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design question, how to have a set of manipulate controls, but have separate expression associated with each control?

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  • Subject: [mg81087] design question, how to have a set of manipulate controls, but have separate expression associated with each control?
  • From: "Nasser Abbasi" <nma at>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 05:24:55 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Cox


There is a design problem I am trying to solve. Currently with Manipulate, I 
use the following pattern:

Manipulate[process[p1,p2,....],  {p1,0,1},{p2,0,1},.....]

So that when I update p1 or p2 or p3,.... then process[] is called with 
updated p's and it does its work, and makes plots, and life is good.

The problem with this approach, is that now process[], everytime it is 
called, will go through all the processing again, and makes all the plots 
again with the new set of p's it is called with, even though may be only ONE 
of those p's has changed, and this change may be only will affect one plot 
inside it, or more generally will affect only part of over all computation, 
and there would have been no need to repeat everything all over again, and 
update all the plots again. But poor process[] does not know this when it is 
called ofcourse.

So how to solve this? What would be really nice is the following:

If I can figure how to make each control have associated with it its own 
method (but still have all the controls inside one manipulate so that they 
are grouped together.) If this is possible, then when only one control 
changes, then this specific control method will run, and it will update the 
specific plot, or plots, it only cares about.

This will require that each control method will have access to all the 
'other' input control variables as well.

So, I am thinking of this set up:

p1Method[p1_,p2_,......]:=Module[{}, Plot[]]

{{p1,0,1},  p1Method[p1,p2,....]},
{{p2,0,1},  p2Method[p1,p2,....]},
{{p3,0,1},  p3Method[p1,p2,....]},

Ofcourse, I can already solve this problem, by using a separate manipulate 
for separate control like this:

Manipulate[p1Method[p1]}, {p1,0,1}]
Manipulate[p2Method[p2]}, {p2,0,1}]
Manipulate[p3Method[p3]}, {p3,0,1}]
and somehow have each other be able to access the other parameters, my be 
make them global or something (not good solution)

so you might ask, what is the problem then?

Well, I wanted to have one common display area where all method do the 
display into. If I use separate manipulate for separate control, then each 
display will go into its own area, and I will also not have the controls 
themselves in one area.

For example, I can use Grid, and use Manipulate inside each grid, like this:

foo[n_] := Plot[Sin[n*x], {x, -Pi, Pi}]
foo2[n_] := Plot[Cos[n*x], {x, -Pi, Pi}]
Grid[{{Manipulate[foo[n], {n, 1, 10}], Manipulate[foo2[n], {n, 1, 10}]}}]

But you see now the controls are not close to each others, and the display 
area is not 'common'.

I want to have one display area, controls in one place, but separate method 
for each control, and shared parameters.

I am sure there is a way to do, I hope so.

I hope I explained this problem.


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