meaning of not a number

1. Not-a-Number NaN An IEEE floating point representation for the result of a numerical operation which cannot return a valid number value. A NaN can result from multiplying an infinity by a zero, or from subtracting one infinity from another [what else?]. NaN is encoded as a special bit pattern [what pattern?] which would otherwise represent a floating-point number. It is used to signal error returns where other mechanisms are not convenient, e. g. a hardware floating-point unit and to allow errors to propagate through a calculation. Similar bit patterns represent positive and negative overflow and underflow and the positive and negative infinities resulting from division by zero. Bit patterns http://www. psc. edu/general/software/packages/ieee/ieee. html [ANSI/IEEE Std 754-1985]. [Correct?]

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