I have the following piece of code in Mathematica:

a = {1, 2};

b = {2, 3};

f[i_, j_] := a[[i]]^2 + b[[j]]^2;

Maximize[{f[i, j], 1 <= i <= 2 && 1 <= j <= 2}, {i, j}, Integers]

By running it I get:

Part::pspec: Part specification i is neither a machine-sized integer nor a list of machine-sized integers. >>

Part::pspec: Part specification j is neither a machine-sized integer nor a list of machine-sized integers. >>

Could anyone help me out?

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    – user9660
    Nov 24, 2014 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ See question # 25152: Minimizing a Matrix $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2014 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please explain it more with a simple code? Tnx :) $\endgroup$
    – user22380
    Nov 24, 2014 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of issues. One is that you need to bypass symbolic processing since entities like a[[i]] (with i symbolic) are not defined. We do this by forcing f to only work with explicit Integer inputs.

a = {1, 2};
b = {2, 3};
f[i_Integer, j_Integer] := a[[i]]^2 + b[[j]]^2;

The scond issue is that we now have an objective that is, in a sense, a procedural function. The function Minimize will not be able to do anything with this. But the numeric variant NMinimize can work with it.

NMaximize[{f[i, j], 1 <= i <= 2 && 1 <= j <= 2 && i \[Element] Integers && j \[Element] Integers}, {i, j}]

(* Out[228]= {13., {i -> 2, j -> 2}} *)

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