Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
XP is just a number

Calculating e

by sifukurt (Hermit)
on Jul 18, 2001 at 05:17 UTC ( #97512=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
sifukurt has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I need some help. I've written a script that will calculate e using Euler's formula. I'm using Math::NumberCruncher to facilitate the factorial process, and Math::BigFloat which should, in theory, allow me to take e out to an arbitrary number of places. However, for some reason it seems to stop after about 320 places, or so. Here is the code:

use Math::BigFloat; use Math::NumberCruncher; $| = 1; $N = shift || 100; $e = Math::BigFloat->new("1"); for ( $i = 1; $i <= $N; $i++ ) { $fac = Math::NumberCruncher::Factorial( $i ); $e += 1 / $fac; } print $e, "\n";

Any thoughts on how I can get the above script to go beyond the 320-odd places?

Thanks for your time, Monks.

Comment on Calculating e
Download Code
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Calculating e
by mdillon (Priest) on Jul 18, 2001 at 06:01 UTC

    i just used this with N=400 and got a 1638 decimal place e, then with N=500 and got a 2145 decimal place e:

    use Math::BigFloat; $N = shift || 100; $e = Math::BigFloat->new(1); $fac = Math::BigFloat->new(1); for $i (1 .. $N) { $fac *= $i; $e += 1 / $fac; } print $e, $/;

    my computer is too slow to wait for it to go any higher. i don't know how far you can take it out.

    the number of digits seems to increase with the size of N but i don't know why, nor at what rate this happens.

    p.s. the result of this code looks to me like e, but i have no idea how accurate it is (beyond being basically accurate, i.e. about 2.71828). i compared it to a 10000 digit calculation of e i found on the Net, and it was only the same up to about 40 decimal places. if you're doing this to get an accurate value of e for later use, i would recommend just finding a calculated and verified version of it on the web (or use the version posted by IO in another response to this parent thread, which, as far as i can tell, reliably generates the actual digits of e). if you're just doing this for fun, then have a blast.

      Unfortunately, 1/3! was only accurate to about 40 decimal places
Re: Calculating e
by Albannach (Prior) on Jul 18, 2001 at 06:21 UTC
    Not only is mdillon's solution correct, it's also much more efficient as each factorial is simply one multiply on the previous one, whereas calling the function each time means a lot more work is being done.

    Now the reason for the failure is that the Math::NumberCruncher function overflows for 171!. Unfortunately it returns '1.#INF' which Perl happily treats as 1.0 in your division, so you simply divide by one from that point on, not making much more progress.

    Update: While Math::NumberCruncher does not use BigFloats for it's factorial function, it does already use the Math::BigFloat module for storing its very large version of $PI (though strangely BigFloats are not used in calculations with that $PI so it's probably pointless...), so it is a trivial matter to patch Math::NumberCruncher to use a BigFloat for the factorial. This is of course for occasional uses as for an iterative use of factorial mdillon's answer is still much faster.

    I'd like to be able to assign to an luser

Re: Calculating e
by I0 (Priest) on Jul 18, 2001 at 09:58 UTC
    $|=1; use integer; my @e=(1)x450; #represents sum{$e[$i]/$i!} for(1..1000){ for(reverse 1..$#e){ #Normalize $e[$_-1] += $e[$_]/$_; $e[$_] %= $_; } print $e[0]; $e[0] = 0; for( @e ){ $_ *= 10; } #shift decimal point }
Re: Calculating e
by Boots111 (Hermit) on Jul 18, 2001 at 18:40 UTC
    This is just a guess based on my knowledge of C and how it treats mathematical terms, but...

    I think that the line $e += 1 / $fac; is the culprit. While $e is a BigFloat, my guess would be that the result of the division of 1 and $fac would be a number of the same type as $fac. Thus while $e supports arbitrary precision, 1 / $fac does not support such a high precision


Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: perlquestion [id://97512]
Approved by root
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others surveying the Monastery: (9)
As of 2015-11-30 22:15 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?

    What would be the most significant thing to happen if a rope (or wire) tied the Earth and the Moon together?

    Results (787 votes), past polls