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Bug converting characters to numbers

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Contributor JS
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Posts: 38
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Bug converting characters to numbers

I'm trying to convert a set of character strings into numbers, and it's not as expected.

 

Anyone have any ideas on how to trouble shoot?

 

data want;
set have;
num=input(char,best32.);
run;

 

Obs num char
1323242600026000064512323242600026000122499
2313244000040000684032313244000040000698990
3313242000020000145408313242000020000198990
4314245000050000134144314245000050000159970
5323242600026000261120323242600026000222499
6323242600026000261120323242600026000222499
7313244000040000290816313244000040000298990
8323242600026000064512323242600026000122499
9423242250022500433920423242250022500512797
10323245000050000134144323245000050000171980

 


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‎10-27-2016 02:56 PM
PROC Star
Posts: 1,760

Re: Bug converting characters to numbers

Assuming you are on a PC, the maximum precision that can be stored by SAS integers is 16 digits (2**53) since SAS stores numbers in 64 bits (8 bytes), and some of these are not used for the mantissa (the digits of the number). Your numbers are longer than this.

 

If you store real numbers, full precison is not always possible, and SAS has further issues (see https://communities.sas.com/t5/Base-SAS-Programming/Expected-numeric-precision-behaviour-or-unexpect...).

 

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Solution
‎10-27-2016 02:56 PM
PROC Star
Posts: 1,760

Re: Bug converting characters to numbers

Assuming you are on a PC, the maximum precision that can be stored by SAS integers is 16 digits (2**53) since SAS stores numbers in 64 bits (8 bytes), and some of these are not used for the mantissa (the digits of the number). Your numbers are longer than this.

 

If you store real numbers, full precison is not always possible, and SAS has further issues (see https://communities.sas.com/t5/Base-SAS-Programming/Expected-numeric-precision-behaviour-or-unexpect...).

 

Contributor JS
Contributor
Posts: 38

Re: Bug converting characters to numbers

Thanks Chris! This was exceptionally informative and helpful.

Super User
Posts: 3,256

Re: Bug converting characters to numbers

What do these numbers represent? Leave them as character if you are not doing mathematics on them.

Contributor JS
Contributor
Posts: 38

Re: Bug converting characters to numbers

Thanks SASKiwi. This was a unique problem that we ran into, and in the future we're going to restructure our coding algorithms to use character strings instead.

☑ This topic is solved.

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