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1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Introduction
Errors in Numerical Calculations
Accuracy of Numbers Significant digits or Significant figures Numbers rounded-off to n significant digits Errors and their computations 1.5.1 1.5.2 1.5.3 Inherent errors Rounded-off errors Truncation errors
1.6 1.7 1.8
Absolute, Relative and Percentage errors Summary Exercises
1.1 Introduction Application of computer-oriented numerical methods has become an integral part of life of all modern engineers and scientists. The wide spread use of modern high speed electronic digital computers and increasing demand for numerical solutions to various problems, numerical methods have been successfully applied to study problems in engineering, computer science, mathematics and physical sciences such as biophysics, physics,
atmospheric sciences and geosciences. The art and science of preparing and solving scientific and engineering problems have undergone
considerable changes since mathematical problem is reduced to a form amenable to machine solution and several million operations are performed per minute on a high-speed computer. Numerical computing is an approach for solving complex mathematical problems using only simple basic arithmetic operations. (The basic
Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No.: 1
The numerical data used are only approximate and sometimes. Numerical Computing methods usually deal with the following methods: 1. When solving problems one usually starts with some initial data and then computes the iterations.: 2 . multiplication and division). Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No. Numerical Integration and differentiation 5. Solution of ordinary differential equations 6. the methods used are also approximate and therefore the error in a computed result may be due to the errors in the data or the errors in the method or both. Numerical methods are often. of a repetitive nature. Finding roots of the equations 3. Boundary value problems 7. One reason for this is that numerical methods can give solution to a problem when ordinary analytical methods fail.Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 arithmetic operations performed by the computer are addition. This is known as Iteration process and is repeated till the result is obtained to a desired degree of accuracy. Interpolation and regression analysis 4. The aim of Numerical analysis is to provide efficient methods for obtaining numerical answers to a given problem. Solution of matrix problems 2. It is therefore clear that training in applied sciences or engineering would be incomplete without an adequate understanding of numerical methods. Solving systems of linear algebraic equations. Numerical methods play a very important fundamental role in present-day scientific research. These consist of repeated execution of the same process where at each step the result of the preceding step is used. subtraction. For example in finding the roots of transcendental equations or in solving non-linear differential equations.
4142. 4.. 0. 3. These may be approximated by numbers 0. 1 3 ( = 0.5). …. All non-zero digits are significant 2.).000587 and 0. 0.1415926589793..0002 contain five significant digits while the numbers 0. since zeros only help to fix the position of the decimal point. All zeros occurring between non-zero digits are significant digits.). The following statements describe the notion of significant digits.3 Significant digits or Significant figures The digits that are used to express a number are called significant digits or significant figures. For example.: 3 . The numbers like 1. For example 3.00 and 0.4142….3210 have four significant digits each.. 3. …. 65.).1416.5).285714….500.1416. 1. 7 numbers. but we cannot write the exact value of 1. Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No. it is 3. e (= 2.2 Accuracy of Numbers There are two kinds of numbers. 3.1416 or if we desire a better approximation. 2 (= 1. Trailing zeros following a decimal point are significant.00205 contain only three significant digits. (= 1.2857. Thus each of the numbers 3. 2. Thus numbers represent the given numbers to a certain degree of accuracy are called approximate numbers.71828…. then these numbers are called approximate numbers. 1. But there are numbers (= 3.60125 and 4. 2.7183 respectively by omitting some digits. the approximate value of is 3.00386.) which cannot be expressed by a finite number of digits. . exact and approximate numbers.Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 1. are treated as exact 2 2 2 (= 0.14159…. Zeros between the decimal point and preceding a non-zero digit are not significant.
When the decimal point is not written.893 128.8593 84767 to 84770 Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No.Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 The following numbers have four significant digits.14159 to 3. leave the nth digit unchanged. Example 2: The following numbers rounded-off to four significant digits: 7. otherwise leave it unchanged.00001 has eight significant digits 1. discard all digits to the right of the nth digits and if this discarded number is i) less than half a unit in the nth place. increase the nth digit by unity.614 to 128.01321 5.0004 has six significant digits 0.859321 to 0.6 3.560 has four significant digits 25000 has two significant digits 2.8926 to 7. increase the nth digit by unity if it is odd. 0. 0. Example 1: 7.4 Numbers rounded-off to n significant digits To round-off a number to n significant digits.142 0.0001234.04500 has four significant digits 0. ii) greater than half the nth place.0201 has three significant digits 0.00001 has one significant digit 100.: 4 .002001. For example 4500 may be written as 45102 and contains only two significant digits. trailing zeros are not considered to be significant. iii) exactly half a unit in the nth place. The number thus rounded-off is said to be correct to n significant digits. 0.
2! 3! Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No.2 Round-off errors Round-off errors occur when a fixed number of digits are used to represent exact numbers.. by correcting obvious errors in the data. This inherent error arises either due to the given data being approximate or due to the limitations of computing aids.. inherent errors can be minimized by obtaining better data. In any Numerical computation.3 Truncation errors These are errors caused by using approximate formulae. Consequently. Example 3: We have ex = 1 + x + 3 4 5 x2 + x x x . we come across the following types of errors. we have.1 Inherent errors Errors which are already present in the statement of a problem before its solution..5. 1.5. In computations. which are generally based on truncated series.. and by using computing aids of higher precision. Since the numbers are stored at every stage of computation. round-off error is introduced at the end of every arithmetic operation.. 1. the cumulative effect of a series of computations can be very significant.5. even though an individual round-off error could be very small.Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 1. 1.5 Errors and their computations The quantity. 2! 3! 4! 5! If we use an approximate formula by truncating the 4th and higher degree terms. 2 3 S(x) = 1 + x + x x . (Exact value) – (Approximate value) is called the Error..: 5 . are called inherent errors.
. 4! 5! 1. Relative error Er = Absolute error True value Ea X and the percentage error Ep is given by Ep = Ea 100 = Er 100. . . where X is the absolute accuracy. The relative error is the absolute error divided by the true value of the quantity and this is denoted by Er .Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 The truncation error (in using the approximate formula S(x)) is ex – S(x) = x4 x5 . 1. If the number X is rounded to N decimal places.6 Absolute. Relative and Percentage errors Absolute error is the numerical difference between its true value of a quantity and its approximate value. Xa Obs. If X is the true quantity and Xa is its approximate value then the absolute error Ea is given by Ea = True value _ Approximate value X _ Xa .: 6 . 2. then X = 1 10N . 2 Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No. . Similarly the quantity X X ~ X measures the relative accuracy. . X Let X be a number such that X _ Xa X. then X is an upper limit on the magnitude of absolute error and is said to measure absolute accuracy. . The relative and percentage errors are independent of the units used while absolute error is expressed in terms of these units. . Obs.
inherent errors.98 X 0. round-off errors. viz.01 3 1 103 3 Relative error Er = ( Absolute error True value = 1 10 3 ) 3 2/3 1 103 2 1.005 2 and the relative accuracy is X 0.667.667 3 2 2. relative errors and percentage errors are also discussed. find the absolute and relative 3 Absolute error Ea = True value – Approximate value = 2 0.005 ~ 0. then X = 1 102 = 0.Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 Example 4: If the number X = 0.51 Example 5: If errors. absolute errors. Various types of errors. Solution: 2 is approximated by 0.7 Summary We summarize the concept of significant digits and its relation to accuracy. truncation errors.: 7 .51 and is correct to two decimal places. Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No.
0022431.069 10–6. (Ans.456 102 and write the result in three significant digits. Calculate the value of 102 101 . 2. (Ans.8 Exercises 1.36425. 2.700292. Find the relative and percentage error.0772) 3. 38. 4.45789 is rounded-off to five significant figures. Find the percentage error if 625. 0. (Ans. 0.169 103) 5. 0.123 103 and 0. 0.04963) Computer Oriented Numerical Methods Page No. 19. 0. (Ans. Correct to four significant digits. The number 2. 4.: 8 .483 is approximated to 3 significant digits. Round-off the following numbers to 4 significant digits.46325. Find the sum of 0.Errors in Numerical Calculations Unit 1 1.069 10– 4) 4.235101.
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