[Maxima] Operations on inf
macrakis at alum.mit.edu
Sun Mar 11 16:37:40 CDT 2007
On 3/11/07, Jay Belanger <belanger at truman.edu> wrote:
> "Richard Fateman" <fateman at cs.berkeley.edu> writes:
> > I think the more troublesome problems with inf and und (etc)
> > is that such symbols HAVE participated in arithmetic in some ways, leading to
> > peculiar situations.
> Ouch; that hurts.
> One extreme solution (but not too unreasonable, in my opinion) is
> simply to completely disallow inf and und in arithmetic. Are you
> suggesting something like that?
I agree that blocking arithmetic on ind/und/etc. completely is one
solution. The other (less radical) solution is the one which I think
we're pursuing, namely giving a failsafe calculational result.
Failsafe means that it will sometimes be more conservative than
necessary. Thus, though 1^inf and 0^0 may often be usefully taken as
1, since in some situations (perhaps rare ones) that would lead to an
incorrect result, we must leave them as und and ind.
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