How can we (loosely) check whether variable A is determined, not directly computing A?
(= How can we define DeterminedQ function ?)

For example,

In[1] x=a+b
In[2] a=2

Then x is not completely determined yet. So,

In[3] DeterminedQ[x]
Out[3] False

But if we go further

In[4] b=2


Out[5] DeterminedQ[x]
Out[5] True

Because now x=4.

I have an idea. My idea is inspecting Definition[x], and get variable names v1,v2,... those constructing x. Then inspect Definition[v1], Definition[v2], ..., repeat, repeat.
If we encounter a variable w such that defition[w] produces Null, then x is not determined, DeterminedQ[x] must be false.
Otherwise, variables at bottom level will turn out to be mixture of determined numbers or strings, etc. In this case DeterminedQ[x] must be true.

But there is a problem in my idea. For example,


Then x is mathematically determined becuase x == a*0 == 0, but according to my idea, DeterminedQ[x] becomes false, because Definition[a] becomes Null.

And if we make a mathematica code,

x = the least even number that is not sum of two prime numbers  

(The code can be written using NestWhile command)
Then the existence of x is not known mathematically, but according to my idea, DeterminedQ[x] becomes true.

I don't care whether x is determined mathematically or not.
I just want DeterminedQ function, which is loose but super fast, always give true or false.

...Or, there may be a built-in function already. Can you construct/know
DeterminedQ-like function ?

  • $\begingroup$ Will NumericQ do what you want? $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2021 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ No the list {1,2,3} is determined but NumericQ gives us false. Matrix of determined numbers or determined strings are also determined, I think. $\endgroup$
    – imida k
    Mar 20, 2021 at 11:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you need this functionality for? $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Mar 20, 2021 at 16:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not entirely clear on your definitions of "determined." Do you mean A it would give a numeric value if it were evaluated? If so, note that NumericQ[A] computes A and sees if the result is numeric. That seems not to be what is required by "determined, not directly computing A." $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Mar 20, 2021 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ Logically... the first thing to do is, constructing a single 'logical statement' for x according to the definition of x (according to what I've done in .nb file so far). If there is no free variable in 'the logical statement', then it can be said x is determined. In this manner, you do not need any computation, just inspecting the structure of the logical statement is enough. $\endgroup$
    – imida k
    Mar 21, 2021 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


How about this?

DeterminedQ[x_List] := And @@ DeterminedQ /@ x;
DeterminedQ[x_] := NumericQ[x];
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. It is a very clever code and perfectly works for list of list of list of... numbers. But it computes x. So, it will take so long time to the output of DeterminedQ[NestWhile[# + 1 &, 0, # < 10^100 &]] $\endgroup$
    – imida k
    Mar 21, 2021 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ My idea will work for such example. $\endgroup$
    – imida k
    Mar 21, 2021 at 13:37

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