Questions on the numerical functions of Mathematica, implementing numerical methods and numerical computing with Mathematica.

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91
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are numeric division and subtraction not handled better in Mathematica?

There is something that has been troubling me for a while. At least through version 10.0 the performance of a / b and a - b is ...
57
votes
9answers
3k views

Updating Wagon's FindAllCrossings2D[] function

Stan Wagon's Mathematica in Action (second edition; I haven't read the third edition and I'm hoping to eventually see it), demonstrates a nifty function called ...
52
votes
3answers
4k views

Numerically solving Helmholtz equation in 2D for arbitrary shapes

I would like to solve the Helmholtz equation with dirichlet boundary conditions in 2 dimensions for an arbitrary shape. (for a qualitative comparison of the eigenstates to periodic orbits in the ...
52
votes
2answers
2k views

When I can assume that all decimal digits returned by Mathematica are provably correct?

How to Control the Precision and Accuracy of Numerical Results Arbitrary-Precision Numbers Mathematica works with exact numbers and with two different types of approximate numbers: machine-...
48
votes
10answers
3k views

Can Mathematica propose an exact value based on an approximate one?

Sometimes, I use Mathematica to do some hypothesis on homeworks to make the question easier. For instance, when I have to compute big sums when $n\to\infty$ and Mathematica can't give the exact answer,...
45
votes
3answers
14k views

Why round to even integers?

According to the Mathematica help: Round rounds numbers of the form x.5 toward the nearest even integer. For example: Round[{0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5}] ...
44
votes
1answer
2k views

Adaptive sampling for slow to compute functions in 2D

EDIT: Although I have posted an answer based on my current progress, this in incomplete. Please see the "open issues" section in the answer. Most plotting functions in Mathematica adjust the ...
40
votes
1answer
1k views

How to compare power towers in Mathematica?

First I tried it directly, but it overflowed: ...
39
votes
6answers
8k views

Finding real roots of negative numbers (for example, $\sqrt[3]{-8}$)

Say I want to quickly calculate $\sqrt[3]{-8}$, to which the most obvious solution is $-2$. When I input $\sqrt[3]{-8}$ or Power[-8, 3^-1], Mathematica gives the ...
38
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to make Mathematica reformulate an expression in a more numerically stable way?

I'm writing a numerical optimization, and I'm having a problem with an expression of the form $$ e^{-t} (1+\mathrm{erf}(t)) $$ The overall shape of the function looks correct, but when $t$ is small, $...
38
votes
3answers
3k views

Identifying critical points/lines of 2/3D image/cubes

Upshot I am interested in identifying critical points of a 3D field/cubes (maxima, minima, tube-like and wall-like saddle points) and 2D field/image (maxima, minima, saddle points). I.e. the ...
37
votes
3answers
7k views

Understanding differences between Maple and Mathematica in examples picked by Maplesoft

I am reading the document How Maple Compares to Mathematica. On page 15 there is an example where Mathematica produces wrong results. Does anybody know why? MAPLE: MATHEMATICA: Also on page 17 ...
34
votes
0answers
1k views

Fast Spherical Harmonics radiative transfer

This is a rather specific question and I apologize for spamming you with some lengthy code. But it could be interesting for some reader and maybe you can help out, so please bear with me. I am using ...
33
votes
8answers
7k views

About multi-root search in Mathematica for transcendental equations

I have some questions for multiroot search for transcendental equations. Is there any clever solution to find all the roots for a transcendental equation in a specific range? Perhaps ...
32
votes
1answer
1k views

Numerics with Mathematica

From time to time, I would like to use Mathematica purely numerically, e.g., plotting a function which is defined as an integral which cannot be solve analytically or a solution of a differential ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning of backtick in floating-point literal

If I compute, say, 1/3//N, Mathematica displays 0.333333 as the result. When I copy that output to use elsewhere, the paste ...
31
votes
2answers
4k views

Efficient Langevin Equation Solver

This question is not about good algorithms for solving stochastic differential equations. It is about how to implement simple codes in Mathematica efficiently exploiting Mathematica's programming ...
30
votes
3answers
911 views

How to flush machine underflows to zero and prevent conversion to arbitrary precision?

I'm working on some pretty intense computation in Mathematica; when my code started running slowly, I tracked the source of the problem to Exp[]. I need to ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Funny behaviour when plotting a polynomial of high degree and large coefficients

I am trying to plot a polynomial of degree $29$ on the domain $[0,1]$, with fairly large coefficients: ...
28
votes
2answers
483 views

How to implement custom integration rules for use by NIntegrate?

How can NIntegrate be extended with custom implementation of integration rules? This answer of the question "Monte Carlo integration with random numbers generated ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

How to use NDSolve to track equilibrium?

I am looking for an extension of NDSolve where integration runs until certain variables are settled at an equilibrium. Now I have a working solution in my sleeves ...
24
votes
3answers
839 views

Exponential fitting - isn't actually a BUG there?

There are many questions on this site about wrong exponential fitting in Mathematica but no one considers this well-known problem as a potential bug. Usually people suggest well-known workarounds ...
24
votes
1answer
745 views

How to work with Experimental`NumericalFunction?

This question is intimately connected with previous one: "How to create internally optimized expression for computing with high WorkingPrecision?" Oleksandr R. correctly states in the comment: A ...
23
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I differentiate numerically?

Mathematica has two ways to integrate: Integrate and NIntegrate. But what about D? ...
23
votes
2answers
557 views

Symbolic derivatives are being calculated numerically

Just found the following while debugging a problem. Mathematica is calculating the derivative of IntegerPart[x] in some odd way: ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Mathematica Handle Open Intervals? Interval complements?

Open Intervals Following up on this question, I was wondering whether Mma can handle open intervals. For example, the union of the intervals, $$1<x<5$$ and $$5<x<8$$ should not ...
22
votes
3answers
775 views

Real Numbers in the Wolfram Language

Epilog: Much of the discussion in the answers below revolves around the distinction between Real as a data type and real numbers as a domain or class of numbers (irrespective of the form in which ...
22
votes
2answers
260 views

BitShiftRight produces incorrect results in Version 10

Bug introduced in 10.0.0 and fixed in 10.0.2 With Mathematica 10 for Mac, BitShiftRight works properly on lists of up to 100000 numbers, but appears to give ...
21
votes
7answers
788 views

Elegant high precision `log1p`?

Sometimes it is hard to understand how numerical expressions are evaluated. I remember reading claims by Wolfram on how smart the Kernel is to evaluate expressions trees numerically by recognizing ...
21
votes
3answers
921 views

Computing polynomial eigenvalues in Mathematica

MATLAB offers a function polyeig for computing polynomial eigenvalues, which appear, for instance in quadratic eigenvalue problems (see here for some applications) such as: \begin{equation} (M\...
21
votes
1answer
414 views

Is there an NDSolve`ProcessEquations analog for NIntegrate?

NDSolve has an interface for repeatedly solving an equation with different initial conditions without having to analyze the equation and set up the solving algorithm each time. This can improve ...
21
votes
1answer
754 views

How to determine BLAS/LAPACK implementation used internally for numerical matrix operations?

Is there a command which reveals which implementation of BLAS and LAPACK are used in Mathematica's matrix operations such as Eigensystem? I asked a related question ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

AccuracyGoal, PrecisionGoal, WorkingPrecision and NDSolve

I'm trying to understand exactly what WorkingPrecision, AccuracyGoal and PrecisionGoal mean ...
20
votes
3answers
473 views

How to improve performance of BesselJ to the level of GSL?

Consider the following code: zs = N /@ Range[0, 12, 10^-5]; AbsoluteTiming[bessels = BesselJ[1, #] & /@ zs;] Length @ zs I've tried to measure only ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

How to fit 3 data sets to a model of 4 differential equations?

I'm a biologist and a newbie in Mathematica. I want to fit three data sets to a model consisting of four differential equations and 10 parameters. I want to find the parameters best fitting to my ...
20
votes
2answers
796 views

Obtain approximate Hessian using FindMinimum

According to the documentation, when FindMinimum is told to use the method "QuasiNewton" on a unconstrained problem, it uses the ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

The difference between 0. and 0

I have a function for which 0 is a special case: f[A___, 0, B___] := 0 But since I am doing numerics, sometimes in the course ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Optimizing a Numerical Laplace Equation Solver

Laplace's Equation is an equation on a scalar in which, given the value of the scalar on the boundaries (the boundary conditions), one can determine the value of the scalar at any point in the region ...
19
votes
1answer
460 views

Faster binary Hamming weight for big integers?

While working on an answer to Count the sequences in an array I found that DigitCount was the bottleneck in my code when used as ...
19
votes
2answers
613 views

Different floating-point numbers equal?

Let's define two different numbers. x = 1. y = 1. + 2^-52 (* equivalently, 1 + $MachineEpsilon *) Let's make sure they're different with ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Annoying display truncation of numerical results

I have a lot of data to inspect. An example of a number in my program is 123.189094 This gets displayed as 123.189 ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Solving a Volterra integral equation numerically

I would like to solve for $P(t)$, in Mathematica, a Volterra integral equation of the 2nd kind. It is: $$P(t) = R_0(t) + \int_0^t P(t') R_0(t-t')dt'$$ I know the function $R_0$ and would ...
18
votes
1answer
414 views

How can I mend this broken heart?

Try to evaluate the following code: ...
18
votes
1answer
507 views

Numerical inverse Laplace-Hankel transform

When trying to reproduce the result of this paper about numerical solution of Lamb's problem, I encountered the following double integral (to be more precise, the 0-order inverse Hankel-Laplace ...
18
votes
0answers
246 views

Is MathieuC for moderately large imaginary arguments broken?

I'm trying to plot MathieuC[-3,0.3,I x] for $x\in[0,10]$, and here's what I get even with arbitrary precision arithmetic (here I use ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Higher order periodic interpolation (curve fitting)

I have a list of points in 3D, and I want to get a smooth interpolation or curve fit (it is more for illustration) of these points such that the first and second derivatives at the start and end ...
17
votes
1answer
180 views

How to implement custom NIntegrate integration strategies?

How can new integration strategies algorithms be used with NIntegrate? This is a different type of extension than the extensions with new integration rules, as ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

2D Heat equation: inconsistent boundary and initial conditions

I'm attempting to use NDSolve on a 2D boundary value problem with initial conditions. Upon running my code, I get the following message: "NDSolve::ibcinc: Warning: Boundary and initial conditions are ...
17
votes
2answers
491 views

How to create internally optimized expression for computing with high WorkingPrecision?

I have large dataset and need to fit rather complicated function on it with different values of one of its parameters (this parameter must be fixed in every fit). I use the ...
17
votes
1answer
792 views

Dual complex integral over implicit path using contour plot

Context I am interested in doing double contour integral over paths which are defined implicitly. For the sake of debugging, let's assume its $$\oint_{\cal C}\oint_{\cal C} \frac{1}{u\, x} d u d x$$ ...