# How to speed up this code about a triple integral?

How to speed up this code? It's unbelievably slow!!! My solution with pen and paper is faster.

Clear[R, h];
Integrate[
Integrate[
Integrate[1, {z, h, Sqrt[R^2 - x^2 - y^2]},
Assumptions -> Element[y, Reals]]
, {y, -Sqrt[R^2 - h^2 - x^2], Sqrt[R^2 - h^2 - x^2]},
Assumptions -> Element[x, Reals]]
, {x, -Sqrt[R^2 - h^2], Sqrt[R^2 - h^2]},
Assumptions ->
Element[R, Reals] && R > 0 && Element[h, Reals] && 0 < h < R,
GenerateConditions -> False]


$\frac{1}{3}\pi (h-R)^2 (h+2 R)$

It's a triple integral over a spherical cap.

I have got the solution, but... I can't understand why Mathematica is so slow.

• @corey I use 3 Integrals, because of the documentation (It´s bad). And the results are different. With 1 Integral I can´t use the result as function(but it´s fast :-) ) and With 3 Integrals of go weel except the slow. With one integral I have problems with the Assumptions. Dec 30, 2016 at 12:49
• Why not use cylindrical coordinates? Integrate[r, {z, h, R}, {θ, 0, 2 π}, {r, 0, Sqrt[R^2 - z^2]}] Dec 30, 2016 at 21:44

A timing analysis. Each integration was performed on a fresh kernel.

The OP's code:

Integrate[
Integrate[
Integrate[1, {z, h, Sqrt[R^2 - x^2 - y^2]}, Assumptions -> Element[y, Reals]],
{y, -Sqrt[R^2 - h^2 - x^2], Sqrt[R^2 - h^2 - x^2]}, Assumptions -> Element[x, Reals]],
{x, -Sqrt[R^2 - h^2], Sqrt[R^2 - h^2]}, Assumptions -> Element[R, Reals] && R > 0 && Element[h, Reals] && 0 < h < R,
GenerateConditions -> False] // AbsoluteTiming


{326.12, 1/3 π (h - R)^2 (h + 2 R)}

Reformulating it is much faster:

Integrate[1,
{x, -Sqrt[R^2 - h^2], Sqrt[R^2 - h^2]},
{y, -Sqrt[R^2 - h^2 - x^2], Sqrt[R^2 - h^2 - x^2]},
{z, h, Sqrt[R^2 - x^2 - y^2]},
Assumptions -> {x, y, z} ∈ Reals && R > 0 && 0 < h < R] // AbsoluteTiming


{80.5937, 1/3 π (h - R)^2 (h + 2 R)}

It could be sped up with Boole; there should be no difference between x > h, y > h and z > h due to the symmetry, but:

Integrate[
Boole[x^2 + y^2 + z^2 < R^2 && x > h], {x, -Infinity, Infinity},
{y, -Infinity, Infinity}, {z, -Infinity, Infinity},
Assumptions -> R > 0 && 0 < h < R] // AbsoluteTiming


{11.8003, 1/3 π (h - R)^2 (h + 2 R)}

Integrate[
Boole[x^2 + y^2 + z^2 < R^2 && y > h], {x, -Infinity, Infinity},
{y, -Infinity, Infinity}, {z, -Infinity, Infinity},
Assumptions -> R > 0 && 0 < h < R] // AbsoluteTiming


{106.909, 1/3 π (h - R)^2 (h + 2 R)}

Integrate[
Boole[x^2 + y^2 + z^2 < R^2 && z > h], {x, -Infinity, Infinity},
{y, -Infinity, Infinity}, {z, -Infinity, Infinity},
Assumptions -> R > 0 && 0 < h < R] // AbsoluteTiming


{86.4646, 1/3 π (h - R)^2 (h + 2 R)}

EDIT: The timing differences in the last three integrals are not due to changing the names of the variables var (i.e., $x\leftrightarrow y\leftrightarrow z$ in the var > h part), as could be suspected at first glance, but due to the order of integration; in Integrate[f[x,y,z], {x, ....}, {y, ....}, {z, ....}] the integration over z is performed first, and over x last. The first (among the last three) integral is the fastest as the integration over the vertical direction through the cap is performed last $-$ i.e., one sums the stacked full circles. In other cases, the consecutive integrations are performed over regions not so regular, which requires MMA to take more time.