Thread: problem about handle "double" variable type? or?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    problem about handle "double" variable type? or?

    I am doing a problem about calcuating first digit of a^p form(a and p are non-negative integer. The total length of a^p never exceed 200). a and p may be a very large number. So I wanna make variable a to double type. and then a always range between 0 < a < 10. Like a = 1234 --> 1.234. But the answer is wrong explained by Notice: The input and output field can be seperated itself.
    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <string.h>
    #define MAX_S 300
    double str2double(char *s)
        double a;
        int i;
        s[strlen(s)] = '\0';
        if (strlen(s) > 1) {
            s[strlen(s)+1] = '\0';
            for (i = strlen(s); i >= 2; i--)
                s[i] = s[i-1];
            s[1] = '.';
        a = atof(s);
        return a;
    int firstDigit(double a, int p)
        int i;
        double x = a;
        for (i = 1; i < p; i++) {
            x *= a;
            if (x >= 10) x /= 10;
        return (int)x;
    int main()
        char s[MAX_S];
        int n, p, x, i;
        double a;
        scanf("%d", &n);
        for (i = 0; i < n; i++) {
            scanf("%s %d", s, &p);
            printf("%s\n", s);
            a = str2double(s);
            x = firstDigit(a, p);
            printf("%d\n", x);
        return 0;
    I don't know what is the error here. if everyone know, please reply. Thanks.

  2. #2
    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    The edge of the known universe
    > The total length of a^p never exceed 200). a and p may be a very large number. So I wanna make variable a to double type.
    But doubles are only good for about 15 digits of precision, so any answer you calculate using doubles is going to be approximate.
    However, since you're only interested in the most significant digit, maybe that's enough.

    If you really need all that precision, you need a math library like this.

    Consider that there may be a 'mathematical' answer to this problem, in the same way that spigots can calculate digits of say PI.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    But I cannot call extending library. Because the online judge doesn't accept that. And my friend told me that I had solved this problem using the method I have mentioned above by pascal language. And I saw that many people solved it with short code compiled by GCC. The length code range 1xxB to 9xxB.

  4. #4
    Hurry Slowly vart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Rishon LeZion, Israel
    maybe printf("%s\n", s); should not be there?

    also s[strlen(s)] = '\0'; has no meaning, if strlen return some value, it means it already found at this location the 0 character
    All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection,
    except for the problem of too many layers of indirection.
    David J. Wheeler

  5. #5
    Algorithm Dissector iMalc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    New Zealand


    It is is fully solvable without using any extra library.
    All the code you have so far is of no value towards solving the problem. You cannot use doubles for this task.
    The problem is that your approach is completely wrong. You need to go back to basics and rethink how to represent things. None of the built-in datatypes are sufficient to individually represent the numbers required here. Back to the drawing board for you!

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