These integer types use checked arithmetic, otherwise they are as system types.
Author JeffreySarnoff
35 Stars
Updated Last
2 Years Ago
Started In
October 2017


These integer types do not ignore arithmetic overflows and underflows.

Copyright © 2018-2019 by Jeffrey Sarnoff.    This work is made available under The MIT License.

Docs        Build Status    Test Coverage    Test Coverage         MIT license

A Safer Way

Using the default Int or UInt types allows overflow and underflow errors to occur silently, without notice. These incorrect values propagate and such errors are difficult to recognize after the fact.

This package exports safer versions. These types check for overflow and underflow in each of the basic arithmetic functions. The processing will stop with a message in the event of overflow or underflow. On one machine, the overhead relative to the built-in integer types is <= 1.2x.


Integer overflow occurs when an integer type is increased beyond its maximum value. Integer underflow occurs when an integer type is decreased below its minimum value. Signed and Unsigned values are subject to overflow and underflow. With Julia, you can see the rollover using Int or UInt types:

typemax(Int) + one(Int) < 0
typemin(Int) - one(Int) > 0
typemax(UInt) + one(UInt) == typemin(UInt)
typemin(UInt) - one(UInt) == typemax(UInt)

There are security implications for integer overflow in certain situations.

 for i in 1:a
 a = Int16(456) * Int16(567)
 a == -3592
 # the for loop does not execute


Why Does This Package Exist?

  • Your work may require that integer calculations be secure, well-behaved or unsurprising.

  • Your clients may expect your package/app/product calculates with care and correctness.

  • Your software may become part of a system on which the health or assets of others depends.

  • Your prefer to publish research results that are free of error, and you work with integers.

What Does This Package Offer?

  • SaferIntegers let you work more cleanly and always alerts otherwise silent problems.

  • This package is designed for easy use and written to be performant in many sorts of use.

  • All exported types are stable (e.g. typeof(SafeInt32 + 1) == SafeInt32)

  • Using SaferIntegers can preclude some known ways that insecure systems are breached.

  • Safer Rationals just work: SafeRational(161803398875,100000000000)

Test code for integer safety

  • @saferintegers include(join("PackageTestDirectory", "PackageTests.jl"))
    • includes a type modified PackageTests.jl in the current environment
    • all Integer types in PackageTests.jl are become SafeInteger types
    • run it and see if there are any problems!

A Basic Guide

To use safer integers within your computations, where you have been using
explict digit sequences put them inside the safe integer constructors,
SafeInt(11) or SafeUInt(0x015A) and similarly for the bitsize-named versions
SafeInt8, SafeInt16 .. SafeInt128 and SafeUInt8 .. SafeUInt128

Where you had usedInt or UInt now use SafeInt or SafeUInt and similarly with the bitsize-named versions.

SafeInt and SafeUInt give you these arithmetic operators:
+, -, *, div, rem, fld, mod, fld1, mod1, ^
which have become overflow and underflow aware.

The Int and UInt types can fail at simple arithmetic
and will continue carrying the incorrectness forward.
The validity of values obtained is difficult to ascertain.

Most calculations proceed without incident, and when used SafeInts operate as Ints should a calculation encouter an overflow or underflow, we are alerted and the calculation does not proceed.

Give them a whirl.

Get the package: Pkg.add("SaferIntegers")
Use the package: using SaferIntegers

  • These functions check for overflow/underflow automatically:
    • abs, neg, div, fld, fld1, cld, rem, mod, mod1
    • divrem, fldmod, fldmod1
    • -, +, *, ^
    • so does /, before converting to Float64

Exported Types and Constructors / Converters

  • SafeInt8, SafeInt16, SafeInt32, SafeInt64, SafeInt128
  • SafeUInt8, SafeUInt16, SafeUInt32, SafeUInt64, SafeUInt128
  • SafeSigned, SafeUnsigned, SafeInteger
  • SafeRational

They check for overflow, even when multiplied by the usual Int and UInt types.
Otherwise, they should be unsurprising.

Other Conversions

Signed(x::SafeSigned) returns an signed integer of the same bitwidth as x
Unsigned(x::SafeUnsigned) returns an unsigned integer of the same bitwidth as x
Integer(x::SafeInteger) returns an Integer of the same bitwidth and either Signed or Unsigned as is x

SafeSigned(x::Signed) returns a safe signed integer of the same bitwidth as x
SafeUnsigned(x::Unsigned) returns a safe unsigned integer of the same bitwidth as x
SafeInteger(x::Integer) returns a safe Integer of the same bitwidth and either Signed or Unsigned as is x


  • signbit, sign, abs, abs2
  • count_ones, count_zeros
  • leading_zeros, trailing_zeros, leading_ones, trailing_ones
  • ndigits0z
  • isless, isequal, <=, <, ==, !=, >=, >
  • >>>, >>, <<, +, -, *, \, ^
  • div, fld, fld1, cld, rem, mod, mod1
  • divrem, fldmod, fldmod1
  • zero, one
  • typemin, typemax, widen

Test code for integer safety

test snippets

julia> @saferintegers begin
         x = 64
         y = Int16(16)
         z = x + y + SafeInt128(x)
         x, y, z
(64, 16, 144)

julia> typeof.(ans)
(SafeInt64, SafeInt16, SafeInt128)

test source file

julia> cd(<source file directory>)
julia> @saferintegers include(<filename.jl>)

Benchmarking (on one machine)

julia v1.1-dev

using SaferIntegers
using BenchmarkTools

@noinline function test(n, f, a,b,c,d)
   result = a;
   i = 0
   while true
       i += 1
       i > n && break       
       result += f(d,c)+f(b,a)+f(d,b)+f(c,a)
   return result

hundredths(x) = round(x, digits=2)

a = 17; b = 721; c = 75; d = 567;
sa, sb, sc, sd = SafeInt.((a, b, c, d));
n = 10_000;

hundredths( (@belapsed test(n, +, $sa, $sb, $sc, $sd)) /
            (@belapsed test(n, +, $a, $b, $c, $d))        )

hundredths( (@belapsed test(n, *, $sa, $sb, $sc, $sd)) /
            (@belapsed test(n, *, $a, $b, $c, $d))        )

hundredths( (@belapsed test(n, div, $sa, $sb, $sc, $sd)) /
            (@belapsed test(n, div, $a, $b, $c, $d))      )


This work derives from RoundingIntegers.jl.

The @saferintegers machinery is heavily informed by ChangePrecision.jl.

Required Packages