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Absoft User Forum  |  Support  |  Windows  |  sine and cosine of large angle

Author Topic: sine and cosine of large angle  (Read 2267 times)

Jean-Claude Arbaut

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sine and cosine of large angle
« on: October 28, 2016, 05:11:35 AM »
On page 202 of the Absoft Language Reference Manual, there is an example shoing that for large angles, sine losses almost all its precision and becomes useless. This is a known 'feature' of floating point computations. However, the limitation in Absoft's compiler seems to be relatively low.

The example in the LRM uses single precision floating point.
Here is a program using double precision numbers, showing the value of cos(2**n) and sin(2**n), together with some quick checks (sum of square should be 1, and double-hangle formulas should hold).

Code: [Select]
program trig
    implicit none
    double precision :: t, x, y, s, xp, yp, sx, sy
    integer :: n
    xp = cos(1d0)
    yp = sin(1d0)
    do n = 1, 99
        t = 2d0**n
        x = cos(t)
        y = sin(t)
        sx = abs(xp**2 - yp**2 - x)
        sy = abs(2d0 * xp * yp - y)
        s = hypot(x, y) - 1d0
        print "(I2,2F12.8,3E12.4)", n, x, y, sx, sy, s
        xp = x
        yp = y
    end do
end program

What happens is this: starting from 2**28, both sine and cosine are zero.
A closer look shows that the maximum argument giving relevant (nonzero) values is roughly pi*2**26. [1]

It's not very large, though, since it's close to 2.1d8, far below the precision limit of double precision numbers (which affords 17 digits).
That is, pi*2**26 should give 8 or 9 digits of precision after the decimal separator, and trigonometric functions would still be usable,
though not with extra high precision.

I am not sure this limit is documented in the manual, but it's worth knowing.

Tests were made with Absoft 2017 on Windows, both 64 bits.

[1] Roughly, but not exactly. For cosine, the factor is not pi but 3.141592628198916999, and for sine it's 3.141592651605606399,
while pi=3.141592653589793238.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 05:15:13 AM by Jean-Claude Arbaut »

Absoft User Forum  |  Support  |  Windows  |  sine and cosine of large angle

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