most significant digit

The most significant digit of a number n written in a given positional base b is the digit in the most significant place value, and has to be in the range -1<dk<b. In the case of an integer, the most significant digit is the bk’s place value, where k is the total number of digits, or k=logbn.

In an array of digits k long meant for mathematical manipulation, it might be convenient to index the least significant digit with index 1 or 0, and the more significant digits with larger integers. (This enables the calculation of the value of a given digit as dibi rather than dibk-i.) For an array of digits meant for text string manipulation, however, the most significant digit might be placed at position 0 or 1 (for example, by Mathematica’s IntegerDigits function).

In binary, the most significant digit is often called the most significant bit.

Title most significant digit
Canonical name MostSignificantDigit
Date of creation 2013-03-22 16:52:20
Last modified on 2013-03-22 16:52:20
Owner PrimeFan (13766)
Last modified by PrimeFan (13766)
Numerical id 4
Author PrimeFan (13766)
Entry type Definition
Classification msc 11A63