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Numbers and Precision

Variable-precision arithmetic and elementary number-theoretic operations

The Symbolic Math Toolbox™ can perform numeric calculations with variable precision by using vpa. For details, see Increase Precision of Numeric Calculations. To understand when to use symbolic, variable-precision, or double-precision arithmetic, see Choose Symbolic or Numeric Arithmetic. The Symbolic Math Toolbox also provides functions for rounding operations and for working with complex numbers.


expand all

digitsChange variable precision used
doubleConvert symbolic values to MATLAB double precision
vpaVariable-precision arithmetic (arbitrary-precision arithmetic)
imagImaginary part of complex number
realReal part of complex number


Choose Symbolic or Numeric Arithmetic

Compare and contrast symbolic, variable-precision, and numeric arithmetic.

Numeric to Symbolic Conversion

Convert floating-point numbers to exact symbolic numbers.

Increase Precision of Numeric Calculations

Increase precision arbitrarily with variable-precision arithmetic.

Recognize and Avoid Round-Off Errors

Round-off errors in symbolic and variable-precision calculations.

Increase Speed by Reducing Precision

Increase speed of calculations by reducing precision of calculations.

Featured Examples