16 Arithmetic and Arbitrary-Precision Arithmetic with gawk

This chapter introduces some basic concepts relating to how computers do arithmetic and defines some important terms. It then proceeds to describe floating-point arithmetic, which is what awk uses for all its computations, including a discussion of arbitrary-precision floating-point arithmetic, which is a feature available only in gawk. It continues on to present arbitrary-precision integers, and concludes with a description of some points where gawk and the POSIX standard are not quite in agreement.

NOTE: Most users of gawk can safely skip this chapter. But if you want to do scientific calculations with gawk, this is the place to be.