Number Systems. Binary Numbers. Appendix. Decimal notation represents numbers as powers of 10, for example


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1 Appendix F Number Systems Binary Numbers Decimal notation represents numbers as powers of 10, for example decimal = There is no particular reason for the choice of 10, except that several historical number systems were derived from people s counting with their fingers. Other number systems, using a base of 12, 20, or 60, have been used by various cultures throughout human history. However, computers use a number system with base 2 because it is far easier to build electronic components that work with two values, which can be represented by a current being either off or on, than it would be to represent 10 different values of electrical signals. A number written in base 2 is also called a binary number. For example, binary = = + + =
2 2 APPENDIX F Number Systems For digits after the decimal point, use negative powers of binary = = = = In general, to convert a binary number into its decimal equivalent, simply evaluate the powers of 2 corresponding to digits with value 1, and add them up. Table 1 shows the first powers of 2. Table 1 Powers of Two Power Decimal Value , , , , , , ,536
3 APPENDIX F Number Systems 3 To convert a decimal integer into its binary equivalent, keep dividing the integer by 2, keeping track of the remainders. Stop when the number is 0. Then write the remainders as a binary number, starting with the last one. For example, = 50 remainder = 25 remainder = 12 remainder = 6 remainder = 3 remainder = 1remainder = 0 remainder 1 Therefore, 100decimal = binary. Conversely, to convert a fractional number less than 1 to its binary format, keep multiplying by 2. If the result is greater than 1, subtract 1. Stop when the number is 0. Then use the digits before the decimal points as the binary digits of the fractional part, starting with the first one. For example, 035. i 2 = i 2 = i 2 = i 2 = i 2 = i 2 = 0. 4 Here the pattern repeats. That is, the binary representation of 0.35 is To convert any floatingpoint number into binary, convert the whole part and the fractional part separately. Long, Short, Signed, and Unsigned Integers There are two important properties that characterize integer values in computers. These are the number of bits used in the representation, and whether the integers are considered to be signed or unsigned. Most computers you are likely to encounter use a 32bit integer. However, the C++ language does not require this, and there have been machines that used 16, 20, 36, or even 64bit integers. There are times when it is useful to have integers of different sizes. The C++ language provides two modifiers that are used to declare such integers. A short int (or simply a short) is an integer that, on most
4 4 APPENDIX F Number Systems implementations, has fewer bits than an int. (The phrase on most implementations is necessary because the language definition only requires that a short integer have no more bits than a standard integer.) On most platforms that use a 32bit integer, a short is 16 bits. At the other extreme are long integers. As you might expect, a long int (or simply a long) contains no fewer bits than a standard integer. At the present time most personal computers still use a 32bit long, but processors that provide 64bit longs have started to appear and will likely be more common in the future. A character (or char) is sometimes used as a very short (8bit) integer. The C++ programmer therefore has the following hierarchy of integer sizes: Type char short int long Typical Size 8bit 16bit 32bit 32 or 64bit The sizeof operator can be used to tell how many bits your compiler assigns to each type. This operator takes a type as argument and returns the number of bytes each type requires. Multiplying the number of bytes by 8 will tell you the number of bits: cout << "Number of bytes for char " << sizeof(char) << " number of bits " << 8 * sizeof(char) << "\n"; cout << "Number of bytes for short " << sizeof(short) << " number of bits " << 8 * sizeof(short) << "\n"; cout << "Number of bytes for int " << sizeof(int) << " number of bits " << 8 * sizeof(int) << "\n"; cout << "Number of bytes for long " << sizeof(long) << " number of bits " << 8 * sizeof(long) << "\n"; If the only numbers you needed were positive, then the preceding discussion would be everything you needed to know. However, in most applications it is more useful to allow both positive and negative values, and so a more complicated encoding is necessary. This characteristic of an integer is declared using the modifiers signed and unsigned. An unsigned integer holds only positive values. An unsigned short int that is represented using 16 bits can maintain the values between 0 and 65,535 (that is, between zero and ). A 32bit unsigned int can represent values between 0 and 4,294,967,295. If no modifier is provided, an integer is assumed to be signed. Allowing both positive and negative values requires changing the representation of an integer value. The details of this representation are described in the next section. However, an important feature is that allowing both positive and negative numbers requires setting aside one bit (the socalled sign bit) to indicate whether the number is positive or negative. This reduces the largest value that can be
5 APPENDIX F Number Systems 5 represented. The following table shows the range of values that can be represented using signed and unsigned integers of 8, 16, 32, and 64 bits. Integer Type Range of Values 8bit signed 128 to bit unsigned 0 to bit signed 32,768 to 32, bit unsigned 0 to 65, bit signed 2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483, bit unsigned 0 to 4,294,967, bit signed 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775, bit unsigned 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 Two s Complement Integers To represent negative integers, there are two common representations, called signed magnitude and two s complement. Signed magnitude notation is simple: use the leftmost bit for the sign (0 = positive, 1 = negative). For example, when using 8bit numbers, 13 = signed magnitude However, building circuitry for adding numbers gets a bit more complicated when one has to take a sign bit into account. The two s complement representation solves this problem. To form the two s complement of a number, Flip all bits. Then add 1. For example, to compute 13 as an 8bit value, first flip all bits of to get Then add 1: 13 = two s complement Now no special circuitry is required for adding two numbers. Just follow the normal rule for addition, with a carry to the next position if the sum of the digits and the prior carry is 2 or 3.
6 6 APPENDIX F Number Systems For example, But only the last 8 bits count, so +13 and 13 add up to 0, as they should. In particular, 1 has two s complement representation , with all bits set. The leftmost bit of a two s complement number is 0 if the number is positive or zero, 1 if it is negative. Two s complement notation with a given number of bits can represent one more negative number than positive numbers. For example, the 8bit two s complement numbers range from 128 to This phenomenon is an occasional cause for a programming error. For example, consider the following code: short b =...; if (b < 0) b = b; This code does not guarantee that b is nonnegative afterwards. If short values are 16 bits and b happens to be 32,768, then computing its negative again yields 32,768. (Try it out take (15 zeros), flip all bits, and add 1.) IEEE FloatingPoint Numbers The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) defines standards for floatingpoint representations in the IEEE754 standard. Figure 1 shows how singleprecision (float) and doubleprecision (double) values are decomposed into A sign bit An exponent A mantissa 1 bit 8 bit 23 bit sign biased exponent e mantissa (without leading 1) Single Precision 1 bit 11 bit 52 bit sign biased exponent e mantissa (without leading 1) Double Precision Figure 1 IEEE FloatingPoint Representation
7 APPENDIX F Number Systems 7 Floatingpoint numbers use scientific notation, in which a number is represented as b b b b e In this representation, e is the exponent, and the digits b0. b1b2b3 form the mantissa. The normalized representation is the one where b 0 0. For example, 100 = = decimal binary binary Because in the binary number system the first bit of a normalized representation must be 1, it is not actually stored in the mantissa. Therefore, you always need to add it on to represent the actual value. For example, the mantissa is stored as The exponent part of the IEEE representation uses neither signed magnitude nor two s complement representation. Instead, a bias is added to the actual exponent. The bias is 127 for singleprecision numbers and 1023 for doubleprecision numbers. For example, the exponent e = 6 would be stored as 133 in a singleprecision number. Thus, 100 decimal = singleprecision IEEE In addition, there are several special values. Among them are: Zero: biased exponent = 0, mantissa = 0. Infinity: biased exponent = , mantissa = ±0. NaN (not a number): biased exponent = , mantissa ±0.
8 8 APPENDIX F Number Systems Hexadecimal Numbers Because binary numbers can be hard to read for humans, programmers often use the hexadecimal number system, with base 16. The digits are denoted as 0, 1,, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F. (See Table 2.) Four binary digits correspond to one hexadecimal digit. That makes it easy to convert between binary and hexadecimal values. For example, binary = 3B1 hexadecimal In C++, hexadecimal integers are denoted with a 0x prefix, such as 0x3B1. Table 2 Hexadecimal Digits Hexadecimal Decimal Binary A B C D E F
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