# Catastrophic Cancellation¶

In [5]:
import numpy as np


Let's make two numbers with very similar magnitude:

In [6]:
x = 1.48234
y = 1.48235


Now let's compute their difference in double precision:

In [7]:
x_dbl = np.float64(x)
y_dbl = np.float64(y)
diff_dbl = x_dbl-y_dbl

print(repr(diff_dbl))

-1.0000000000065512e-05

• What would the correct result be?
• What has happened here?

Can you predict what will happen in single precision?

In [8]:
x_sng = np.float32(x)
y_sng = np.float32(y)
diff_sng = x_sng-y_sng

print(diff_sng)

-1.00136e-05

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