Chapter 1. Introduction

1–1 Notation

This book distinguishes between mathematical expressions of ordinary arithmetic and those that describe the operation of a computer. In “computer arithmetic,” operands are bit strings, or bit vectors, of some definite fixed length. Expressions in computer arithmetic are similar to those of ordinary arithmetic, but the variables denote the contents of computer registers. The value of a computer arithmetic expression is simply a string of bits with no particular interpretation. An operator, however, interprets its operands in some particular way. For example, a comparison operator might interpret its operands as signed binary integers or as unsigned binary integers; our computer arithmetic notation uses distinct ...

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