working with VERY large 'float' and 'complex' types

Fernando Perez at
Wed Sep 14 21:44:17 CEST 2005

Todd Steury wrote:

> Greetings Python'ers:
> I'm just an amature who occasionally uses Python for complex mathematical
> models. The current model I'm working with occasionally generates really
> large numbers that are either "float" or "complex" types. These numbers are
> so large that I either get an overflow error, or some funky code like #INF
> or 1.#INDj. However I really need these numbers to be calculated (although
> precision isn't key). Is there a way to get python to increase the size
> limit of float and complex numbers? I should mention that I'm using a lot of
> pre-made modules and functions like math.exp() and scipy.special.erf() that
> don't seem to be able to use available types like "Decimal" or "FixedPoint"
> (especially since these don't seem to handle complex numbers).

Python floats are C doubles underneath, so you're stuck.  You need extended
numeric types.  Decimal is slow as molasses, and was not designed for
mathematical work (rather for finance-type fixed-point work).  Use this



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