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Date:      Wed, 5 Jun 2013 09:37:13 -0700
From:      Steve Kargl <>
To:        David Schultz <das@CSAIL.MIT.EDU>
Cc:, Bruce Evans <>
Subject:   Re: isinf() on NaN args
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <20130605160558.GA44189@zim.MIT.EDU>
References:  <> <20130605160558.GA44189@zim.MIT.EDU>

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On Wed, Jun 05, 2013 at 09:05:58AM -0700, David Schultz wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 05, 2013, Bruce Evans wrote:
> > Is isinf(x) (or even fpclassify(x)) permitted to raise FE_INVALID if
> > x is a (quiet) NaN?  It shouldn't, but I can't find where C99 requires
> > this.  I can only find where C99 requires FE_INVALID to not be raised
> > for comparison macros.
> > 
> > It should raise if x is a signaling NaN, but C99 doesn't specify
> > signaling NaNs and the hardware behaviour is more varied and the
> > software bugs are larger for signaling NaNs, so getting this wrong in
> > many cases doesn't matter much.
> The equivalent operation in IEEE-754R never raises an exception,
> even for signaling NaNs.  If we ignore signaling NaNs for a
> moment, I think the general idea is to raise an invalid exception
> in two situations:
>  1. at the moment when a NaN is produced from non-NaN inputs
>     (this is similar to the rule that overflow is raised only
>     when the overflow first occurs)
>  2. for operations that don't return a floating-point result,
>     whenever there's no sensible answer to return
> The second case covers things like conversion to integer, ilogb,
> and comparison operators.  One could argue that classification
> macros like isinf() always have a sensible true or false answer,
> though, because you're asking a question about what kind of value
> you have.

IIRC, C99 defers to IEC 60559 (aka IEEE 754) when a behavior is not
specified within C99.  The copy of IEEE 754 that I have states 

   Some functions, such as the copy operation y := x without change
   of format, may at the implementor's option be treated as nonarithmetic
   operations which do not signal the invalid operation exception for
   signaling NaNs; the functions in question are (1), (2), (6), and (7).
   (7) Isnan(x), or equivalently x != x, returns the value TRUE if x is
       a NaN, and returns FALSE otherwise.

This means that isnan is not required to raised the invalid operation.


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