Compile[{}, ConstantArray[0, {1, 2, 3}], CompilationTarget -> "C"][]

yields CompiledFunction::cfte: Compiled expression {{{0,0,0},{0,0,0}}} should be a rank 2 tensor of machine-size integers. Trying to specify the correct type using

Compile[{}, ConstantArray[0, {1, 2, 3}], 
{{ConstantArray[_, {_, _, _}], _Integer, 3}}, CompilationTarget -> "C"][]

fails with the same error message.

What is wrong here, and how to fix it?

P.S.: ConstantArray[ConstantArray[0, {2,3}], 1] does work but is more of an ugly hack than a solution.

Mathematica 11.01 on MacOS X.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ ConstantArray is not fully compilable, i.e. not compilable in all cases, see here. Just use Table[0, {1}, {2}, {3}]? $\endgroup$ Dec 30, 2016 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MariusLadegårdMeyer Thanks, using Internal`CompileValues[ConstantArray] as described there I get {HoldPattern[ ConstantArray[{System`CompileDump`type_, System`CompileDump`rank_}, {Integer, System`CompileDump`drank_}]] :> Internal`CompileTypeEvaluate[{System`CompileDump`type, System`CompileDump`rank + If[System`CompileDump`drank > 0, 2, 1]}]} which seems to explain the error. Do you know why the type specification did not work? I can use the table. $\endgroup$
    – mrupp
    Dec 30, 2016 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know, but I think that Mathematica simply does not have a rule to compile ConstantArray[_, {_, _, _}] even though you have specified the type, that is all. It still calls MainEvaluate after all. $\endgroup$ Dec 30, 2016 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ How about f := ConstantArray[0, {1, 2, 3}]; Compile[{}, f, {{f, _Integer, 3}}, CompilationTarget -> "C"][]? $\endgroup$
    – xzczd
    Dec 30, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @xzczd, nice work-around for the type error. It still calls MainEvaluate though (as I assume you know, but maybe other readers do not), so if speed is the goal of compiling then one should be aware of that. $\endgroup$ Dec 30, 2016 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


Just don't use ConstantArray inside compile. Alternatives that are fully compilable are

Compile[{}, Table[0, {1}, {2}, {3}], CompilationTarget -> "C"][]


Compile[{}, Array[0 &, {1, 2, 3}], CompilationTarget -> "C"]

If you want to inject a static array into the compiled body, you can use

With[{arr = ConstantArray[0, {1, 2, 3}]},
 Compile[{}, arr, CompilationTarget -> "C"][]

In general, your question is too vague to tell what approach is appropriate in your case.


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