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The Stata Journal
Volume 8 Number 2: pp. 255-268



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Mata Matters: Overflow, underflow and the IEEE floating–point format

Jean Marie Linhart
StataCorp
College Station, TX
jlinhart@stata.com
Abstract.   Mata is Stata’s matrix language. The Mata Matters column shows how Mata can be used interactively to solve problems and as a programming language to add new features to Stata. In this quarter’s column, we investigate underflow and overflow and then delve into the details of how floating-point numbers are stored in the IEEE 754 floating-point standard. We show how to test for overflow and underflow. We demonstrate how to use the %21x format to see underflow and the %16H, %16L, %8H, and %8L formats for displaying the byte content of doubles and floats.
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View all articles with these keywords: underflow, overflow, denormalized number, normalized number, subnormal number, double precision, missing values, IEEE 754, format, binary, hexadecimal

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