# Re: [Rd] [R] unvectorized option for outer()

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Mon 31 Oct 2005 - 19:42:04 GMT

On 10/31/2005 2:15 PM, Tony Plate wrote:
> When I read the preface to The Blue Book (The New S Language, Becker,
> Chambers & Wilks) I see comments along the lines of "high-level
> language", "primary goal of the S environment is to enable and encourage
> good data analysis", etc. While vectorization is a great feature of S
> (and R), I don't see it, or programming efficiency, mentioned there at all.
>
> Nonetheless, Peter's suggestion of a general Vectorize() function is
> intriguing, and could be useful with other functions that trip users up
> in the same way. (Also, I do apprecicate Peter pointing out that not
> all functions vectorize naturally, as in his example density
> calculations over grids of parameters).
>
> So, here's a first pass at a general Vectorize() function:
>
> Vectorize <- function(FUN, vectorize.args) {
> if (!all(is.element(vectorize.args, names(formals(FUN)))))
> stop("some args to vectorize are not args of FUN")
> FUNV <- eval(substitute(function(x, ...) mapply(FUN, x,
> MoreArgs=list(...)), list(FUN=FUN)))
> formals(FUNV) <- formals(FUNV)[c(rep(1, length(vectorize.args)), 2)]
> names(formals(FUNV))[seq(along=vectorize.args)] <- vectorize.args
> body(FUNV) <- body(FUNV)[c(1, 2, rep(3, length(vectorize.args)), 4)]
> body(FUNV)[seq(3,len=length(vectorize.args))] <-
> lapply(vectorize.args, as.name)
> FUNV
> }

I'd think the formals of the result should be identical to the formals of the input.

Regarding the environment of the result: it is used to determine the meaning of symbols that aren't defined within the function, e.g. things like "eval", "substitute", etc. So I'd say that you don't want anything special there, as long as you make sure that FUN is always evaluated in its original environment.

Generally I don't like the look of that manipulation of the body of your result; it looks pretty fragile to me. But I haven't worked out exactly what you're doing, or whether it's possible to avoid it.

Duncan Murdoch

> ssd <- function(A,alpha,Y,t) sum((Y - A*exp(-alpha*t))2)
> # SSD is a vectorized version of ssd
> SSD <- function(Avec, alphavec, ...) mapply(ssd, Avec, alphavec,
> MoreArgs=list(...))
> # Vectorize(ssd, c("A", "alpha")) should produce
> # function(A, alpha, ...) mapply(ssd, A, alpha, MoreArgs=list(...))
> Y <- 1:5; t <- 3
> outer(1:3, 1:2, SSD, Y, t)
> outer(1:3, 1:2, Vectorize(ssd, c("A", "alpha")), Y, t)
>
> > # transcript of running the above commands
> > Vectorize(ssd, c("A", "alpha"))
> function (A, alpha, ...)
> mapply(function (A, alpha, Y, t)
> sum((Y - A * exp(-alpha * t))^2), A, alpha, MoreArgs = list(...))
> <environment: 0x1361f40>
> > Y <- 1:5; t <- 3
> > outer(1:3, 1:2, SSD, Y, t)
> [,1] [,2]
> [1,] 53.51878 54.92567
> [2,] 52.06235 54.85140
> [3,] 50.63071 54.77719
> > outer(1:3, 1:2, Vectorize(ssd, c("A", "alpha")), Y, t)
> [,1] [,2]
> [1,] 53.51878 54.92567
> [2,] 52.06235 54.85140
> [3,] 50.63071 54.77719
> >
>
> [There are a couple of minor design issues around syntax -- what is the
> best way of specifying the arguments to vectorize? (e.g., what about an
> interface that allowed Vectorize(ssd ~ A * alpha)?), and should the
> function name rather than the definition appear in the result of
> Vectorize()? But those are issues of secondary importance.]
>
> I have to confess I don't really understand how environments work with
> functions, so I don't know if this Vectorize() function will work in
> general. What is the appropriate environment for returned value of
> Vectorize()? Is this approach to creating a Vectorize() function on the
> right tack at all? Any other improvements or fixes?
>
> -- Tony Plate
>
>
> Peter Dalgaard wrote:

```>> Thomas Lumley <tlumley@u.washington.edu> writes:
>>
>>
>>>On Sun, 30 Oct 2005, Jonathan Rougier wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>that if people are writing functions in R that might be subject to
>>>>simple operations like outer products, then they ought to be writing
>>>>vectorised functions!
>>>
>>>I would agree.  How about an oapply() function that does multiway (rather
>>>than just two-way) outer products.  Basing the name on "apply" would
>>>emphasize the similarity to other flexible, not particularly optimized
>>>second-order functions.
>>
>>
>> In fairness, it should probably be said that not all problems
>> vectorize naturally. One example is
>>
>>   ssd <- function(A,alpha) sum((Y - A*exp(-alpha*t))^2)
>>
>> However, it should be worth noting that with the mapply() function at
>> hand, it is pretty easy to turn a non-vectorized function into a
>> vectorized one.
>>
>>   SSD <- function(A,alpha) mapply(ssd, A, alpha)
>>
>> (Anybody want to try their hand on writing a general Vectorize()
>> function? I.e. one that allowed
>>
>>    outer(Avec, alphavec, Vectorize(ssd))
>>
>> to work.)
```

>
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https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel Received on Tue Nov 01 06:45:53 2005

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