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erf | Error functions using cmath in C++
  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 04 Apr, 2018

In mathematics, the error function (also called the Gauss error function) is a special function (non-elementary) of sigmoid shape that occurs in probability, statistics, and partial differential equations describing diffusion.

It’s the probability that a normal random variable with mean 0 and variance 0.5 take value between [-x, x].  It is denoted by erf(x) and calculated by:-

{\displaystyle {\begin{aligned}\operatorname {erf} (x)&={\frac {1}{\sqrt {\pi }}}\int _{-x}^{x}e^{-t^{2}}\,dt\\[5pt]&={\frac {2}{\sqrt {\pi }}}\int _{0}^{x}e^{-t^{2}}\,dt.\end{aligned}}}

In cmath library of C++, error function has been already implemented. There are two such functions:-

  1. erf(x) : This inbuilt function calculate the error function for input value of x. Parameter x which can be int or float or double. It return a double which is erf(x).
  2.  erfc(x) : This inbuilt function calculate the complementary of error function for input value of x. Parameter x which can be int or float or double. It return a double which is 1 – erf(x).




/* C++ code to use erf */
#include <iostream>
#include <cmath>     /* erf */
  
using namespace std;
  
double findProbability(double a)
{
    double prob_x_a = erf(a);
    return prob_x_a;
}
  
int main ()
{
    double a = 0.25;
    cout << "probability that normal r.v "
            "X takes value between " 
         << -a << " & " << a << " is " 
         << findProbability(a) << endl;
    return 0;
}


Output:



probability that normal r.v X takes value
between -0.25 & 0.25 is 0.276326

Reference :
Wikipedia

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