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Cirollo
Ah, sorry. TAOCP is The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth.
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Here are some of the reasons Knuth gives for the "prettiness" of balanced ternary:
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You can get the negative of a number simply by interchanging all of the 1's and -1's.
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The sign of a number can be found from it's most significant (aka leftmost) nonzero digit; positive if it is 1, negative if it is -1 (again, the sign is contained in the number itself)
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The operation of rounding to the nearest integer is identical to truncation, or simply deleting everything to the right of the radix (decimal) point; this is another consequence of using a "balanced" system. The reason for this is that fractional values will range from -1/2 to 1/2 (the largest fractional value you could have, 0.1, is 1/2 in base 10); so, any fractional number is expressed as it's nearest integer, plus or minus some value up to 1/2.
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