Consider this

s = C1 /. 
  First@NDSolve[{I C1'[t] == C2[t] E^(-I t), 
     I C2'[t] == C1[t] E^(I t), C1[0.] == 1., C2[0.] == 0.}, {C1, C2}, {t, 0., 10.}]
sol[t_] := 
 Piecewise[{{s[t], t <= 10.}, {Sin[t], t <= 20.}, {Cos[t], t <= 30}}, 0.]
f3 = Compile[{{t, _Real}}, Evaluate@sol[t]]

I get warnings because compile doesn't know the return type of InterpolatingFunction

Compile::noinfo: No information is available for compilation of InterpolatingFunction[{{0.,10.}},{4,31,1,{107},{4},0,0,0,0,Automatic},<<1>>,{Developer`PackedArrayForm,{0,2,4,6,8,10,12,<<38>>,90,92,94,96,98,<<58>>},{1. +0. I,0. +0. I,1. +0. I,-0.000102139+0. I,1. +1.06555*10^-12 I,<<42>>,-0.5557+0.183522 I,0.767381 +0.0556081 I,-0.598783+0.22247 I,<<164>>}},{Automatic}][t] . The compiler will use an external evaluation and make assumptions about the return type. >>

and it failed to use the compiled version


During evaluation of In[38]:= CompiledFunction::cfex: Could not complete external evaluation at instruction 3; proceeding with uncompiled evaluation. >>

(*-0.787326 - 0.231525 I*)

so I tried to set the return type like this

f3 = Compile[{{t, _Real}}, 
  Evaluate@sol[t], {{_InterpolatingFunction, _Complex}}]


f3 = Compile[{{t, _Real}}, Evaluate@sol[t], {{InterpolatingFunction[__], _Complex}}]

both don't work.

In contrary, Fourier seems also has this problem(example taken from here)

Compile[{{m, _Real, 2}}, Fourier[m]][Table[N[i - j], {i, 2}, {j, 2}]]

CompiledFunction::cfex: Could not complete external evaluation at instruction 1; proceeding with uncompiled evaluation. >>

(*{{0., 1.}, {-1., 0.}}*)

but after specify the return type, it works

Compile[{{m, _Real, 2}}, Fourier[m], {{_Fourier, _Complex, 2}}][Table[N[i - j], {i, 2}, {j, 2}]]
(*{{0. + 0. I, 1. + 0. I}, {-1. + 0. I, 0. + 0. I}}*)

So how should I specify the return type of InterpolationFunction?


1 Answer 1


Your pattern is wrong. I would try the following

f3 = Compile[{{t, _Real}}, 
  Evaluate@sol[t], {{InterpolatingFunction[__][t], _Complex}}]

which compiles without warning and lets you evaluate

(* Out[112]= 0.880101 + 0.0200644 I *)

without a message. The problem with your pattern is that you used _InterpolatingFunction which means an expression with the Head InterpolatingFunction.

If you now check the this with the s[t] you used, then you see

(* InterpolatingFunction[{{0.,10.}},<>] *)

Therefore, if you wanted to say it your way, you should be able to use

f3 = Function[expr, 
   Compile[{{t, _Real}}, 
    expr, {{_InterpolatingFunction[__], _Complex}}]][s[t]]

which again works on my machine.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! You saved my day! Could you comment on why my pattern is wrong in the InterpolatingFunction case, but working in the Fourier case? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ @xslittlegrass See my update in the post. $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 22:43

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