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Re: Derivatives of InterpolatingFunctions

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg5106] Re: Derivatives of InterpolatingFunctions
  • From: Robert Knapp <rknapp>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 22:04:01 -0500
  • Organization: Wolfram Research
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Paul Abbott wrote:
> Paul E Howland wrote:
> >
> > I'm using an InterpolatingFunction to model a set of data that is a
> > function of three variables (range,height,frequency).  I need to
> > generate the partial derivatives of this InterpolatingFunction with
> > respect to each of the variables.  Unfortunately, version 2.2 of
> > Mathematica appears unable to do this, unless the
> > InterpolatingFunction is a function of only one variable.
> >
> > My questions are:
> >   1.  Has this been fixed in v3.0 of Mathematica?
> >   2.  If not, has anyone written a package to address this shortfall?
> See "Partial Derivatives" in the Mathematica Journal (Volume 4, Issue
> 2):
> Presently, Mathematica cannot handle partial derivatives of
> InterpolatingFunctions.  The DInterpolatingFunction` package provided by
> Hon  Wah Tam (tam at, and supplied with the electronic supplement,
> computes partial derivatives of two dimensional InterpolatingFunctions.
> Enhancements

It is correct that Mathemtica 2.2 cannot handle partial derivatives. 
Howerver, in answer to the original question of Paul Howland, YES, this
has been fixed and partial derivatives work correctly in Mathematica

The partial derivatives are computed as the polynomial is being
evaluated, so the process is faster than it was in version 2.2 where the
InterpolatingFunction object has to be entirely recomputed to obtain

Furthermore, Mathematica 3.0 supports integration of one- and
multi-dimensional InterpolatingFunction objects.  With the use of a new
function called FunctionInterpolation, you can do more general
operations on InterpolatingFunctions.  FunctionInterpolation preserves
the original data when it is reasonably possible given the
transformation desired.

Rob Knapp
Wolfram Research, Inc.

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