# How do I plot the derivative of a set of points in 3D?

I have a set of points like this: P = {{$x_1$,$y_1$,$f(x_1,y_1)$},{$x_2$,$y_2$,$f(x_2,y_2)$},...,{$x_n$,$y_n$,$f(x_n,y_n)$}}.

I want to plot them and also plot the derivative of that graph. How can I do this with Mathematica? Is there a simple way in Mathematica?

• You can plot the points with ListPointPlot[P], although user variables should not begin with a capital. I don't know what you mean by "the derivative" in this context.
– Alan
Jun 21 '17 at 19:08
• Derivative of what graph with respect to what? Jun 21 '17 at 19:08
• If you have the function f only on discrete points, then you cannot simply derive them. What you need is some kind of numerical scheme and Mathematica has a lot of them built-in. One way is to interpolate your points by a smooth function and use the derivative of the interpolation function. If your points {x,y} are not on a grid, it is a bit trickier, but can be accomplished as well. Is it possible that you provide your points (or a list of example points)? Jun 21 '17 at 19:17
• @thedude and Alan, i have a large set of numerical values of the form ($x_i$,$y_i$,$f(x_i,y_i)$), where $x_i$ and $y_i$ are the independent variables and $f(x_i,y_i)$ depends on the both $x_i$ & $y_i$. I got its 3D plot through ListPlot3D now i want to plot the derivative of this 3D plot? Probably a partial derivative i think? Jun 21 '17 at 19:17
• @halirutan Since i have a big data, so i give you the points for example: {{0., 0.384609, 0.999965, -0.399952, 0.0333553, -0.430301}, {0.587785, 0.853728, 0.804087, -0.862295, 0.614443, -0.878706}, {0.951057, 0.996752, 0.301074, -0.99527, 0.960835, -0.991475}, {0.951057, 0.75905, -0.316938, -0.748085, 0.94022, -0.725534}, {0.587785, 0.231417, -0.813891, -0.215158, 0.560473, -0.182464}, {0., -0.384609, -0.999965, 0.399952, -0.0333553, 0.430301}} Jun 21 '17 at 19:25

Since you don't give an example of P, I will use the following data:

data = Flatten[
Table[{x, y, Sin[x y]}, {x, 0, 5, .1}, {y, 0, 5, .1}],
1
];


The data is on a structured grid, meaning there is data for every point on a rectangular mesh. Hence, we can just use Interpolation:

if = Interpolation[data]


InterpolatingFunction[{{0., 5.}, {0., 5.}}, <>]

Now, if we want to plot the x derivative, we can just differentiate the InterpolatingFunction:

dx = Derivative[1, 0][if]


InterpolatingFunction[{{0., 5.}, {0., 5.}}, <>]

We see that the result is another InterpolatingFunction. Plotting the InterpolatingFunction is simple:

Plot3D[dx[x, y], {x, 0, 5}, {y, 0, 5}] Since we constructed the data using Sin[x y], we know that the x derivative is simply y Cos[x y]. Let's compare:

Plot3D[y Cos[x y], {x, 0, 5}, {y, 0, 5}] • Thank you. This is quite helpful. Jun 21 '17 at 22:54