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Section 1.10 Worked Example: Operation Precedence

Subgoals for evaluating an assignment statement.

  1. Determine resultant data type of expression
  2. Update variable for pre operators based on side effect
  3. Solve arithmetic equation, operator precedence
  4. If = statement, is Left Hand Side (LHS) a variable? Check data type of copied value against data type of variable
  5. Update variable for post operators based on side effect

Subsection 1.10.1

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Given the following code snippet, evaluate the final statement (the last line). If invalid, give the reason. If valid, what value is assigned to the variable? Note any possible side effects.
int alpha = 2, beta = 1, delta = 3, eta, gamma;
double omega = 2.5, theta = -1.3, kappa = 3.0, lambda, rho;

gamma = delta / (alpha + beta) % alpha;

Subsection 1.10.2 SG1 : Determine resultant data type of expression

The expression is the right-hand-side (RHS) of the statement: delta / (alpha + beta) % alpha. At the beginning of the snippet, all of these variables were declared as int type, so all of the operations will also result in int values.
If the expression had included any double values, the operations dealing with any double values would promote any int value on the other side of the operator to a double value, and the result would be a double, but that is not the case here.

Subsection 1.10.3 SG2: Update variable for pre-increment or pre-decrement operators (side effect)


Subsection 1.10.4 SG3: Evaluate arithmetic expression according to operator precedence

  • The RHS may be easiest to conceptualize algebraically, by replacing the variables right away with their initialized values from the declarations above: 3 / (2 + 1) % 2.
  • In the order of operations, parentheses have highest precedence, so we evaluate the addition within the parentheses first, resulting in a new expression: 3 / 3 % 2.
  • Division and modulus have the same precedence, so we evaluate them left to right: 3 / 3 is 1, then 1 % 2 is 1. (Remember, the mod % operation returns the remainder after integer division.)

Subsection 1.10.5 SG4: If an assignment statement (=), is Left Hand Side (LHS) a variable? Check data type of value against data type of variable.

The LHS is a variable of type int, and the RHS is type int. This is valid.

Subsection 1.10.6 SG5: Update variable for post-increment or post-decrement operators (side effect)


Subsection 1.10.7 Questions to check understanding

Q1) Is the left-hand-side (LHS) of the statement a variable? What type?
Q2) What is the resulting type after evaluating the right-hand-side (RHS)?
Q3) Can the type of the RHS result be assigned to the LHS variable?
Q1-Answer) Yes, gamma is declared as an int
Q2-Answer) On the RHS, all of the values are int, so the result is also int
Q3-Answer) Yes, an int can be assigned to an int

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