This is an old revision of the document!
In computing, NaN, which stands for Not a Number, is a value or symbol that is usually produced as the result of an operation on invalid input operands. For example, most floating-point units are unable to explicitly calculate the square root of negative numbers, and will instead indicate that the operation was invalid and return a NaN result.
An invalid operation is not the same as an arithmetic overflow (which returns a positive or negative infinity). Arithmetic operations involving NaN always produce NaN, allowing the value to propagate through a calculation so that errors can be detected at the end without extensive testing during intermediate stages.
A NaN does not compare equal to any number or NaN. You can therefore test whether a variable has a NaN value by comparing it to itself, thus if
x == x gives false (0) then x is a NaN code.
There are three kinds of operation which return NaN:
0/0, ∞/∞, ∞/-∞, -∞/∞, -∞/-∞
∞+(-∞), (-∞)+∞and equivalent subtractions.
In MagicPlot NaN is also used to represent empty cells in Tables.
Statistical functions ignore NaN values in Tables.
You can use predefined constants
NAN in expressions to specify NaN value.
if(col(B) >= 0, col(B), NaN)– returns only positive values from column B. Negative values are replaced with NaN value. You can use this expression to filter negative values if you do not want to use them in future calculations. Note that ”Not-a-Number returned at row #” warning can be shown for such expression.