# positional representation

Computing Dictionary

### positional representation definition

mathematics
The conventional way of writing numbers as a string of digits in which each digit, D, has value D * R^I, where R is the radix or (number) base and I is the digit's position counting leftward from zero at the least significant (right-hand) end. Each digit can be zero to R-1. Each position has a weight or significance R times greater than the position to its right and the right-most place has a weight of one.
Positional representation makes arithmetic operations on large numbers much easier than, say, roman numerals. It is fundamental to the binary representation used by digital computers.
(2006-11-10)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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