[Numpy-discussion] IEEE 754-2008 decimal floating point support
Charles R Harris
Wed Sep 8 11:23:28 CDT 2010
On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 9:46 AM, Michael Gilbert <firstname.lastname@example.org
> On Wed, 8 Sep 2010 09:43:56 -0600, Charles R Harris wrote:
> > On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 9:26 AM, Michael Gilbert <
> > > wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Are there any plans to add support for decimal floating point
> > > arithmetic, as defined in the 2008 revision of the IEEE 754 standard
> > > , in numpy?
> > >
> > >
> > Not at the moment. There is currently no hardware or C support and adding
> > new types to numpy isn't trivial. You can get some limited Decimal
> > functionality by using python classes and object arrays, for instance the
> > Decimal class in the python decimal module, but the performance isn't
> > What is your particular interest in decimal support?
> Primarily avoiding catastrophic cancellation when subtracting
> large values. I was planning to use the decimal class, but was
> curious whether support for the IEEE standard was coming any time soon.
If you just need more precision, mpmath has better performance than the
Decimal class. Also, it might be possible to avoid the loss of precision by
changing the computation, but I don't know the details of what you are
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