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question regarding integer type

Martha Wg

Joined: May 17, 2011
Posts: 7
could you please look at my question,and let me know where I get wrong? I am greatly appreciate any tips or suggestions.

The question is asked to give the last value of i where a[i] output correctly.

my solution: a[i+2] = 2^{i+2} - 1, and a[i+2] is a integer so that it is stored in 32 bits. 2^{i+2} - 1 <= 2^{32}, and I get i = 30.
but the correct answer is a = 31.

how to get a = 31?

Rob Spoor

Joined: Oct 27, 2005
Posts: 20048

int cannot go up to 2^{32}, it can only go up to 2^{31}-1. So if you need to go beyond that you must use long.

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Kurt Van Etten
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 07, 2010
Posts: 98
Hi Martha,

Just to expand a little on why that program works for a[31] = (2^31) - 1. Now, since the largest possible positive int value is (2^31) - 1, you're right that you would get numeric overflow if you tried to calculate it in that order: the (2^31) will overflow before you have a chance to subtract the 1. However, if you unwind the calculation that is being done in line 12 of the program, what is actually being calculated is essentially (2^30) + (2^30 - 1). So the final step is an addition, and no overflow takes place.

[edit:] In looking back over your question, I realized that maybe you're confused about a different aspect of the problem. In the loop iteration when i = 31, it is true that the calculation for a[i+2] is going to be wrong due to overflow (as will have been a[i+1]). But that doesn't matter, because what is being printed in that iteration is a[i], which was calculated two iterations back and is correct.
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