Questions on writing non-trivial programs in Mathematica. Do not use this tag for questions on plotting/graphics or for questions on doing mathematics with Mathematica, where the focus is more on the math than the program.

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11
votes
2answers
2k views

ParallelTable and Table do not give same result

I have a question regarding the use of Parallelize. In the help one can read that “Parallelize[Table[expr,iter, …]] (which is ...
11
votes
2answers
571 views
11
votes
2answers
287 views

Built-in symbols that support operator form

In version 10 some built-in symbols are updated to support operator form like the Derivative. For example, Select, ...
11
votes
6answers
409 views

For a given expression: if it appears, remove it, but if it is absent, add it

While reformatting Szabolcs's code from (42660) I noticed this interesting operation: ...
11
votes
3answers
423 views

How can I hold UpValues but evaluate other expressions?

Consider these definitions: own = "OwnValue"; down[_] = "DownValue"; sub[_][_] = "SubValue"; N[n] = 3.14; _[___, up, ___] ^= "UpValue"; The attribute ...
11
votes
3answers
562 views

How can I speed up SQL queries in Mathematica?

I have an application that queries a MySQL database many times for data. At the moment, Mathematica and MySQL are running on the same box and yet it takes over 1.6 seconds for the query to run and ...
11
votes
3answers
192 views

Emulating Sequence with my own function

I just considered if/how one could implement Sequence in Mathematica if it were not predefined. It turned out that the following simple definition has in all my ...
11
votes
2answers
843 views

Dynamic Programming with delayed evaluation

By using dynamical programming, we can save intermediate steps for recursive relations, as in f[n_]:= f[n] = f[n-1] + f[n-2] However, this only stores ...
11
votes
1answer
193 views

Copy Built-in function to new name

It is know that some built-in functions are system function and changing their properties may cause trouble. Suppose for example I want to change features of Cases: ...
11
votes
1answer
492 views

Mathematica implementation of Earth Movers Distance?

Has anyone implemented in Mathematica the Earth Mover's Distance (EMD)? A concept dating back to Monge 1871, used to compare histograms and images, e.g., the CIEDE2000 Color Difference algorithm. ...
11
votes
1answer
186 views

Figuring out how AbsoluteOptions works with Graphs

I am puzzled by how AbsoluteOptions works with Graph objects. I would have expected that one could use it to obtain all the ...
11
votes
1answer
220 views

How to deal with bad arguments when a function's UpValues is a pure-function?

In practice, I needs to define the UpValues of a user-defined function. For instance, the operation of function like differential formula , expansion and so on. ...
11
votes
1answer
131 views

Preventing Keys from appearing in Query Output (+ the casting of Ascending/Descending operators)

One of the challenges of coming to grips with Query's on Association's and Datasets is ...
10
votes
8answers
849 views

Best way to emulate MATLAB's bsxfun using Map and similar functions

Given a matrix, we want to subtract the mean of each column, from all entries in that column. So given this matrix: ...
10
votes
4answers
308 views

Searching linked lists that contain lists?

Following the advice I've read here and other sites, I've been trying to use the Mathematica equivalent of a linked lists... ...
10
votes
5answers
596 views

How to find first list element that differs from average of N previous elements by more than a given amount?

Given a list of real numbers, I need to write a function that returns the value of the first element in the list that differs from the mean of the previous $N$ elements by greater than $P$ standard ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Select/Delete with Sublist elements?

Probably easy and short question, I still didn't fully figure out how to easily select/delete sublists from a list. Example: tt = {{2, 4}, {4, 8}} I want to delete/select all the elements where ...
10
votes
3answers
322 views

How to exit from the innermost enclosing pure function?

Here is what I tried to do: Scan[Function[x, Scan[Function[y, If[y == 2, Return[]]; (* Do something useful *) Print[y]], x]], {{1, 2, 3}, {4, 5, 6}}] ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Programming Mathematica in plaintext, i.e. no formatting, non-notebook

I'm new to Mathematica and I've just begun reading Paul Wellin's Programming in Mathematica. The book, like many other books and online tutorials, revolves around using the notebook, with all its ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Programming the fiver game

Obviously, even if I ask a lot of question I am, obviously, still a dummy!!!! I want to program the fiver game. It's a very simple game played solitary on a $5 \times 5$ the rule is elementary : if ...
10
votes
2answers
360 views

Get rational and irrational parts

Consider an expression of the form $a + b \sqrt{2}$, where $a,b \in \mathbb{Q}$. How can I extract $b$ (or equivalently $a$) from this expression?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Passing large list by reference

I have the following problem: I would like to control evaluation of a variable that points to a list. For example, frequently in the code I have functions of the form that are supposed to work on ...
10
votes
5answers
680 views

Best way to modify values in a list of rules?

Recently I had to solve a problem similar to this: Let's say I have a list of list of rules ...
10
votes
2answers
820 views

Is there a Break[] equivalent for short-circuiting in Table?

I am running Mathematica 7. The following is admittedly a silly example, but suppose that I have a list list whose entries are either ...
10
votes
2answers
235 views

How to parse a clojure expression?

Clojure is a lisp-like language that runs on JVM and in Javascript. I just started learning it and I'm building a simple parser with Mathematica to understand and visualize it. Like other lisps every ...
10
votes
2answers
262 views

Is there a method to enumerate the keys/values of System`Utilities`HashTable

Lacking from the simple API of System`Utilities`HashTable is a method to enumerate the keys/values. ...
10
votes
3answers
396 views

Patternmatching sets

How to match set-patterns against sets? A set (in the mathematical sense) is a list of elements without repetition and order of elements does not matter. For example, we have a pattern set ...
10
votes
3answers
478 views

Generating Linear Extensions of a Partial Order

Given a set $S$ and a partial order $\prec$ over $S$, I'm looking for a way to "efficiently" generate a list of linear extensions of $\prec$. Suppose the partial order is given by a ...
10
votes
2answers
398 views

Restrict Sensitivity of Locators in LocatorPane

We can restrict the movement of locators in a LocatorPane as follows: In the following example, the first locator's movement is confined to the x-axis and the ...
10
votes
1answer
805 views

Modifying a List in a function in place [duplicate]

An example will be most specific: func[list_, column_] := list[[All, column]] = Map[#*2 &, list[[All, column]]]; This throws errors. I want to avoid doing ...
10
votes
1answer
195 views

DifferentialEvolution scaling factor randomization

Using NMinimize for finding global minima, one can choose the DifferentialEvolution method. You can find a (not so) detailed ...
10
votes
2answers
559 views

Abort not aborting

I have a relatively simple bit of code that looks like the following: ---some code here--- If[statement, Abort[]]; ---more code following--- However, while ...
10
votes
2answers
362 views

Visualizing several long lists of numerical information to see relative frequency

Mathematica has very powerful visualization techniques. However, I'm at a loss at how to best make the following chart readable. ...
10
votes
2answers
622 views

Memory leak issues

I am working with noncommuting objects and basically I am using Mathematica to sort large expressions by normal ordering and simplifying them. To this end, I first create an object called ...
10
votes
1answer
508 views

GeoDirection and GeoDistance Memory Leaks: How to Recover the Memory?

Bug introduced in 7.0 and fixed in 9.0.0 The functions GeoDirection and GeoDistance have memory leaks. To see this, run the example functions below and watch as the Physical Memory Available in ...
10
votes
1answer
145 views

Is it possible to use the global definition of a symbol as part of its new local definition set in a Block?

Consider the following expression: Block[{Print = CopyToClipboard}, doSomething[]] Now all calls to Print from ...
10
votes
1answer
294 views

Checking the argument of user-defined function with side-effect method

Today, I answered a question of mine that asked two month ago. Please see here Now I would like to add the argument checking in this function. Then I used a method that Mr.Wizard answered ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Efficient backtracking with Mathematica

Backtracking is a general algorithm for finding all (or some) solutions to some computational problem, that incrementally builds candidates to the solutions, and abandons each partial candidate c ("...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to calculate mix of 4 colors defined in CIELAB L*a*b* model?

I have 4 colors that I converted from RGB to CIELAB L*a*b* model. How can I calculate mix of these 4 colors when I have (L,a,b) for each such color? How can I ...
10
votes
1answer
217 views

Is there a practical way to define a default value for missing keys in an Association?

Clarification Although I may be missing his point I currently feel that Leonid's comments below are misleading. I am not looking for anything that is not already a part of ...
10
votes
1answer
149 views

How to get control over DepthFirstScan?

Is there a way to conditionally take control the flow during a depth-first scan against a TreeGraph? I have a tree graph whose nodes are constructed as object, and there's a method ...
10
votes
1answer
176 views

Core functions or operations that every aspiring Mathematica programmer should know? [duplicate]

I am aware that there are common yet very powerful operations like Map, Thread, Apply, ...
10
votes
0answers
153 views

Confused by the opts : OptionsPattern[ ] pattern

I'm trying to make sense of the syntax in the clause opts:OptionsPattern[], as found in this standard "rule-based" (pseudo-)function definition pattern: ...
10
votes
0answers
294 views

Create a new infix operator [duplicate]

It is well known that the infix operator @@ is used as a short form of Apply. For example, both ...
9
votes
7answers
427 views

How to efficiently Append a result of an operation on each element of a list to itself

I'm looking for the best function to apply the product of the last two elements of sublist elements to each element: Example: ...
9
votes
6answers
635 views

Best way to find permutation with specific total [duplicate]

Can anyone suggest a good way to find permutations of 12 digits, 0 to 4, totalling 24. I.e. two such permutations:- {2, 1, 4, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 3} // Total ...
9
votes
4answers
368 views

Interactively inspecting parts of an object

There have been times when I want to find the structure of an object in order to extract some part of it. For example, extracting the x and y coordinates from a Graphics object generated by Plot. I ...
9
votes
4answers
583 views

How to set Block local variables by code?

I need to create a user-defined Block function where the Block variables' values are defined by code. For example, imagine I ...
9
votes
3answers
960 views

Improve speed for calculating a recursive sequence

I want to calculate following recursive sequence: $\alpha_{0}=0,\\ \cos(\alpha_{i})=\cos(\alpha_{i-1})\cdot\cos(\beta_{i})+\sin(\alpha_{i-1})\cdot\sin(\beta_{i})\cdot\cos(\gamma_{i}).$ In ...
9
votes
3answers
381 views

Implementation of tensor product formula

For the Bézier surface, which owns the following matrix definition: $$\begin{align*} \mathbf S(u,v)&=\sum_{i=0}^m \sum_{j=0}^n \mathbf P_{i,j} B_{m,i}(u) B_{n,j}(v)\\ &=\small \begin{pmatrix}...