Main Content

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 Numeric or Symbolic 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)
vpaintegralNumerical integration using variable precision
vpasolveSolve equations numerically
vpasumNumerical summation using variable precision
imagImaginary part of complex number
realReal part of complex number
dec2binConvert decimal number to character vector representing binary number
dec2hexConvert decimal number to character vector representing hexadecimal number


Choose Numeric or Symbolic Arithmetic

Compare and contrast double-precision, variable-precision, and symbolic 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