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BigDecimal

Synopsis

This subclass of `java.lang.Number` represents a floating-point number of arbitrary size and precision. Because it uses a decimal rather than binary floating-point representation, it is not subject to the rounding errors that the `float` and `double` types are. This makes `BigDecimal` well-suited to financial and similar applications.

`BigDecimal` provides ```add( )``` , `subtract( )`, `multiply( )`, and `divide( )` methods to support basic arithmetic. In Java 5.0, this class has been expanded to define many more methods, including `pow( )` for exponentiation. Many of the new methods use a `MathContext` to specify the desired precision of the result and the `RoundingMode` to be used to achieve that precision.

`BigDecimal` extends `Number` and implements the `Comparable` interface. The `compareTo( )` method compares the value of two `BigDecimal` objects and returns -1, 0, or 1 to indicate the result of the comparison. Use this method in place of the `<`, `<=`, `>`, and `>=` operators that you'd use with `float` and `double` values.

A `BigDecimal` object is represented as an integer of arbitrary size and an integer scale that specifies the number of decimal places in the value. When working with `BigDecimal` values, you can explicitly specify the precision (i.e., the number of decimal places) you are interested in. Also, whenever a `BigDecimal` method can discard precision (e.g., in a division operation), you are required to specify what sort of rounding should be performed on the digit to the left of the discarded ...

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