AskDefine | Define truncation

Dictionary Definition



1 the property of being truncated or short [syn: shortness]
2 the replacement of an edge or solid angle (as in cutting a gemstone) by a plane (especially by a plane that is equally inclined to the adjacent faces)
3 the act of cutting short; "it is an obvious truncation of the verse"; "they were sentenced to a truncation of their limbs"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act of truncating or shortening (in all senses)
  2. The removal of the least significant digits from a decimal number
  3. The replacement of a solid angle by a plane (or a similar operation in other dimensions)

Extensive Definition

In mathematics, truncation is the term for limiting the number of digits right of the decimal point, by discarding the least significant ones.
For example, consider the real numbers
To truncate these numbers to 4 decimal digits, we only consider the 4 digits to the right of the decimal point.
The result would be:
Note that in some cases, truncating would yield the same result as rounding, but truncation does not round up or round down the digits; it merely cuts off at the specified digit. The truncation error can be twice the maximum error in rounding.
In statistics, the term truncation is used differently and can be thought of in the same context as censoring. Usually the values that insurance adjusters receive are either left truncated, right censored or both. For example, if policyholders are subject to a policy limit, u, then and loss amounts that are actually above u are reported to the insurance company as being exactly u because u is the amount the insurance companies pay. The insurance company knows that the actual loss is greater than u but they don't know what is is. On the other hand, left truncation occurs when policyholders are subject to a deductible. If policyholders are subject to a deductible, d, any loss amount that is less than d will not even be reported to the insurance company. Any loss amount that is greater than d will be reported to the insurance company is loss - d because that is the amount the insurance company has to pay. Therefore insurance loss data is left truncated because the insurance company doesn't know if there are values below a specific amount. They don't know how many losses occur or how much each loss is.

Truncation and floor function

Truncation can be done using the floor function. Given a number x \in \mathbb_+ to be truncated and n \in \mathbb_0, the number of elements to be kept behind the decimal point, the truncated value of x is
\mbox \left(x,n \right) = \frac.
For negative numbers truncation does not round in the same direction as the floor function: truncation rounds toward zero, the floor function rounds down.

See also

External links

truncation in Catalan: Truncament
truncation in Spanish: Truncamiento
truncation in Korean: 버림
truncation in Italian: Troncamento
truncation in Japanese: 端数処理
truncation in Sicilian: Truncamentu
truncation in Swedish: Trunkering
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