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An Octave cookbook. Each entry should go in a separate section and have the following subsection: problem, solution, discussion and maybe a see also.

Contents

Structures

Retrieve a field value from all entries in a struct array

Problem

You have a struct array with multiple fields, and you want to acess the value from a specific field from all elements. For example, you want to return the age from all patients in the following case:

 samples = struct ("patient", {"Bob", "Kevin", "Bob" , "Andrew"},
                   "age",     [ 45  ,  52    ,  45   ,  23     ],
                   "protein", {"H2B", "CDK2" , "CDK2", "Tip60" },
                   "tube"   , [ 3   ,  5     ,  2    ,  18     ]
                   );

Solution

Indexing the struct returns a comma separated list so use them to create a matrix.

 [samples(:).age]

This however does not keep the original structure of the data, instead returning all values in a single column. To fix this, use reshape().

 reshape ([samples(:).age], size (samples))

Discussion

Returning all values in a comma separated lists allows you to make anything out of them. If numbers are expected, create a matrix by enclosing them in square brackets. But if strings are to be expected, a cell array can also be easily generated with curly brackets

 {samples(:).name}

You are also not limited to return all elements, you may use logical indexing from other fields to get values from the others:

 [samples([samples(:).age] > 34).tube]                 ## return tube numbers from all samples from patients older than 34
 [samples(strcmp({samples(:).protein}, "CDK2").tube]   ## return all tube numbers for protein CDK2

Input/output

Mathematics

Find if a number is even/odd

Problem

You have a number, or an array or matrix of them, and want to know if any of them is an odd or even number, i.e., their parity.

Solution

Check the remainder of a division by two. If the remainder is zero, the number is odd.

 mod (value, 2) ## 1 if odd, zero if even

Since mod() acceps a matrix, the following can be done:

 any  (mod (values, 2)) ## true if at least one number in values is even
 all  (mod (values, 2)) ## true if all numbers in values are odd
 
 any (!logical (mod (values, 2))) ## true if at least one number in values is even
 all (!logical (mod (values, 2))) ## true if all numbers in values are even

Discussion

Since we are checking for the remainder of a division, the first choice would be to use rem(). However, in the case of negative numbers mod() will still return a positive number making it easier for comparisons. Another alternative is to use bitand (X, 1) or bitget (X, 1) but those are a bit slower.

Note that this solution applies to integers only. Non-integers such as 1/2 or 4.201 are neither even nor odd. If the source of the numbers are unknown, such as user input, some sort of checking should be applied for NaN, Inf, or non-integer values.

See also

Find if a number is an integer.

Parametrized Functions

Problem

One sometimes needs to define a family of functions depending on a set of parameters, e.g.   where   denote a the variables on which the function operates and   are the parameters used to chose one specific element of the family of functions.

For example, let's say we want to implement a function that given the spring constant   and the initial elongation   of a

Solution

Discussion

Plotting

User input