# does -0 exist?

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I have a quick question about floating point numbers. I'm using VC++ Express. I have the following code.
double j = 0.0;
j *= -1.0;
cout << j << endl;
It outputs -0. I didn't think -0 exists. I know that floating point numbers have a sign bit, so when it multiplies it by -1 does it just flip that bit and make it look negative? Is there a way to fix this? I don't see any real problems with it, but it looks weird. Thanks.

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In IEEE standard 754 floating point there is definitely a -0. I believe in most cases it will behave exactly like 0. It might differ in the case of a division by zero, I'm not really sure (the representation would then become a special value that represents infinity or possibly negative infinity, I believe).

If you want to avoid printing a -0 for display purposes, just write some code to test for it and flip it around if it happens.

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Quote:
 Original post by VorpyIf you want to avoid printing a -0 for display purposes, just write some code to test for it and flip it around if it happens.

Of course that is pretty complicated since +0 == -0 in C++ even though their representation isn't equal. The simplest way to test for negative zero I know of is to divide a positive integer with the zero and check whether the result is positive or negative infinity.

The way I would do it would be to test for zero (positive or negative) and just square the zero, then you are guaranteed to get positive zero.

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Well the simplest way i could think of would be to add a positive value and then promptly subtract it, this would leave you with +0.0

However it appears that simply adding +0.0 also does the job, so no subtraction necessary.

The following works for me:

double j = 0.0;j *= -1.0;j += 0.0;cout << j << endl;

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Quote:
 Original post by dmatterHowever it appears that simply adding +0.0 also does the job, so no subtraction necessary.

That's interesting, is this behavoir defined in the standard ?
And is -0 + +0 the same as +0 - +0 or +0 + -0 ?

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Or, you could actually check if the sign bit is set on the number:
float number;bool negative = (*((int *)&number) & (1 << 31) > 0);

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Quote:
 Original post by nmiOr have a look into the wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%88%920_%28number%29

Good to see my solution features on that page [smile]

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This is due to the codage of the double number.
64 bits :
1 bit for the sign (s) (siwtch to 0 and -0)
11 bits for exposant (e)
52 bits for mantisse (m)

the double is computed as (-1)^s * m*10^e

Note that, for an integer number, there is no -0.
The codage of an unsigned integer is (for a char) 0..255

For a signed number, the codage is -128..127
There is a super tip of codage :

the order of codage is 0,1,2,3,....,127,-128,-127,-126,...,-1
(-1 is always 0xFF (short), 0xFFFF (char), 0xFFFFFFFF (int))

why ?
To have easyly (for a number n), -n (and to substract)
Getting the opposite of n is just switching all bits, then adding 1.

example :

opposite of 1 : coded 00000001
switch all bits : 11111110
then add 1 : 11111111 -> 0xFF

other example :

opposite of 0 : coded 00000000
switch all bits : 11111111
then add 1 : 00000000 (stay in basis 8 bits, flag Carry), then it is still 0.

I love codage.

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Quote:
 Original post by DaBonoOr, you could actually check if the sign bit is set on the number:float number;bool negative = (*((int *)&number) & (1 << 31) > 0);

As well as being non-portable because it relies on the underlying representation of floating point numbers, that code breaks the strict aliasing rules and thus will result in undefined behaviour.

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