floating point underflow ==>
<programming> (or "floating point underflow", "floating underflow", after
"overflow") A condition that can occur when the result of a floating-point
operation would be smaller in magnitude (closer to zero, either positive or
negative) than the smallest quantity representable. Underflow is actually
(negative) overflow of the exponent of the floating point quantity. For example,
an eight-bit twos complement exponent can represent multipliers of 10^-128 to
10^127. A result less than 10^-128 would cause underflow.
Depending on the processor, the programming language and the run-time system,
underflow may set a status bit, raise an exception or generate a hardware
interrupt or some combination of these effects. Alternatively, it may just be
ignored and zero substituted for the unrepresentable value, though this might
lead to a later divide by zero error which cannot be so easily ignored.
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