underflow

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underflow

[′ən·dər‚flō]
(computer science)
The generation of a result whose value is smaller than the smallest quantity that can be represented or stored by a computer.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 2^-128 to 2^127. A result less than 2^-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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

underflow

(1) An error condition that occurs when the result of a computation is smaller than the smallest quantity the computer can store.

(2) An error condition that occurs when an item is called from an empty stack.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Table 9 shows that though the occurrence of underflow and overflow are low, there still exist some underflows and overflows when Shi's scheme is adopted for the pulse data.
2) In our scheme, each data group is considered similar to one image in Tai's scheme [18]: the histogram distribution of the data elements in one group is shifted to avoid possible underflow or overflow; the local maps of different groups are generated to restore the shifted data and embedded as a part of watermark to save the transmission overhead for recording them; and a watermark is embedded by expanding the difference of adjacent data elements in one group for data restoring.
The remaining computational problems have to do with possible overflows or underflows. There are many opportunities for such exceptions to arise.
Possibly w (i) / W may underflow for some i, but this is ordinarily irrelevant if the computations are properly arranged.
In the streaming-based content sharing services, more bandwidth is required to relay streaming service and the client may suffer from interruption of video playback due to buffer underflow [4].
During some of the underflows, visibility dropped nearly to zero, Johnson and his colleagues report in the November GEOLOGY.
For example, if the buffer level is less than a minimum fill level, this means the device is at the state of underflow and we can interpret this as the sending rate being too low.
As discussed previously, with a fixed DP at the furthest loop, an underflow occurs when the furthest loop is closed.