Chapter 10: Processes of Perception and Analysis

Section 5: Data Compression

[Number representations in] practical computing

Numbers used for arithmetic in practical computing are usually assumed to have a fixed length of, say, 32 bits, and thus do not need to be self- delimiting. In Mathematica, where integers can be of essentially any size, a representation closer to (b) above is used.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]