Functional or rules-based equivalent for procedural program

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg24976] Functional or rules-based equivalent for procedural program*From*: leko at ix.netcom.com (J. Leko)*Date*: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 08:27:34 -0400 (EDT)*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Hello. I have a question regarding the type of programming style by which I may accomplish a task in Mathematica. Mathematica supports three types of programming: procedural, functional, and rules-based. Like the majority of people, I was formally taught procedural programming, but am trying to undo this evil. >:-) Here is my situation... I am working with a set of all-sky imager (instrument) data. Some years ago, I created a FORTRAN program which subtracts background intensities from the data of interest. Here is a brief example of how it works: o The first two entries in the background file are at 2:08, and 2:17. o In the data file, the first four entries are time stamped 2:06, 2:10, 2:15, and 2:19. o My algorithm averages the background values taken at these two times, and then subtracts this from data which falls between these times, namely 2:10, 2:15. o The 2:19 data time value falls outside this background range, and would be handled by the average of the 2:17 and succeeding background times. Since the routine is written in FORTRAN, it is obviously procedural. As I stated above, I am expert in procedural programming, but would like to become proficient in Mathematica programming. Is there an efficient method by which I may perform this task in Mathematica using either functional, or rules-based methods? Thank you (in advance) for your consideration! J. Leko University of Alabama in Huntsville