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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Significance arithmetic on a digital computer

The 7090 at NYU has been modified to include a “Significance Mode” of operation which is intended to facilitate the identification of significant bits in the results of floating-point arithmetic operations. The manner in which floating-point arithmetic is handled in this mode is discussed. Several numerical experiments using this mode are described and comparisons are made with the ordinary “normalized mode.” Examples include power series evaluation, linear equations solution, determinant evaluation and matrix inversion.

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