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Re: Symmetrizing function arguments

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  • Subject: [mg127633] Re: Symmetrizing function arguments
  • From: "djmpark" <djmpark at>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 03:19:05 -0400 (EDT)
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Do you mean that from F[a,b,c,d,e,f] you want to write a new function fSym
that is invariant to the interchange of any two of its arguments?

Here is how you might do it for a three argument function. Create all the
permutations of the arguments. There are 3! == 6 of them.

Permutations[{a, b, c}]  

{{a, b, c}, {a, c, b}, {b, a, c}, {b, c, a}, {c, a, b}, {c, b, a}} 

Then write the new function as:

fSym[a_, b_, c_] = Total[F @@@ Permutations[{a, b, c}]]/3!

1/6 (F[a, b, c] + F[a, c, b] + F[b, a, c] + F[b, c, a] + F[c, a, b] +  F[c,
b, a])

fSym[a, b, c] == fSym[b, a, c] 


For a six argument function use:

fSym[a_, b_, c_, d_, e_, f_] = 
  Total[F @@@ Permutations[{a, b, c, d, e, f}]]/6!; 

fSym[a, b, c, d, e, f] == fSym[b, a, c, d, e, f] 

fSym[a, b, c, d, e, f] == fSym[b, a, c, d, f, e] 

David Park
djmpark at 

From: Hauke Reddmann [mailto:fc3a501 at] 

I'd like to define a quasi 6j symbol which has tetrahedron symmetry in its 6
arguments. At the moment (I'm a n00b, still :-) I use a cheap hack:
f[a_,b_] := If[a>b,F[a,b],F[b,a]];
Bingo, f now is commutative and sorts by descending arguments, and NOOOOO
endless loops. My, am I proud of myself :-) Needless to say, using this
method to implement the symmetries of h[a_,b_,c_,d_,e_,f] is a royal pain in
the backside, as you see with the hassle needed already for just 3
...especially considering all the subcases needed when two arguments are
Surely, you can offer a more elegant way? It more or less suffices to bring
the largest value to position 1 and the second-largest to 2 or 3 (assume a,b
and c,d and e,f are the opponent edges of the tetrahedron), but optimal
would be if none of the 24 tetrahedron operations gives a smaller lexicalic
ordering even in the case of equal entries.

P.S. No, the inbuilt 6j symbol is useless - wrong Lie group :-)

Hauke Reddmann <:-EX8    fc3a501 at
Out on deck the dawn arrived
Your grey sweater oversized
The rooftops glimmered before our eyes

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