Re: Simplify

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg98663] Re: [mg98659] Simplify*From*: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>*Date*: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 04:10:50 -0400 (EDT)*References*: <200904150902.FAA08151@smc.vnet.net>

Actually, this point has been explained many times (by me ;-)) (I like to think of Mathematica's evaluation process in terms of something called "The Evaluator", which I think I first found in David Wagner's book "Power Programming with Mathematica". I think it is only an abstraction, along with "the Parser", "the Typesetter" etc, but a convenient one when one is thinking about the evaluation process. ) The "Evaluator" always evaluates (x/y)^2 to x^2/y^2 This happens before Simplify takes any effect. Even if Simplify converted x^2/y^2 to (x/y)^2 the Evaluator would kick in and again convert it back to x^2/y^2. Since the Evaluator always overrides Simplify there is no way to get (x/y)^2 as the output without using Hold. Perhaps you are asking why Mathematica (or the "Evaluator") automatically converts (x/y)^2 to x^2/y^2. It's because of something called "canonical forms" or "standard forms". Basically, in order to optimize performance in computer algebra systems one want to reduce to 0 as quickly as possible as many expressions that are actually equal. The earlier you do this the better the performance. If you allow expressions to contain a large number of subexpressions that are actually 0 until you apply Simplify, it may very seriously impair performance. "Canonical forms" (or "normal forms", there is a slight difference between them but I shall ignore it) are certain unique forms to which various expressions are reduced automatically by the Evaluator (before applying Simplify). This has the effect causing cancellations to occur early. Also, these "canonical forms" have to be independent of any particular ComplexityFunction used, hence the reduction has to be performed outside Simplify. The advantage of using canonical forms independent of ComplexityFunction is that they often enable Mathematica to identify two expressions as equal even if Simplify can't fine a sequence of Complexity reducing transformations that will convert one expression into the other. Not surprisingly, using "canonical forms" can sometimes produce undesirable side-effects and this is one of them (a rather minor one, worse ones do occur). Andrzej Kozlowski Andrzej Kozlowski On 15 Apr 2009, at 18:02, dh wrote: > > > Hi, > > can somebody explain, why > > Simplify[x^2/y^2,ComplexityFunction->LeafCount] > > does not simplify to (x/y)^2, although the LeafCount is: > > LeafCount[Hold[x^2/y^2]] gives 10 > > and > > LeafCount[Hold[(x/y)^2]] gives 8 > > > > Daniel > > >

**References**:**Simplify***From:*dh <dh@metrohm.com>

**Re: Simplify**

**Re: Simplify**

**Re: Simplify**

**Re: Simplify**