# Approximations and Round-Off Errors Chapter 3

Chapter 3 by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 1 Approximations and Round-Off Errors Chapter 3 For many engineering problems, we cannot obtain analytical solutions. Numerical methods yield approximate results, results that are close to the exact analytical solution. We cannot exactly compute the errors associated with numerical methods. Only rarely given data are exact, since they originate from measurements. Therefore there is probably error in the input information. Algorithm itself usually introduces errors as well, e.g., unavoidable

round-offs, etc The output information will then contain error from both of these sources. How confident we are in our approximate result? The question is how much error is present in our calculation and is it tolerable? by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 2 Accuracy. How close is a computed or measured value to the true value Precision (or reproducibility). How close is a computed or measured value to previously computed or measured values.

Inaccuracy (or bias). A systematic deviation from the actual value. Imprecision (or uncertainty). Magnitude of scatter. by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 3 Fig. 3.2 by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.

4 Significant Figures Number of significant figures indicates precision. Significant digits of a number are those that can be used with confidence, e.g., the number of certain digits plus one estimated digit. 53,800 How many significant figures? 5.38 x 104 5.380 x 104 5.3800 x 104 3 4 5 Zeros are sometimes used to locate the decimal point not significant figures. 0.00001753 0.0001753 0.001753

by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University 4 4 4 Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 5 Error Definitions True Value = Approximation + Error Et = True value Approximation (+/-) True error true error True fractional relative error

true value true error True percent relative error, t 100% true value by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 6 For numerical methods, the true value will be known only when we deal with functions that can be solved analytically (simple systems). In real world applications, we usually not know the answer a priori. Then Approximate error

a 100% Approximation Iterative approach, example Newtons method Current approximation - Previous approximation a 100% Current approximation (+ / -) by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 7 Use absolute value.

Computations are repeated until stopping criterion is satisfied. a s Pre-specified % tolerance based on the knowledge of your solution If the following criterion is met s (0.5 10(2-n) )% you can be sure that the result is correct to at least n significant figures. by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.

8 Round-off Errors Numbers such as , e, or 7 cannot be expressed by a fixed number of significant figures. Computers use a base-2 representation, they cannot precisely represent certain exact base-10 numbers. Fractional quantities are typically represented in computer using floating point form, e.g., Integer part m.be mantissa by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University exponent Base of the number system used Chapter 3

Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 9 Figure 3.3 by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 10 Figure 3.4 by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University

Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 11 Figure 3.5 by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 12 156.78

0.15678x103 in a floating point base-10 system 1 Suppose only 4 0.029411765 34 decimal places to be stored 1 0 0.029410 m 1 2 Normalized to remove the leading zeroes. Multiply the mantissa by 10 and lower the exponent by 1 0.2941 x 10-1 by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Additional significant figure

is retained Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 13 1 m 1 b Therefore for a base-10 system 0.1 m<1 for a base-2 system 0.5 m<1 Floating point representation allows both fractions and very large numbers to be expressed on the computer. However, Floating point numbers take up more room. Take longer to process than integer numbers. Round-off errors are introduced because mantissa

holds only a finite number of significant figures. by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 14 Chopping Example: =3.14159265358 to be stored on a base-10 system carrying 7 significant digits. =3.141592 chopping error t=0.00000065 If rounded =3.141593 t=0.00000035 Some machines use chopping, because rounding adds to the computational overhead. Since number of

significant figures is large enough, resulting chopping error is negligible. by Lale Yurttas, Texas A &M University Chapter 3 Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. 15

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