Last modified on 17 January 2012, at 17:53

A-level Computing/AQA/Problem Solving, Programming, Operating Systems, Databases and Networking/Real Numbers

Specification link : Floating Point Numbers

Describe the format of floating point numbers, including the concept of mantissa and exponent and the need for normalisation.

Only Two’s Complement representation of mantissa and exponent needs to be covered (IEEE standard does not need to be covered)

Specification link : Floating Point Numbers

Explain the limitations of representing real numbers in a computer system, and how errors occur.

  • Significant digits
  • Precision
  • Rounding errors (absolute errors, relative errors)
  • Cancellation Error
  • Underflow
  • Overflow