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Re: Adapting function to input type

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  • Subject: [mg86508] Re: Adapting function to input type
  • From: dh <dh at>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 05:29:30 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <fr7op0$38l$>

Hi Mac,

if you specify your function as pure functions, instead as a symbol, 

like e.g.:

errmod2=Function[{b},forwardmodel[b] 0.1] or abreviated:

errmod2=forwardmodel[#] 0.1 &

you could e.g. use Switch. Here is an example:

pbiomass[obs_, err_, forwardmodel_]:=


     ,_?NumericQ, Print["Numeric"];

     ,_Function, Print["Function"];



hope this helps, Daniel

Mac wrote:

> I'm convinced from what I know of Mathematica that a function can be

> programmed to adapt the calculation according to function input

> parameter types (scalar or function), but I'm still not sure exactly

> how to do it.


> As an example of a current calculation I calculate the probability

> curve for an observation "obs", with error "err" and forward model

> "forwardmodel" as a function of forest biomass. Here the error

> parameter is assumed to be a function (i.e. err[#] in the expression

> for pbiomass)


> pbiomass[obs_, err_, forwardmodel_] := Module[{biomass},

>    biomass = Range[1, 1000, 1];

>    Exp[-1*(forwardmodel[#] - obs)^2/(2 err[#]^2)] & /@ biomass

>    ];


> I have several possibilities for error models including


> (* a constant error of 4m in height*)

> errmod3[b_] := 4;


> (* a relative error expressed as a percentage of the forward model -

> here 10% of forward model *)

> errmod2[b_] := forwardmodel[b] 0.1;


> Using errmod2 or errmod3 I can call the pbiomass function without

> problem using the syntax


> pbiomass[somenumber,errmod2,forwardmodel]


> or


> pbiomass[somenumber,errmod3,forwardmodel]


> Ideally however I would like to have the option of calling pbiomass[]

> using a scalar value for err[] as well as a function, for instance in

> the case of a 4m height error


> pbiomass[somenumber,4,forwardmodel]


> instead of having to define a separate err function for a constant

> value and use this in the call. I'm stumped as to how to implement

> this in Mathematica but I'm pretty sure it is possible so I thought I

> would pose the question and hopefully learn from the answers.


> Many thanks


> Mac


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