What is MATLAB?

MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a proprietary programming language and multilingual arithmetic environment developed by MathWorks. MATLAB allows matrix manipulation, drawing functions and data, implementing algorithms, creating user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, C# , Java, Fortran and Python.

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Although MATLAB is primarily intended for numerical computing, an optional toolbox uses the MuPAD symbol engine, which gives access to symbolic computing capabilities. An additional package, Simulink, adds graphical multi-domain simulation and model-driven design for dynamic and embedded systems.

As of 2017, MATLAB has approximately 1 million users across industry and teaching. MATLAB users come from a variety of technical, scientific, and economic backgrounds.


-Cleve Moler, chair of the computer science department at the University of New Mexico, began developing MATLAB in the late 1970s. He designed it to give his students access to LINPACK and EISPACK without the need to learn Fortran. It quickly spread to other universities and found a strong response in the applied mathematics community. Jack Little was an engineer for Stanford University in 1983 who was exposed to it during a visit to Moler. Realizing its commercial potential, he joined with Moler and Steve Bangert to rewrite MATLAB in C and founded MathWorks in 1984 to continue its development. These rewrite libraries are called JACKPACs. In 2000, MATLAB was rewritten to use a newer set of libraries for matrix manipulation, LAPACK.

-MATLAB was first accepted by researchers and practitioners in control engineering, Little’s expertise, but quickly spread to many other fields. It is now also used in education, especially the teaching of linear algebra and numerical analysis, and is popular among scientists involved in image processing.


MATLAB applications are built around the MATLAB code language. Common uses of the MATLAB application involve using the Command Window as an interactive math shell or executing text files containing MATLAB code.


Variables are defined using the assignment operator, =. MATLAB is a weakly typed programming language (a weakly typed language that has more typographical rules and can produce unpredictable results or can perform implicit type conversions at runtime. Another but related concept is implicit import. ) because types are implicitly converted. It is an inferentially typed language because variables can be assigned without declaring their type, unless they are treated as symbolic objects, and their types are mutable. Values ​​can come from constants, from calculations involving the values ​​of other variables, or from the output of a function.


x =


x =


y =

104 97 116

x =

12.0000 1.5708

y =

-1.6097 30000

Vectors and matrices:

A simple array is defined using the colon “:” syntax. Eg :

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defines a variable named array (or assigns a new value to an existing variable with array name) which is an array consisting of the values ​​1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. That is, the array starts at 1 ( initial value), increments with each step from the previous value by 2 (incremental value), and stops when it reaches (or to avoid exceeding) 9 (terminator value).

the increment can actually be omitted from this syntax (along with one of the colons), to use the default value of 1.

assigns to the variable named ari an array with the values ​​1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, since the default value of 1 is used as the increment.

Exponents are based on the usual convention for matrices (which are a rectangular array of numbers, symbols, or expressions, arranged in rows and columns) in mathematics, although not for a single number. programming languages ​​like C, C++ and Java.

Matrices can be defined by separating the elements of a row with spaces or commas and using a semicolon to terminate each row. The list of elements should be surrounded by square brackets: <>. Parentheses: () are used to access elements and subarrays (they are also used to denote a function argument list).

A set of exponents can be specified by expressions such as “2:4”, which evaluates to <2, 3, 4>. For example, a submatrix taken from rows 2 through 4 and columns 3 through 4 could be written as:

A unit matrix of size n can be generated using a function eye, and matrices of any size zero or numbers can be generated with zeros and the corresponding functions.

Transposing a vector or a matrix is ​​performed by the transpose function or by adding the element after the dot to the matrix. If there is no dot Matlab will perform the conjugate transpose.

Most MATLAB functions can accept matrices and will apply themselves to each element. Eg, mod (2 * J, n) will multiply each element in “J” by 2, and then reduce each element modulo “n”. MATLAB does not include standard “for” and “while” loops, but (as in other similar applications such as R(R is a programming language and freeware environment for statistical computing and Graphics are supported by the R Foundation for Computing Computing.R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners to develop statistical software and data analysis.)), using vector notation generally produces faster code to execute. This code, extracted from the function magic.m, generates a matrix M for odd values ​​of n (the MATLAB grid function is used here to generate square matrices I and J containing 1:n).

= meshgrid(1:n);A = mod(I + J – (n + 3) / 2, n);B = mod(I + 2 * J – 2, n);M = n * A + B + first;

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MATLAB has structured data types. Since all variables in MATLAB are arrays, a more complete name is “structural arrays”, where each element of the array has the same field name. In addition, MATLAB supports dynamic field names (field lookup by name, field manipulation, etc.). Unfortunately, the MATLAB JIT does not support MATLAB constructs, so just a simple bunch of different variables into one structure incurs overhead.


When creating a MATLAB function, the name of the file must match the name of the first function in the file. Valid function names start with an alphabetical character and can contain letters, numbers, or underscores. Functions are usually case sensitive.

Handle function:

MATLAB supports elements of lambda calculus by introducing control functions, or reference functions, implemented in .m files or anonymous/nested functions.

Class and object-oriented programming:

MATLAB supports object-oriented programming including classes, inheritance, virtual dispatch, packages, semantics by value, and semantics by reference. However, the syntax and calling conventions are significantly different from other languages. MATLAB has value classes and reference classes, depending on whether the class behaves as a dominant class (for reference classes) or not (for value classes).

Method calling behavior differs between values ​​and reference classes. For example, a call to a method.


can change any member of an object only if the object is an instance of a reference class. An example of a simple class is provided below:

classdef hello methods function greet(this) disp(‘Hello!’) end endend

When included in a file named hello.m, this can be executed with the following commands:

Graphical programming and graphical user interfaces:

MATLAB supports the development of applications with graphical user interface (GUI) features. MATLAB includes a GUIDE (GUI development environment) for GUI graphic design. It also has tightly integrated graphing features. For example, the plot function can be used to generate a graph from two vectors x and y,Code:

x = 0:pi/100:2*pi;y = sin(x);plot(x,y)

produces the following figure of the sine function:

A MATLAB program can output three-dimensional graphics using the functions surf, plot3, and mesh.

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= meshgrid(-10:0.25:10,-10:0.25:10);

f = sinc(sqrt((X/pi).^2+(Y/pi).^2));





zlabel(‘{fsinc} ({fR})’)

hidden off

This code generates a 3D wireframe plot of a two-dimensional denormalized sine function:

In MATLAB, the graphical user interface can be programmed using the GUI design environment (GUIDE) tool.

Interfacing with other programming languages:

MATLAB can call functions and subroutines written in the C or Fortran programming languages. A wrapper function is created that allows MATLAB data types to be passed and returned. MEX files (Mlablab executables) are dynamically loadable object files created by compiling such functions. Since 2014, enhanced two-way communication with Python has been added.

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Libraries written in Perl, Java, ActiveX, or .NET can be called directly from MATLAB, and many MATLAB libraries (for example, XML or SQL support) are implemented as wrappers around the libraries. Java or ActiveX library. Calling MATLAB from Java is more complex, but can be done with the MATLAB toolbox sold separately by MathWorks or using an undocumented mechanism called JMI (Java-to-MATLAB Interface), (not to be confused with the unrelated Java Metadata Interface also known as JMI). The official MATLAB API for Java was added in 2016.

As an alternative to the MuPAD-based Math Toolbox available from MathWorks, MATLAB can be connected to Maple or Mathematica.

Libraries also exist for MathML import and export.

License :

MATLAB is a proprietary product of MathWorks, so users may be locked out by the vendor. Although MATLAB Builder products can implement MATLAB functions as library files that can be used with the .NET or Java application building environment, but Future development will still be tied to the MATLAB language.

Each toolbox is purchased separately. If an evaluation license is requested, the MathWorks sales department requires detailed information about the project on which MATLAB will be evaluated. If granted (usually), the assessment permit is valid for two to four weeks. A student version of MATLAB is available as a home use license for MATLAB, Simulink, and a subset of the Mathwork Toolbox at a significantly reduced price.

European Union (EU) competition regulators are investigating whether MathWorks refused to sell a license to a competitor. Regulators dropped the investigation after the complainant withdrew its allegation and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Alternative solution :

MATLAB has several competitors. Commercial competitors include Mathematica, TK Solver, Maple, and IDL. There are also free and open source alternatives to MATLAB, in particular GNU Octave, Scilab, FreeMat and SageMath, which are intended primarily to be compatible with the MATLAB language; The original Julia programming language also used the same syntax as MATLAB. Among other languages ​​that treat arrays as basic entities (array programming languages) are APL, Fortran 90 and higher, S-Lang, as well as the R and S statistical languages. There are also libraries to add functionality similar capabilities to existing languages, such as IT++ for C++, Perl Data Language for Perl, ILNumerics for .NET, NumPy/SciPy/matplotlib for Python, SciLua/Torch for Lua, SciRuby for Ruby and Numeric.js for JavaScript.

GNU Octave is unique from other alternatives because it treats incompatibility with MATLAB as a bug (see GNU Octave compatibility MATLAB), thus making GNU Octave a superset of the language. MATLAB language.