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MathGroup Archive 2002

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Re: Slow iteration in a functional program

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg35642] Re: Slow iteration in a functional program
  • From: Jens-Peer Kuska <kuska at>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 02:06:04 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Universitaet Leipzig
  • References: <ahj0ea$gp9$>
  • Reply-to: kuska at
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


that is called dynamic programming and

   Phi[1] = Flux;                            
   Phi{n_] :=Phi[n]= Phi[n-1] Exp[-(1-P[n-1])*xsec
   G[n_] := G[n]=ListIntegrate[xsec Phi[n]]  

will save the function values for P[n] from previous


Matthew Rosen wrote:
> Everyone,
>   I've been trying to recast an iterative calculation I do as a
> procedural program in C as an elegant functional program in
> Mathematica 4.1. The Mathematica code is much more transparent, but
> the resultant execution time is more than two orders of magnitude
> longer. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.The following is
> a schematic of the problem.
> There are three equations in the iteration variable, n:
>    G[n_] := ListIntegrate[xsec Phi[n]]      Both xsec and Phi[n] are
> 400 points long.
>    P[n_] := G[n]/(G[n]+(a constant)+D[n])   D[n] is a simple algebraic
> function of n.
>    Phi[1] = Flux;                             Flux is 400 points long.
>    Phi{n_] := Phi[n-1] Exp[-(1-P[n-1])*xsec
> The goal is to evaluate P[n_] for an n around 1000. After running, I
> need to know all the values of P[n] and Phi[n] at each n from 1 to
> nmax. Note, P[n] is a number and Phi[n] is 400 points long.
> Currently,
> Timing[P[1]] = 0.1 s
> Timing[P[2]] = 0.2 s
> Timing[P[5]] = 8.4 s.
> I dont dare try to evaluate P[1000] as I need to do. Every time I
> evaluate these functions they recalculate from scratch. I think I
> need to somehow tell Mathematica to save the intermediate values.
> Curious is that the calculation time is going up like n^2, not like n
> as I would have thought. The equivalent procedural c-code runs in
> less than 1 second to evaluate P[1000].
> Thanks in advance for any guidance!
> -Matt Rosen
> --
> Matthew Rosen
> Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
> Mail Stop 59
> 60 Garden Street
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> e: mrosen at
> o: (617) 496-7614

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