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MathGroup Archive 1995

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Re: Functional programming puzzle

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg1827] Re: Functional programming puzzle
  • From: Scott.A.Hill at (Lancelot)
  • Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 23:52:49 -0400
  • Organization: Williams College, Williamstown MA

In article <DCGM0w.5GH at>, Wm. Martin McClain <wmm at> wrote:

>Let ptList = {{1,1,2},{2,1,3},{1,3,2}};
>I want a matrix of distances between the points in ptList.
>Any human would think you could get it with
>followed by
>I can do it for a short ptList this way:
>toNbrs = Thread[{p1,p2,p3}->ptList]
>{p1->{1,1,2}, p2->{2,1,3}, p3->{1,3,2}}
>RijArray = Outer[Rij,{p1,p2,p3},{p1,p2,p3}];
>(gives output in terms of symbols p1, p2, and p3)
>Then replace the symbolic points by numerical
>points, and give it a hand with Dot[0,0]:
>RijNbrs = RijArray /.toNbrs /. Sqrt[0 . 0]->0;
>The answer is, as desired, 
>{{  0,     Sqrt[2],    2   }, 
> {Sqrt[2],    0,    Sqrt[6]}, 
> {  2,     Sqrt[6],    0   }}
>But this gets out of hand when ptList is long.

Actually, this method will work with an arbitrary number of vectors,
with a little bit of tweaking.
Try this:

RijNbrs=RijArray/.toNbrs/.Sqrt[0 . 0]->0

The trick, of course, is to replace your list {p1,p2,p3} with a list
of an aribitrary number of variables.  p[1],p[2],p[3],... does the
trick.  You might want to add a Clear[p] afterwards if you had a large
number of vectors and thus used a large number of p's.
	There _should_ be a more elegant way of doing this, but I
don't know how.

>Also, with explicit indices I could cut the number of 
>multiplies more than in half, because I know the 
>result will be symmetric, with only zeroes on the 
>diagonal.  Is there some way to include this 
>knowledge in a functionally programmed version?

	Again, not that I know of.

:@-) Scott

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