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Re: Solve or LinearSolve or ...?

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  • Subject: [mg46382] Re: [mg46347] Solve or LinearSolve or ...?
  • From: Daniel Lichtblau <danl at>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 23:42:15 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Scott Morrison wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm trying to write a function to calculate coefficients in a basis;
> for example
> FindCoefficients[{f[a,a],f[a,b],f[b,a],f[b,b]}, f[a,a]+(1/2)f[b,a],
> _f]
> should produce {1,0,1/2,0}. The third argument there means `assuming
> all objects matching _f are linearly independent'. More difficult, it
> should produce
> FindCoefficients[{f[a]+f[b],f[a]-f[b]},f[a], _f] == {1/2,1/2}.
> And finally, it should work with rational functions as coefficients,
> not just numbers, and it should run fast enough to be useful with
> bases with thousands of elements. :-)
> I've spent quite some time trying to write something like this, and
> I'm finding it really difficult! I can't seem to use LinearSolve in
> any way -- it seems to trip up when I use rational functions as
> coefficients. I've been trying to work around Solve, but the only
> things that work are glacial in pace!
> Any ideas or suggestions? I'd be happy to post some of my attempts if
> they'd be helpful in explaining what I'm trying to do, but mostly I'm
> too embarrassed by them :-)
> Scott Morrison

Here is one method that should be reasonably efficient.

findCoefficients[ll_List, expr_, varhead_] := Module[
   {cc, coeffs, newexpr, vars, eqns},
   coeffs = Array[cc,Length[ll]];
   newexpr = coeffs.ll - expr;
   vars = Cases[Variables[{ll,expr}], varhead];
   eqns = Thread[Map[D[newexpr,#]&, vars] == 0];
   coeffs /. First[Solve[eqns,coeffs]]

In[34]:= InputForm[findCoefficients[{f[a,a],f[a,b],f[b,a],f[b,b]},
   f[a,a]+(1/2)f[b,a], _f]]
Out[34]//InputForm= {1, 0, 1/2, 0}

In[35]:= InputForm[findCoefficients[{f[a]+f[b],f[a]-f[b]},f[a], _f]]
Out[35]//InputForm= {1/2, 1/2}

If this is slow on examples of interest then you may want to post 
further information describing such examples.

Daniel Lichtblau
Wolfram Research

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