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Re: lists of variables

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg58255] Re: lists of variables
  • From: Paul Abbott <paul at>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2005 01:56:14 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: The University of Western Australia
  • References: <d9630u$q1t$><d9gb4h$sud$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <d9gb4h$sud$1 at>, "Ray Koopman" <koopman at> 

> dh wrote:
> > Hi Heath,
> > You already got many answers, but I think the solution to create
> > a variable name as a string and using ToExpression  is not the
> > appropriate way to do this.
> > Array[..] is made for this purpose.
> I agree that using ToExpression to construct code is awkward and tends
> to obscure what the code is, but for functions such as Minimize, that
> require names of variables in their calling sequence, how else would
> you handle problems in which the number of variables is not fixed?

I'm not sure that I follow you. You can pass the necessary variables to 
such functions. For example, here is a function that generates a random 
polynomial in n variables:

 f[x_List] := Plus @@ Apply[Times, 
    Outer[Plus, x, Table[Random[Integer, {-5, 5}], {Length[x]}]], {1}]

For example,


  g = f[{x,y}]

  h = f[{x,y,z}]

Here is a routine that finds the mimimum over a specified domain.

  Minimize[{g, Thread[-2 < Variables[g] < 2]} , Variables[g]]

  Minimize[{h, Thread[-2 < Variables[h] < 2]} , Variables[h]]

And here is a routine for numerical minima:

  Nmin[f_, {x_List, a_List}] := 
   FindMinimum[f, Evaluate[Sequence @@ Transpose[{x, a}]]]

  Nmin[g, {Variables[g], {0,1}}]

  Nmin[h, {Variables[h], {0,1,2}}]

Of course, you cannot use Variables if there are other parameters in the 


Paul Abbott                                      Phone: +61 8 6488 2734
School of Physics, M013                            Fax: +61 8 6488 1014
The University of Western Australia         (CRICOS Provider No 00126G)    

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