Definition:Error/Absolute

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Definition

Let $x$ be an approximation to a (true) value $X$.

The absolute error $\varepsilon$ is the difference between $x$ and a $X$, and can be defined in one of three ways:

 $\text {(1)}: \quad$ $\ds \varepsilon$ $:=$ $\ds X - x$ $\text {(2)}: \quad$ $\ds \varepsilon$ $:=$ $\ds x - X$ $\text {(3)}: \quad$ $\ds \varepsilon$ $:=$ $\ds \size {X - x}$

where $\size {X - x}$ denotes the absolute value of $X - x$.

Different sources use different conventions.