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  1. #1

    Sounds easy, but somehow....?

    This sounds like it should be easy, but I can't get it to work.

    I need to write a program that can average the absolute value of 5 numbers that the user inputs.

    I've written this:


    This program averages the absolute value of five values entered
    by the user.


    #include <iostream>
    #include <cstdlib>
    using namespace std;

    int main() {

    int a , b , c , d , e;
    double f;

    cout << "Enter the first number: ";
    cin >> a;

    cout << "Enter the second number: ";
    cin >> b;

    cout << "Enter the third number: ";
    cin >> c;

    cout << "Enter the fourth number: ";
    cin >> d;

    cout << "Enter the fifth number: ";
    cin >> e;

    f = ( abs(a) + abs(b) + abs(c) + abs(d) + abs(e) ) / 5;

    cout << "The average of the 5 numbers is " << f << "\n";

    return 0;


    I have a few questions:

    1). Why doesn't the abs() function work when I change int a , b , c , d , e; to double a , b , c , d , e;? Even negative fractional numbers have an absolute value.

    2). Why doesn't this program give me fractional answers? I'm defining f to be a double, so f can take decimal values.

    If someone could answer these, it would be great!

  2. #2
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    Well, according to the internet, the prototype for abs is
    int abs(int aNum);
    which should answer both your questions.

    There is nothing to stop you writing your own absolute function handling doubles which should

    return the passed number if it is positive
    return the passed number * -1
    Should you be sitting wondering,
    Which Batman is the best,
    There's only one true answer my friend,
    It's Adam Bloody West!

    The Fifth Continent

  3. #3
    Alright there's a few problems here. For one using abs() on the integers is a little superflous. It would be better to force the user to enter data in a range you specify versus converting their input. (At least in this case) Secondly your doing an implicit conversion of integers to a double. Therefore, the compiler is going to round the number. If you want decimal points to be included, change the integer variables to doubles. (And be sure to remove the abs() functions) Then you will get a number containing a decimal point. This is the code I used in my with my compiler. I also added a simple absolute function for you.

    #include <iostream>
    #include <vector>
    using namespace std;
    double get_absolute(double value)
    	if(value < 0) {
    		value = value - (value*2);
    		return value;
    	}else {
    		return value;
    int main() {
    	//Create vector list and double variables
    	vector<double> dList;
    	double a, b, c;
    	//Loop User Input
    	for(int i=1; i<=5; i++) {
    		cout << "Enter number " << i << ": ";
    		cin >> a;
    		//This is what I would do if I was entering the data myself
    		//Nonetheless I included the absolute function for you
    		//Only push variable if greater than -1
    		a = get_absolute(a);
    		if(a > -1) {
    		}else {
    			cout << "Number not in range!" << endl;
    	//Create iterator
    	vector<double>::iterator iter;
    	//Determine total value
    	for(iter=dList.begin(); iter!=dList.end(); iter++) {
    		b = b + *iter;
    	//Find average
    	if(b > 0) {
    		c = b / 5;
    		cout << "The average of the 5 numbers is " << c << "\n";
    		return 0;
    	}else {
    		cout << "Error all numbers were 0!" << endl;
    		return 1;
    Last edited by mcross1882; 08-20-2011 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Added get_absolute() function (Aug20/12:55pm)


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