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Re: Alternative to defining 'operator' function?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg47551] Re: Alternative to defining 'operator' function?
  • From: Paul Abbott <paul at>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 05:02:17 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: The University of Western Australia
  • References: <c5leel$bit$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <c5leel$bit$1 at>,
 "Owen, HL (Hywel)" <H.L.Owen at> wrote:

> I often have programming problem where I'd like to calculate a set of dot
> products, e.g. applying a list of square matrices {R1,R2,R3...} to a vector
> v to obtain:
> {R1.v,R2.R1.v,R3.R2.R1.v,...}
> or other functions like that.

Distribute works here:

 Distribute[{Subscript[R,1], Subscript[R,2], Subscript[R,3]} . v, List]

> The method I've been using is to define an 'operator' function, e.g.
> DotOperator[M_] := Dot[M, #] &
> Then we have:
> In: DotOperator[R][v]
> Out: R.v
> as wanted, so that we can define a ComposeList as
> In: Rest[ComposeList[DotOperator[#] & /@ {R1, R2, R3}, v]]
> Out: {R1.v, R2.R1.v, R3.R2.R1.v}
> to obtain the result we want.
> Is there a simpler way than this that doesn't involve defining functions
> like DotOperator?

Here is one way. Define the action of Rn on v:

  Subscript[R, n_][v_] := Subscript[R, n] . v

then use ComposeList:

  Rest[ComposeList[Subscript[R,1], Subscript[R,2], Subscript[R,3]}, v]]


Paul Abbott                                   Phone: +61 8 9380 2734
School of Physics, M013                         Fax: +61 8 9380 1014
The University of Western Australia      (CRICOS Provider No 00126G)         
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Crawley WA 6009                      mailto:paul at 

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