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What is the Erf function in Golang?

Faraz Karim

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

The Erf function

The Go programming language uses the Erf function to find the error function of a certain decimal number.

To use this function, you must import the math package in your file and access the Erf function within it using the . notation (math.Erf). Here, Erf is the actual function, while math is the Go package that stores the definition of this function.

The error function

The error function (known as the Gauss error function) is a sigmoid function used in statistics, partial differential equations to describe diffusion, and probability. It is represented using erf(x) and defined by the following formula:

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Function definition

The definition of the Erf function inside the math package is:

Parameters

The Erf function takes a single argument of type float64. This argument represents the decimal number whose error function you want to find.

Return value

The Erf function returns a single value of type float64. This value represents the error function for a particular input argument.

Following are two types of return values only used by the function under certain circumstances:

  • NAN: Not a number or NAN is returned in all cases where the input argument is of undefined value.

  • (±)1: The Erf function returns +1 if the input argument has a value equalling positive infinity and -1 for negative infinity.

Giving an empty argument or an argument that is not a numeric value results in an error.

Examples

Following is a simple example where we find out the error function of a positive decimal value:

package main
import ("fmt"
"math")
func main() {
x := 0.8
y := math.Erf(x)
fmt.Print("The error function of ", x, "is ", y)
}

The following example shows how the Erf function deals with an argument with an infinite value:

package main
import ("fmt"
"math")
func main() {
zero := 0.0
y := math.Erf(-1/zero)
fmt.Print("The error function of -Inf is ", y)
}

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golang

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Faraz Karim
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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