# Re: Floating point constant question

## joe@sanskrit.ho.att.com (Joe Orost 908- 946-1115)Tue, 29 Mar 1994 12:16:07 GMT

From comp.compilers

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 Newsgroups: comp.compilers From: joe@sanskrit.ho.att.com (Joe Orost 908- 946-1115) Keywords: arithmetic, optimize Organization: AT&T References: 94-03-157 Date: Tue, 29 Mar 1994 12:16:07 GMT

Scott Mahlke <mahlke@crhc.uiuc.edu> writes:

>I have a question regarding the following compiler optimization:
>
> x = y / 500.0; ===> x = y * 0.002;
> ...
>Is this or similar optimizations dealing with FP constants ever legal? Do
>any compilers out there do optimizations such as this? Thanks.

It's only a valid replacement if you don't affect the accuracy of the
calculation. For cases where you are dividing by a power of 2, it is
always safe. This is the rule I apply to the compilers I write.

In IEEE single precision, 500.0 is exact (43fa0000), while 0.002 is
actually represented by 0.00200000009499490261077880859375 (3b03126f). On
the other hand, both 512.0 and 0.001953125 are exact.

regards,
joe

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