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## cube root

 Hi there, just a quick one.Is there a way to obtain cube roots in python?I have been trying:math.pow(n,1.0/3)This works with some, but with 64, for example I get:>>> pow(64,1.0/3)3.9999999999999996 However:>>> 4**364Any ideas?ThanksColin _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 Hey Colin, What you're running into here is the limited accuracy of floating point values... You'll likely find this happens a lot in python.. CPython, at least. (I know, as I do) I'm not sure, as I've never used it... but perhaps Numeric/Numpy handle this kinda stuff better (for accuracy's sake) Cheers, --Brett col speed wrote: > Hi there, just a quick one. > Is there a way to obtain cube roots in python? > I have been trying: > math.pow(n,1.0/3) > This works with some, but with 64, for example I get: > >>> pow(64,1.0/3) > 3.9999999999999996 > However: > >>> 4**3 > 64 > Any ideas? > Thanks > Colin > ------------------------------------------------------------------------ > > _______________________________________________ > Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] > http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor>   _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM, Brett Wilkins <[hidden email]> wrote: > Hey Colin, > What you're running into here is the limited accuracy of floating point > values... Here the Python Documentation mentioning about the inherent limitations in dealing with floating point numbers: http://docs.python.org/tutorial/floatingpoint.html-- Senthil _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by Brett Wilkins "Brett Wilkins" <[hidden email]> wrote > What you're running into here is the limited accuracy of floating > point > values... You'll likely find this happens a lot in python.. CPython, > at least. In fact it happens with virtually every programming language available. The problem traces back to the way that computers represent floating point numbers in hardware. The integrated circuits cannot hold infinitely long numbers so they need to use a condensed representation and that inherently introduces small inaccuracies. (Think of 1/3 in decimal - an infinite series of 1.3333..., the same is true in binary, some numbers just cannot be represented accurately) In the specific case being discussed you can disguise the problem quite easily by displaying the result with a smaller number of decimal places using round() or string formatting: >>> 64**(1.0/3) 3.9999999999999996 >>> print 64**(1.0/3) 4.0 >>> round(64**(1.0/3)) 4.0 >>> "%5.3f" % 64**(1.0/3) '4.000' >>> When you need to compare floating point numbers you also need to be careful since: >>> 4.0 == 64**(1.0/3)     ## is false! You need to introduce an error range, typically: >>> e = 0.00000001 >>> 4.0-e < 64**(1.0/3) < 4.0+e     #  is true You can also use the decimal module for exact decimal arithmetic but it introduces some other complications. HTH, -- Alan Gauld Author of the Learn to Program web site http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld_______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by Brett Wilkins On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 07:41, Brett Wilkins wrote: What you're running into here is the limited accuracy of floating point values... You'll likely find this happens a lot in python.. CPython, at least. (I know, as I do) I'm not sure, as I've never used it... but perhaps Numeric/Numpy handle this kinda stuff better (for accuracy's sake) Maybe this issue can be overcome by using symbolic notation when possible (maybe by using SymPy)? Has anyone any experience with this?--Vicent _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by col speed Wow!  Everybody jumped on the "floating point inaccuracy" topic, I'm surprised no one tried to find out what the OP was trying to do with his cube root solver in the first place.  Of course, the first-cut approach to solving the cube root is to raise to the 1/3 power, but this is not the only possible approach.  Assuming that the OP wanted to try to find cube roots for integers, or raise an exception if the given number is not a perfect cube, I came up with this: def cube_root(n):     "A modified Newton's Method solver for integral cube roots."     if int(n) != n:         raise ValueError("must provide an integer")     if n in (-1,0,1): return n     offset = (1,-1)[n > 0]     x = n/2     seen = set()     steps = 0     while 1:         y = x**3         if y == n:             #~ print "Found %d ^ 1/3 = %d in %d steps" % (n,x,steps)             return x         dydx = 3.0*x*x         x += int((n-y)/dydx)+offset         x = x or 1         if x in seen:             raise ValueError("%d is not a perfect cube" % n)         seen.add(x)         steps += 1 This will correctly give 4 for 64, 5 for 125, etc., not 3.99999999999. Then I went googling for "python cube root", and found this curious solution: def root3rd(x):     y, y1 = None, 2     while y!=y1:         y = y1         y3 = y**3         d = (2*y3+x)         y1 = (y*(y3+2*x)+d//2)//d     return y This only works for perfect cubes, but could be made more robust with this test just before returning y:     if y*y*y != x:         raise ValueError("%d is not a perfect cube" % x) I was intrigued at this solution - timing it versus mine showed it to be 5x faster.  I tried to see some sort of Newton's method implementation, but instead its more of a binary search.  This was confirmed by adding this line inside the while loop:         print y,y1 And to solve for the cube root of 1860867 (123**3), I get this output: None 2 2 4 4 8 8 16 16 32 32 62 62 105 105 123 with the value 123 returned as the answer.  Note that the guess (variable y1) is initially doubled and redoubled, until the solution is neared.  I tried initializing y1 to a different guess, the original number, and got this: None 1860867 1860867 930434 930434 465217 465217 232609 232609 116305 116305 58153 58153 29077 29077 14539 14539 7270 7270 3635 3635 1818 1818 909 909 456 456 235 235 141 141 123 Now the guess is halved each time until nearing the solution, then again converging to the solution 123. This algorithm is also robust in that it can do more than just cube roots. By changing this line:     y3 = y**3 to:     y3 = y**4 We get a 4th root solver!  Unfortunately, this breaks down at the 5th root, as I found solutions would not converge.  At this point, I lost interest in the general applicability of this algorithm, but it is still an interesting approach - does anyone know the theoretical basis for it? I guess I was just disappointed that taking cube roots of so small a number as 64 quickly got us into floating-point roundoff errors, and if the OP is doing something like looking for perfect cubes, then there are alternatives to the one-size-fits-almost-all logarithmic implementation of the '**' operator. -- Paul _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by col speed The only language I've run into so far (I haven't used many, mind) that doesn't have this issue is Scheme :) (Just learning it at the moment.) Cheers, --Brett P.S. Forgive me if this email doesn't sort properly, sending through webmail, as I don't have a relaying SMTP available to me currently. Alan Gauld wrote: > > "Brett Wilkins" <[hidden email]> wrote > >> What you're running into here is the limited accuracy of floating point >> values... You'll likely find this happens a lot in python.. CPython, >> at least. > > In fact it happens with virtually every programming language available. > The problem traces back to the way that computers represent floating > point numbers in hardware. The integrated circuits cannot hold infinitely > long numbers so they need to use a condensed representation and > that inherently introduces small inaccuracies. (Think of 1/3 in > decimal - an infinite series of 1.3333..., the same is true in binary, > some numbers just cannot be represented accurately) > > In the specific case being discussed you can disguise the problem > quite easily by displaying the result with a smaller number of decimal > places using round() or string formatting: > >>>> 64**(1.0/3) > 3.9999999999999996 >>>> print 64**(1.0/3) > 4.0 >>>> round(64**(1.0/3)) > 4.0 >>>> "%5.3f" % 64**(1.0/3) > '4.000' >>>> > > When you need to compare floating point numbers you also > need to be careful since: > >>>> 4.0 == 64**(1.0/3)     ## is false! > > You need to introduce an error range, typically: > >>>> e = 0.00000001 >>>> 4.0-e < 64**(1.0/3) < 4.0+e     #  is true > > You can also use the decimal module for exact decimal > arithmetic but it introduces some other complications. > > HTH, > > _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 6:11 AM, Brett Wilkins <[hidden email]> wrote: > The only language I've run into so far (I haven't used many, mind) that > doesn't have this issue is Scheme :) It doesn't have an issue with cube roots or with floating point inaccuracies in general? If the latter, I would like to know how they do that... Kent _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by Alan Gauld Do you know any common algorithm to convert decimal (in the sense of fractional) decimals (in the sense of base 10 numbers) into binaries? 123.456 --> 1111011.bbb... and/or 123456 * 10**(-3) --> bbb... * 2**(-bbb...) How do python/C achieve that? denis ------ la vida e estranya _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by Brett Wilkins On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM, Brett Wilkins <[hidden email]> wrote: > The only language I've run into so far (I haven't used many, mind) that > doesn't have this issue is Scheme :) > (Just learning it at the moment.) It doesn't? That would surprise me. The only one that I know to do this kind of thing correctly is Matlab. -- André Engels, [hidden email] _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by col speed Hmm, Well I thought it was both, but the latter seems untrue (now that I test a bit more) (expt 64 (/ 1 3)) gives the value 4, but turning any of those into floating point numbers seems to give me the infamous 3.999999999999996 thing all over again. I was originally thinking that scheme would handle exponents as floating point numbers, the way that C does (ie 2e20 is a fp number...), and I tested 2e20+1-2e20, which stumps most languages (python just gives 0.0, gcc 4.0.1 gives the same). Oh well, sorry to get your hopes up!  Btw, I'm using MIT/GNU scheme, in case that makes a difference. Cheers --Brett Kent Johnson wrote: > On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 6:11 AM, Brett Wilkins <[hidden email]> wrote: >> The only language I've run into so far (I haven't used many, mind) that >> doesn't have this issue is Scheme :) > > It doesn't have an issue with cube roots or with floating point > inaccuracies in general? If the latter, I would like to know how they > do that... > > Kent _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by spir On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 1:13 PM, spir <[hidden email]> wrote: > Do you know any common algorithm to convert decimal (in the sense of fractional) decimals (in the sense of base 10 numbers) into binaries? > > 123.456                 --> 1111011.bbb... > and/or > 123456 * 10**(-3)       --> bbb... * 2**(-bbb...) > > How do python/C achieve that? There's probably more efficient methods, but a simple method to convert a decimal fraction to a binary would be the following (untested): def tobinary(n,precision=12)     # n is a number between 0 and 1 that should be converted, precision is the number of binary digits to use.     assert 0.0 <= n < 1.0     outcome = "0."     compare = 0.5     for i in xrange(precision):         if n > compare:             outcome += "1"             n -= compare             if n == 0.0: break         else:             outcome += "0"         compare /= 2     return outcome -- André Engels, [hidden email] _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by col speed -----Original Message----- >From: Andre Engels <[hidden email]> >Sent: Jan 19, 2009 7:22 AM >To: spir <[hidden email]> >Cc: [hidden email] >Subject: Re: [Tutor] cube root > >On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 1:13 PM, spir <[hidden email]> wrote: >> Do you know any common algorithm to convert decimal (in the sense of fractional) decimals (in the sense of base 10 numbers) into binaries? >> >> 123.456                 --> 1111011.bbb... >> and/or >> 123456 * 10**(-3)       --> bbb... * 2**(-bbb...) >> >> How do python/C achieve that? > >There's probably more efficient methods, but a simple method to >convert a decimal fraction to a binary would be the following >(untested): > >def tobinary(n,precision=12) >    # n is a number between 0 and 1 that should be converted, >precision is the number of binary digits to use. >    assert 0.0 <= n < 1.0 >    outcome = "0." >    compare = 0.5 >    for i in xrange(precision): >        if n > compare: >            outcome += "1" >            n -= compare >            if n == 0.0: break >        else: >            outcome += "0" >        compare /= 2 >    return outcome > >-- >André Engels, [hidden email] I hope my memory serves.  To convert decimal fraction into binary fraction, do the following repeatedly to the decimal until desired accuracy is achieved. Multiply by 2, if result is less than 1, next digit is 0 else next digit is 1 and you drop the whole number part of the result. Continue... .456 * 2 = .912    (first digit is 0) .912 * 2 = 1.824   (next digit is 1) .824 * 2 = 1.648   (next digit is 1) .648 * 2 = 1.296   (next digit is 1) .296 * 2 = .592    (next digit is 0) 0.456 ~ 0.01110 _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor
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## Re: cube root

 In reply to this post by Vicent-3 Wow! I seem to have caused a great deal of comments!I actually am looking to see if a number is a "perfect cube". I will try out all the suggestions.Thanks a lot.ColinP.S.I have a small programme that changes decimal to binary (I don't know if it can be changed to work with fractions or not), maybe it will help. def dec2bin(dec):    bin = ''    while dec > 0:        bin = str(dec & 1) + bin        dec >>= 1    return bin2009/1/19 Vicent On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 07:41, Brett Wilkins wrote: What you're running into here is the limited accuracy of floating point values... You'll likely find this happens a lot in python.. CPython, at least. (I know, as I do) I'm not sure, as I've never used it... but perhaps Numeric/Numpy handle this kinda stuff better (for accuracy's sake) Maybe this issue can be overcome by using symbolic notation when possible (maybe by using SymPy)? Has anyone any experience with this?--Vicent _______________________________________________ Tutor maillist  -  [hidden email] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor