Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematica Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Mathematica. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a symbolic function and I used FullSimplify command to simplify the equation given below. I am calculating it by hand but I couldn't reach the same solution. I used Trace command to observe the intermediate steps but trace only gives the expression before FullSimplify. Are there any possible methods that I can observe the steps of simplification?

    Trace[FullSimplify[2 b (-(1/(1 - fd)) + 1/fd) + 
   (2 a (1 - (b (1 - 1/fd + 1/(fd t)))/(a + b)) t)/
   (1 - (1 - fd) t - (b fd (1 - 1/fd + 1/(fd t)) t)/(a + b)) == 0]]
share|improve this question
1  
a little bit related mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/148/5478 –  Kuba Jun 22 '13 at 15:18
    
In general, the simplification methods internally used by Mathematica do not necessarily correspond to how one might simplify by hand; remember that a method that is simple for computers to do is not necessarily simple for humans, and vice-versa. –  J. M. Jun 22 '13 at 15:26
    
@Kuba thanks I'll check. –  HarveyMudd Jun 22 '13 at 15:29
    
@0x4A4D that is true. What I computed by hand doesn't have any similarities with the Mathematica solution. But I wonder if it is possible for Mathematica to show the steps? Or any alternative calculation method? –  HarveyMudd Jun 22 '13 at 15:32
    
"if it is possible for Mathematica to show the steps" - not in this case, I believe. –  J. M. Jun 22 '13 at 15:33
show 5 more comments

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

To see the full details of what FullSimplify is doing you can use the option TraceInternal -> True in Trace. It probably won't help much though, as it will generate pages and pages of inscrutable output.

One thing I have done in the past is to add Sow as a TransformationFunction. This shows the intermediate expressions that Simplify encounters as it works. It's far from being a step-by-step walkthrough, but you can sometimes get a few clues.

FullSimplify[expr, TransformationFunctions -> {Sow, Automatic}] // Reap
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks this was really helpful. I actually solved it by hand. –  HarveyMudd Jun 22 '13 at 21:05
    
Nice answer! Great tools for learning more. It seems that some caching is going on by the way, if you don't get the output you expect, give it a good ol' ClearSystemCache[]. –  Jacob Akkerboom Jun 23 '13 at 10:31
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.