So, I'm working on a project where the number of independent variables is not fixed.

Consider a problem of $N$ independent variables, $\boldsymbol{r}$.

I want to perform different things with them. Amongst them, I want to consider (multidimensional) integration, etc.

Variables definition

My first question regarding this topic, is the definition of the variables to perform algebraic manipulation. My first though was to use


However, in some situations, (e.g. with Block), I cannot use these variables as I use x1,x2,.... e.g.


gives an error.

(my current naive solution is to use):

variables[N_] := Table[ToExpression["x" <> ToString[i]], {i, 1, N}];

Is there any more standard solution?

Sums, integrals

This question also holds for the problem of computing integrals for arbitrary dimensions.

How can I tell Mathematica to compute

Integrate[f[{r1,r2,...,rn}], {r1, 0, 1}, {r2, 0, g[r1]},...,{rN, 0, h[{r1,r2,...,"rN-1"}]}]

Most of the times I will be interested in numerically compute the integral, but nevertheless, how do I tell Mathematica? I tried the simple "naive"

Integrate[1, Table[{i, 0, 1}, {i, variables[3]}]]

but it gives an error.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Try Integrate[1, Sequence @@ Table[{i, 0, 1}, {i, variables[3]}]]. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 10:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can use something like Table[Unique["x"], {5}] to create variables. $\endgroup$
    – Silvia
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ You might find some useful ideas in this previous question and its answers. Also, in this one. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you all for the suggestions. @b.gatessucks: The Sequence works for Integrals, but not for sums. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ @J.C.Leitão: dump: because it has an holdall attribute $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


You might use:

variables[n_, sym_String: "x"] := Unique @ Table[sym, {n}]



variables[3, "Q"]
{x1, x2, x3, x4, x5}

{x6, x7, x8, x9, x10}

{Q1, Q2, Q3}

Note the difference on the second call.

For work in Sum et al. you can leverage the fact that a plain Function evaluates its arguments:

vars = variables[7, "z"];

Sum[Multinomial @@ vars, ##] & @@ ({#, 0, 1} & /@ vars)

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