EDT 2008
quark:
> I have two questions about using the Double data type and the
> operations in the Floating typeclass on a computer that uses IEEE
> floating point numbers.
>
> I notice that the Floating class only provides "log" (presumably log
> base 'e') and "logBase" (which, in the latest source that I see for
> GHC is defined as "log y / log x"). However, in C, the "math.h"
> library provides specific "log2" and "log10" functions, for extra
> precision. A test on IEEE computers (x86 and x86-64), shows that for
> a range of 64-bit "double" values, the answers in C do differ (in the
> last bit) if you use "log2(x)" and "log10(x)" versus "log (x) /
> log(2)" and "log(x) / log(10)".
You could consider binding directly to the C functions, if needed,
{-# OPTIONS -fffi -#include "math.h" #-}
import Foreign.C.Types
foreign import ccall unsafe "math.h log10"
c_log10 :: CDouble -> CDouble
log10 :: Double -> Double
log10 x = realToFrac (c_log10 (realToFrac x))
main = mapM_ (print . log10) [1..10]
Also, is there any difference if you compile with -fvia-C or -fexcess-precision
(or both)?
> My second question is how to get at the IEEE bit representation for a
> Double. I am already checking "isIEEE n" in my source code (and
> "floatRadix n == 2"). So I know that I am operating on hardware that
> implements floating point numbers by the IEEE standard. I would like
> to get at the 64 bits of a Double. Again, I can convert to a CDouble
> and use the FFI to wrap a C function which casts the "double" to a
> 64-bit number and returns it. But I'm wondering if there's not a
> better way to do this natively in Haskell/GHC (perhaps some crazy use
> of the Storable typeclass?). Or if someone has already tackled this
> problem with FFI, that would be interesting to know.
The FFI is a good way. You can just bind to any C code linked with your code.
There's some similar code for messing with doubles and longs in the
mersenne-random package you might be able to use for inspiration:
http://code.haskell.org/~dons/code/mersenne-random/
-- Don
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