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Re: Indeterminate result (numerical problem)

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  • Subject: [mg120593] Re: Indeterminate result (numerical problem)
  • From: Gary Wardall <gwardall at>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2011 06:01:31 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <j0tru0$d4m$>

On Jul 29, 3:44 am, Sebastian Hofer <sebho... at> wrote:
> I have a large symbolic expression which is a sum of a large number of fractions, which is the result of an integral. I can get numerical values by NIntegrate, but eventually the expression should go into a minimization problem, which would be much faster starting from an analytic expression. My troubles start even earlier though. When I try to evaluate the expression by
> N[expr/.parameters]
> I get Indeterminate. This is true independently of the precision given to N(machine or arbitrary precision) or the chosen parameters, which I initially chose to be rational numbers from an interval of about 1/10 to 10. Simplifying the symbolic expression is not possible due to its sheer size. Simplifying the separate terms and evaluating them gives me a result, but only if I set $MinPrecision=$MaxPrecision as in
> In[466]:= Block[{prec=MachinePrecision,$MaxPrecision,$MinPrecision},$MaxPrecision=$MinPrecision=prec;N[slist,prec]//Total]
> Out[466]= -0.0000554539 + 0.000957437 I
> where slist contains the simplified and evaluated terms. If I work with arbitrary precision instead I get
> In[462]:= Block[{prec=16,$MaxPrecision,$MinPrecision},$MaxPrecision=$MinPrecision=prec;N[slist,prec]//Total]
> Out[462]= -0.00001695456281093148 + 0.0009204297860912486 I
> The latter result coincides with what I obtain from NIntegrate, which I guess is correct. (Is this a valid assumption?)
> However, for different values of prec I get very strange results:
> prec=17,18,21: same as prec=16
> prec=19: -0.001922263621488465141 - 0.003379886739497078367 I
> prec: Indeterminate
> prec=22: -0.0006868461930781501884710 - 0.0006068980872473164707112 I
> ...
> What is the best way to approach this problem? How do I know which results I can trust? Is there a better approach to start with? All tips are highly welcome!
> Sebastian


Without seeing the symbolic expressions you started with it's
difficult to fully understand the problem.


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