On Fri, 16 Sep 2016 21:20:59 -0500, Joel C. Ewing <jcew...@acm.org> wrote:

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>Obviously the description of floating-point multiply given above needs
>some liberal interpretation as well. The hardware obviously cannot
>produce an "infinite product". Since there is a fixed maximum magnitude
>positive or negative that can be represented in each of the various
>number representations used on any computer, the maximum product that
>could be attempted would be the square of that magnitude. As a
>practical matter, any result that overflows that maximum magnitude may
>be regarded as infinity by the architecture, or it might just produce a
>garbaged value and an overflow indication. Some architectures have
>reserved values that stand for +∞ and -∞ so that once one of these
>values is produced in a chain of computations, subsequent calculations
>based on those values also convey that the results have lost meaning.
From the PoP it seems that our hardware can deal with the concept of infinity
(I think that's part of the IEEE floating-point standard) :
<quote>
Infinities
BFP and DFP data include an infinite numeric datum,
called infinity. Infinities can participate in most arithmetic
operations and give a consistent result, usually
infinity. An infinity has a sign bit. In comparisons,
infinities of the same sign compare equal, +∞ compares
greater than any finite number, and -∞ compares
less than any finite number.
</quote>
--
Walt
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