f0b0s f0b0s - 27 days ago 5
C++ Question

Visual C++ math.h bug

I was debugging my project and could not find a bug. Finally I located it. Look at the code. You think everything is OK, and result will be "OK! OK! OK!", don't you? Now compile it with VC (i've tried vs2005 and vs2008).

#include <math.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main () {
for ( double x = 90100.0; x<90120.0; x+=1 )
if ( cos(x) == cos(x) )
printf ("x==%f OK!\n", x);
printf ("x==%f FAIL!\n", x);

return 0;

The magic double constant is 90112.0. When x < 90112.0 everything is OK, when x > 90112.0 -- Nope! You can change cos to sin.

Any ideas? Dont forget that sin and cos are periodic.


Could be this: http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/newbie.html#faq-29.18

I know it's hard to accept, but floating point arithmetic simply does not work like most people expect. Worse, some of the differences are dependent on the details of your particular computer's floating point hardware and/or the optimization settings you use on your particular compiler. You might not like that, but it's the way it is. The only way to "get it" is to set aside your assumptions about how things ought to behave and accept things as they actually do behave...

(with emphasis on the word "often"; the behavior depends on your hardware, compiler, etc.): floating point calculations and comparisons are often performed by special hardware that often contain special registers, and those registers often have more bits than a double. That means that intermediate floating point computations often have more bits than sizeof(double), and when a floating point value is written to RAM, it often gets truncated, often losing some bits of precision...

just remember this: floating point comparisons are tricky and subtle and fraught with danger. Be careful. The way floating point actually works is different from the way most programmers tend to think it ought to work. If you intend to use floating point, you need to learn how it actually works...