Efficient way to determine number of digits in an integer


Question

What is a very efficient way of determining how many digits there are in an integer in C++?

1
135
9/28/2009 11:20:15 PM

Accepted Answer

Well, the most efficient way, presuming you know the size of the integer, would be a lookup. Should be faster than the much shorter logarithm based approach. If you don't care about counting the '-', remove the + 1.

// generic solution
template <class T>
int numDigits(T number)
{
    int digits = 0;
    if (number < 0) digits = 1; // remove this line if '-' counts as a digit
    while (number) {
        number /= 10;
        digits++;
    }
    return digits;
}

// partial specialization optimization for 32-bit numbers
template<>
int numDigits(int32_t x)
{
    if (x == MIN_INT) return 10 + 1;
    if (x < 0) return numDigits(-x) + 1;

    if (x >= 10000) {
        if (x >= 10000000) {
            if (x >= 100000000) {
                if (x >= 1000000000)
                    return 10;
                return 9;
            }
            return 8;
        }
        if (x >= 100000) {
            if (x >= 1000000)
                return 7;
            return 6;
        }
        return 5;
    }
    if (x >= 100) {
        if (x >= 1000)
            return 4;
        return 3;
    }
    if (x >= 10)
        return 2;
    return 1;
}

// partial-specialization optimization for 8-bit numbers
template <>
int numDigits(char n)
{
    // if you have the time, replace this with a static initialization to avoid
    // the initial overhead & unnecessary branch
    static char x[256] = {0};
    if (x[0] == 0) {
        for (char c = 1; c != 0; c++)
            x[c] = numDigits((int32_t)c);
        x[0] = 1;
    }
    return x[n];
}
101
9/29/2009 12:56:40 AM

The simplest way is to do:

unsigned GetNumberOfDigits (unsigned i)
{
    return i > 0 ? (int) log10 ((double) i) + 1 : 1;
}

log10 is defined in <cmath> or <math.h>. You'd need to profile this to see if it's faster than any of the others posted here. I'm not sure how robust this is with regards to float point precision. Also, the argument is unsigned as negative values and log don't really mix.


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