Subtraction of two binary numbers in Java

Hi, today we will learn about Subtraction of two binary numbers in Java. This article will help you to develop more knowledge about 2’s complement, binary subtraction as well as binary addition in Java.

First of all, we need to understand that those numbers which are represented through 0’s and 1’s are known as binary numbers. So, subtraction of B from A can be represented as:

difference = A – B

which can also be written as:

difference = A + (2’s complement of B) = A + (1’s complement of B + 1)

now, the problem is how we obtain 1’s complement of B. We will obtain it with the help of  ~, Bitwise Complement Operator: This is a unary operator that returns the one’s complement representation of the input value. for eg. –

if, B = 1000010 then the 1’s complement of B will be: 0111101

Please Remember there could be multiple ways to solve a particular problem as per your understanding. Before jumping to the code pay attention to the additional rules for the binary numbers:

  1.  1+1=0    (carry=1 will be generated and passed towards left)
  2.  1+0=1
  3.  0+1=1
  4.  0+0=0 

now, let’s have a look at java code.

Subtraction of two binary numbers: Java Code

import java.util.Scanner;

public class Main {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    Scanner sc = new Scanner(;

    System.out.println("Enter A:");
    String bin1 = sc.nextLine();

    System.out.println("\nEnter B:");
    String bin2 = sc.nextLine();
    // following method is used to parse the binary number from the string.
    int A = Integer.parseInt(bin1, 2);
    int B = Integer.parseInt(bin2, 2);
    Long sum =(long) A+(~B +1);
    System.out.println("\ndifference (A - B) is : "
        + Long.toBinaryString(sum));      
    /*Long.toBinaryString() method is called to find the binary equivalent in string format*/



Enter A:
11100         //input due to line 10
Enter B:
10101         //input due to line 13
difference (A - B) is : 111


Here, we have-

A=11100  &  B=10101, and by using ~, Bitwise Complement Operator, we get 1’s complement of B which is: 01010, now our task is to add A, 1’s complement of B and 1 as per the addition rules mentioned above.

So now you understood how to find the difference between two binary numbers.

you may also read:

Java program to calculate consecutive 1’s in Binary Numbers

One response to “Subtraction of two binary numbers in Java”

  1. soklin peau says:

    C. In the BinaryArithmetic class, please add the following methods
    1. binaryAdd to do the binary addition
    2. binary subtraction to do the binary subtraction
    D. In the BinaryArithmetic class, please create a nested class (Static or Non-static) named Complement. Inside nested class Complement please add the following methods:
    1. findFirstComplement is used to find binary 1’s complement

    Please Help me. I Do not know. How can I Do?

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