How does one calculate 2 ^ -18 using GMP

c++gmp

I've just discovered, to my embarrassment, that feeding negative exponents to mpz_pow_ui doesn't work very well. ("The manual does say unsigned long, you know.") For the other mpz_pow functions, the manual uses concepts I don't understand. For example "base^exp mod mod" in the following:

void mpz_powm (mpz_t rop, mpz_t base, mpz_t exp, mpz_t mod) 
void mpz_powm_ui (mpz_t rop, mpz_t base, unsigned long int exp, mpz_t mod)
Set _rop_ to _base_^_exp_ mod _mod_.
Negative exp is supported if an inverse base-1 mod mod exists (see mpz_invert in Section 5.9 [Number Theoretic Functions], page 35). If an inverse doesn’t exist then a divide by zero is raised.

In the following code, what do I have to change to make it able to handle negative exponents?

#define Z(x) mpz_t x; mpz_init( x );

BSTR __stdcall IBIGPOWER(BSTR p1, long p2 ) {
    USES_CONVERSION;

    Z(n1);
    Z(res);

    LPSTR sNum1 = W2A( p1 );

    mpz_set_str( n1, sNum1, 10 );

    mpz_pow_ui( res, n1, p2 );

    char * buff =  (char *) _alloca( mpz_sizeinbase( res, 10 ) + 2 );

    mpz_get_str(buff, 10, res);

    BSTR bResult = _com_util::ConvertStringToBSTR( buff );
    return bResult;
}

Best Solution

The mpz_t data type can only store integers, and 2-18 is not an integer. To calculate that, you'll have to use the floating-point type mpf_t or the rational number type mpq_t.