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Re: more on vector unions

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg23308] Re: [mg23236] more on vector unions
  • From: Carl Woll <carlw at>
  • Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 18:00:10 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


Russell Towle wrote:

> Initial tests of this vunion1 function suggest that it is not only accurate
> but very fast; it found the union of a list of 8448 3-vectors in 2.95
> seconds. However, I myself believe it should be modified to Sort a Chop-ped
> list:
> >vunion1[v_] := Module[{r},
> >    r = Split[Sort[ Chop[v, .000001] ], (Abs[#1[[1]] - #2[[1]]] < tol &)];
> >    Flatten[vunion /@ r, 1]]
> I think this is crucial, because a typical list of vectors (vertices of
> polytopes, actually) with many duplicates will have many components close
> to zero--which actually should be zero--but which differ in sign. Chop
> fixes this and Sort proceeds as it should... right?

The additional Chop that you suggest is not necessary.

By the way, I have come up with a minor speed up (25%):

tst = splitQ[[i++]] &;
vunion3[v_] := Block[{i, splitQ, r1, r2},
    r1 = Sort[v];
    r2 = r1[[All, 1]];
    splitQ = Thread[Abs[Drop[r2, -1] - Rest[r2]] < tol];
    i = 1;
    r2 = Split[r1, tst];
    Join @@ (vunion /@ r2)]

Basically, splitQ stores up all the test results first, then when the Split
function is run, h spits those results back out. This is faster because the
complicated tests can then be vectorized as opposed to being performed
piecemeal. Another refinement is using Join@@ instead of Flatten[ ,1], which as
Allan Hayes pointed out in a different context is slightly faster.


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