# NUMBER SYSTEMS. William Stallings

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1 NUMBER SYSTEMS William Stallings The Decimal System... The Binary System...3 Converting between Binary and Decimal...3 Integers...4 Fractions...5 Hexadecimal Notation...6 This document available at WilliamStallings.com/StudentSupport.html Copyright 000 William Stallings -1-

2 The Decimal System In everyday life we use a system based on decimal digits (0, 1,, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) to represent numbers and refer to the system as the decimal system. Consider what the number 83 means. It means eight tens plus three: 83 = (8 10) + 3 The number 478 means four thousands, seven hundreds, two tens, plus eight: 478 = (4 1000) + (7 100) + ( 10) + 8 The decimal system is said to have a base, or radix, of 10. This means that each digit in the number is multiplied by 10 raised to a power corresponding to that digit s position: 83 = ( ) + ( ) 478 = ( ) + (7 10 ) + ( 10 1 ) + ( ) The same principle holds for decimal fractions but negative powers of 10 are used. Thus, the decimal fraction 0.56 stands for tenths plus 5 hundredths plus 6 thousandths: 0.56 = ( 10 1 ) + (5 10 ) + ( ) A number with both an integer and fractional part has digits raised to both positive and negative powers of 10: = (4 10 ) + ( ) + ( 10 0 ) + ( 10 1 ) + (5 10 ) + ( ) In general, for the decimal representation of X = {... d d 1 d 0.d 1 d d 3...}, the value of X is X = i d i 10 i --

3 The Binary System In the decimal system, 10 different digits are used to represent numbers with a base of 10. In the binary system, we have only two digits, 1 and 0. Thus, numbers in the binary system are represented to the base. To avoid confusion, we will sometimes put a subscript on a number to indicate its base. For example, and are numbers represented in decimal notation, or more briefly, decimal numbers. The digits 1 and 0 in binary notation have the same meaning as in decimal notation: 0 = = 1 10 To represent larger numbers, as with decimal notation, each digit in a binary number has a value depending on its position: 10 = (1 1 ) + (0 0 ) = = (1 1 ) + (1 0 ) = = (1 ) + (0 1 ) + (0 0 ) = 4 10 and so on. Again, fractional values are represented with negative powers of the radix: = = In general, for the binary representation of Y = {... b b 1 b 0.b 1 b b 3...}, the value of Y is Y = i b i i Converting between Binary and Decimal It is a simple matter to convert a number from binary notation to decimal notation. In fact, we showed several examples in the previous subsection. All that is required is to multiply each binary digit by the appropriate power of and add the results. To convert from decimal to binary, the integer and fractional parts are handled separately. -3-

4 Integers For the integer part, recall that in binary notation, an integer represented by b m 1 b m b b 1 b 0 b i = 0 or 1 has the value (b m 1 m 1 ) +(b m m ) + + (b 1 1 ) + b 0 Suppose it is required to convert a decimal integer N into binary form. If we divide N by, in the decimal system, and obtain a quotient N 1 and a remainder R 0, we may write N = N 1 + R 0 R 0 = 0 or 1 Next, we divide the quotient N 1 by. Assume that the new quotient is N and the new remainder R 1. Then N 1 = N + R 1 R 1 = 0 or 1 so that N = (N + R 1 ) + R 0 = (N ) + (R 1 1 ) + R 0 If next N = N 3 + R we have N = (N 3 3 ) + (R ) + (R 1 1 ) + R 0 Because N > N 1 > N..., continuing this sequence will eventually produce a quotient N m 1 = 1 (except for the decimal integers 0 and 1, whose binary equivalents are 0 and 1, respectively) and a remainder R m, which is 0 or 1. Then N = (1 m 1 ) + (R m m ) (R ) + (R 1 1 ) + R 0-4-

5 which is the binary form of N. Hence, we convert from base 10 to base by repeated divisions by. The remainders and the final quotient, 1, give us, in order of increasing significance, the binary digits of N. Figure 1 shows two examples. Fractions For the fractional part, recall that in binary notation, a number with a value between 0 and 1 is represented by has the value 0.b 1 b b 3 b i = 0 or 1 (b 1 1 ) + (b ) + (b 3 3 ) This can be rewritten as 1 (b (b + 1 (b 3 + This expression suggests a technique for conversion. Suppose we want to convert the number F (0 < F < 1) from decimal to binary notation. We know that F can be expressed in the form F = 1 (b (b + 1 (b 3 + If we multiply F by, we obtain: F = b (b + 1 (b 3 + From this equation, we see that the integer part of ( F), which must be either 0 or 1 because 0 < F < 1, is simply b 1. So we can say ( F) = b 1 + F 1, where 0 < F 1 < 1 and where F 1 = 1 (b + 1 (b (b 4 + To find b, we repeat the process. Therefore, the conversion algorithm involves repeated multiplication by. At each step, the fractional part of the number from the previous step is multiplied by. The digit to the left of the decimal point in the product will be 0 or 1 and -5-

6 contributes to the binary representation, starting with the most significant digit. The fractional part of the product is used as the multiplicand in the next step. Figure shows two examples. This process is not necessarily exact; that is, a decimal fraction with a finite number of digits may require a binary fraction with an infinite number of digits. In such cases, the conversion algorithm is usually halted after a prespecified number of steps, depending on the desired accuracy. Hexadecimal Notation Because of the inherent binary nature of digital computer components, all forms of data within computers are represented by various binary codes. However, no matter how convenient the binary system is for computers, it is exceedingly cumbersome for human beings. Consequently, most computer professionals who must spend time working with the actual raw data in the computer prefer a more compact notation. What notation to use? One possibility is the decimal notation. This is certainly more compact than binary notation, but it is awkward because of the tediousness of converting between base and base 10. Instead, a notation known as hexadecimal has been adopted. Binary digits are grouped into sets of four. Each possible combination of four binary digits is given a symbol, as follows: 0000 = = = 0011 = = = = = = = = A 1011 = B 1100 = C 1101 = D 1110 = E 1111 = F Because 16 symbols are used, the notation is called hexadecimal, and the 16 symbols are the hexadecimal digits. A sequence of hexadecimal digits can be thought of as representing an integer in base 16. Thus, C 16 = ( ) + (C ) = ( ) + ( ) = 44-6-

7 Hexadecimal notation is used not only for representing integers. It is also used as a concise notation for representing any sequence of binary digits, whether they represent text, numbers, or some other type of data. The reasons for using hexadecimal notation are 1. It is more compact than binary notation.. In most computers, binary data occupy some multiple of 4 bits, and hence some multiple of a single hexadecimal digit. 3. It is extremely easy to convert between binary and hexadecimal. As an example of the last point, consider the binary string This is equivalent to = DE1 16 D E 1 This process is performed so naturally that an experienced programmer can mentally convert visual representations of binary data to their hexadecimal equivalent without written effort -7-

8 11 Quotient Remainder = = 1 = 1 0 = = (a) Quotient Remainder = 10 1 = = 1 = 1 0 = = 1 10 (b) 1 10 Figure 1 Examples of Converting from Decimal Notation to Binary Notation for Integers

9 Product Integer Part 0.81 = = = = = = (a) = (approximately) Product Integer Part 0.5 = = (B) = 0.01 (exactly) Figure Examples of Converting from Decimal Notation to Binary Notation for Fractions

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