[R] How many decimal places of information does R actually use in computation?

Bert Gunter gunter.berton at gene.com
Tue May 21 05:39:34 CEST 2013

See, e.g.


Also in ?print.default  please note:

Large number of digits

Note that for large values of digits, currently for digits >= 16, the
calculation of the number of significant digits will depend on the
platform's internal (C library) implementation of sprintf()

-- Bert

On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 6:06 PM, Xiao He <praguewatermelon at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear R-users:
> Hi, I read here (
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2287616/controlling-digits-in-r) that R
> is only accurate up to the 15th decimal place, despite the fact that if you
> choose to display more decimal places, it will. I wonder if R uses the
> information beyond the 15th decimal place in actual computation. Thanks!
> Best,
> Xiao
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Bert Gunter
Genentech Nonclinical Biostatistics

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