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5. MPFR Interface

The floating-point functions expect arguments of type mpfr_t.

The MPFR floating-point functions have an interface that is similar to the GNU MP functions. The function prefix for floating-point operations is mpfr_.

The user has to specify the precision of each variable. A computation that assigns a variable will take place with the precision of the assigned variable; the cost of that computation should not depend on the precision of variables used as input (on average).

The semantics of a calculation in MPFR is specified as follows: Compute the requested operation exactly (with “infinite accuracy”), and round the result to the precision of the destination variable, with the given rounding mode. The MPFR floating-point functions are intended to be a smooth extension of the IEEE 754 arithmetic. The results obtained on a given computer are identical to those obtained on a computer with a different word size, or with a different compiler or operating system.

MPFR does not keep track of the accuracy of a computation. This is left to the user or to a higher layer (for example the MPFI library for interval arithmetic). As a consequence, if two variables are used to store only a few significant bits, and their product is stored in a variable with large precision, then MPFR will still compute the result with full precision.

The value of the standard C macro errno may be set to non-zero by any MPFR function or macro, whether or not there is an error.


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