I have these 6 random walks of size 100 generated into a list:

x = Table[
   Flatten@NestList[0.1 + # + RandomVariate[NormalDistribution[], 1] &,0, 99], 

Now I'd like to extract each random walk (each row) from this matrix and automatically name them x1, x2 , ... , x6.

How can I do that? Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ closely related: How do you programatically load data into symbols? $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ var = Table[Unique["x"], 6];var = x can help? $\endgroup$
    – yode
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ MapIndexed[ Set[Evaluate[Symbol["x" <> IntegerString[First@#2]]], #1] &, x] $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So the question is fine, but why do you want to do this, rather than just using x[[1]], x[[2]], etc.? It just seems to clutter the name-space without much gain. In fact, you lose something by not being able to operate on all of the lists at the same time (by using Table or Map or ...). $\endgroup$
    – march
    Oct 13, 2016 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Well in this particular application, you're right, it would be better to just use Part[], but in some cases, I need to import several variables at once, so naming them is more practical then having to remember their "id". $\endgroup$
    – E Bassal
    Oct 13, 2016 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


The direct method would be as follows:

{x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6} = 
  Table[Flatten@NestList[0.1 + # + RandomVariate[NormalDistribution[], 1] &,
     0, 99], 6]

To automate this process for longer tables, you can use this function to do the same thing:

setRows[s_String, m_List] := 
  With[{vars = s <> # & /@ IntegerString@Range@Length@m}, 
    Clear @@ vars; Evaluate[Symbol /@ vars] = m;]

For example, executing setRows["x",matrix], would create variables x1, x2, x3,... each containing the corresponding row of matrix.

To name them in any other fashion, say var1, var2,..., use setRows["var",matrix].

  • $\begingroup$ Symbol instead of ToExpression would be the perfect function here. $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2016 at 20:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I'll fix it now. I'm working on a solution that doesn't return errors if the variables already have ownvalues $\endgroup$
    – dan7geo
    Oct 13, 2016 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer, it's exactly what I was looking for. $\endgroup$
    – E Bassal
    Oct 13, 2016 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Updated to overwrite previous values of variables, if any, and to name the variables in any manner. $\endgroup$
    – dan7geo
    Oct 13, 2016 at 21:18

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