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Math::SymbolicX::BigNum - Big number support for the Math::Symbolic parser


  use Math::Symbolic qw/parse_from_string/;
  use Math::SymbolicX::BigNum;
  my $formula = parse_from_string('bignum(1000000000000000000000000000) + 1');
  print $formula->value();
  # prints 1000000000000000000000000001 instead of the incaccurate 1e+27


This module adds big number support to Math::Symbolic. It does so by extending the parser of the Math::Symbolic module (that is, the one stored in $Math::Symbolic::Parser) with certain special functions that create arbitrary precision constants. (Math::Symbolic::Variable objects have been able to contain arbitrary precision objects since the very beginning.)


All constants in strings that are parsed by Math::Symbolic::Parser are converted to Math::Symbolic::Constant objects holding the value associated to the constant in an ordinary Perl Scalar by default. Unfortunately, that means if you get a really big integer or a fraction, you are subject to the precision limitations of the underlying floating point variables.

On the other hand, Tels wrote the formidable Math::Big* modules to make arbitrary precision calculations possible, so since the Math::Symbolic::Scalar objects can hold any object, you can build your trees by hand using Math::Big* objects instead of Perl Scalars for the value of the constants. But since the Math::Symbolic::Parser is by far the most convenient interface to Math::Symbolic, there had to be a reasonably simple way of introducing Math::Big* support to the parser. So here goes.


In order to get arbitrary precision constants in Math::Symbolic trees from the parser, you just load this extension module and wrap any of the hereafter listed functions around any constants that are or may become big (or small).

The aformentioned functions are bigint(...), bigrat(...), bigfloat(...) and bignum(...) with bignum playing a special role. Obviously, bigint(...), bigrat(...) and bigfloat(...) return objects of the associated type (Math::BigInt, ...). bignum(...), however, returns a Math::BigRat if the argument conains a slash and a Math::BigFloat otherwise.

Example usage:

  print parse_from_string('bigrat(1) / 9 + 2*3 - bigrat(2/7)')->simplify();

This prints '367/63', but if you were to leave the second call to bigrat() out, it would print '26214285714285713/4500000000000000' because the '2/7' would be calculated before they were added to the Math::BigRat object preventing it from working its magic.


Copyright (C) 2004 Steffen Mueller

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

You may contact the author at symbolic-module at steffen-mueller dot net

Please send feedback, bug reports, and support requests to the Math::Symbolic support mailing list: math-symbolic-support at lists dot sourceforge dot net. Please consider letting us know how you use Math::Symbolic. Thank you.

If you're interested in helping with the development or extending the module's functionality, please contact the developers' mailing list: math-symbolic-develop at lists dot sourceforge dot net.


New versions of this module can be found on or CPAN.

Also have a look at Math::Symbolic, and at Math::Symbolic::Parser

Refer to Math::SymbolicX::ParserExtensionFactory for the implementation details.