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incremental multiplication problem

Discussion in 'C' started by crazyNut, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. crazyNut

    crazyNut New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am a beginner of C and am stuck on a problem like below

    int i=3, j, k;
    j = i++*i++;
    k = ++i*++i;
    print ("j=%d k=%d", j, k);

    As per my calculations the values should be j=12 and k=42 but the value of the code turns out to be j=9 and k=49. I don't understand why it happens. Can anyone explain the reason.

    Thanks for any Help
  2. ihatec

    ihatec New Member

    Just play a bit with operators and you will find out how to use to obtain correct result.
  3. jimblumberg

    jimblumberg New Member

    This link should help to explain the results. Sequence_point.

    shabbir and crazyNut like this.
  4. crazyNut

    crazyNut New Member

    Is it something like in case of i++
    the compiler first evaluates the expression
    j = i++*i++
    and then increments i 2 times in a row
    and opposite for ++i
    means there it first increments i 2 times in a row and then evaluates the exp k = ++i*++i

  5. crazyNut

    crazyNut New Member

    The link was very useful.
    It contains some good points.

  6. xpi0t0s

    xpi0t0s Mentor

    No. Look again at the definition of a sequence point. It is a point after which all side effects are guaranteed to have been completed. It is *NOT* a point before which all side effects are guaranteed NOT to have been completed. Before a sequence point, some side effects may or may not have been completed and you have no way of knowing which have and which haven't.

    So i=3; j=i++ * i++;
    could mean j=i(3, post incremented to 4) * i(4, post incremented to 5)=12,
    OR it could mean j=i*i(post incremented twice to 5)=9.
    The result is compiler dependent. In Visual Studio j=i++*i++; is equivalent to j=i*i; i++; i++; but you cannot guarantee this for all compilers (or even all versions of Visual Studio).

    The end result of this is that if you only need a variable once in an expression, it's safe to use modifiers, but if you need it more than once, use it WITHOUT pre/post increment/decrement within the expression, THEN modify it.

    By the way, this is a very frequently asked question. Check out stuff like the C++ FAQ before asking anything else. It will almost certainly answer your next 20 questions, plus there will be a load of other interesting stuff in there, so it's well worth a read.

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