Matlab Reference Card

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Matlab Reference Card

© All Rights Reserved

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Starting MATLAB

matlab

start interactive MATLAB session

Stopping MATLAB

quit or exit exit MATLAB

Ctrl-C

stop current command and return to

top-level prompt.

Getting Help

help

help cmd

briefly describes the command based on the

header of the m-file.

lookfor str search for command based on str.

Command-Line Cursor Motion

HOME

go to the start of a command line.

END

go to the end of the command line.

Ctrl-

move backward a word.

Ctrl-

move forward a word.

TAB

complete a command or variable name.

Multi-dimensional Arrays

Multi-dimensional arrays may be created with the

cat or reshape commands from two-dimensional

submatrices.

squeeze(A) remove the singleton dimensions of the

array.

ndims(A)

returns the number of dimensions in the

array.

Cells and Structures

F.field = ... set a field of a structure.

F{idx} = ... set an element of a cell array.

cellfun(F, c) apply a function to elements of cell array.

fieldnames(F)

returns the fields of a structure.

Strings

strcmp (s, t)

strcat (s, t, ...)

identical for it to return true.

concatenate strings

Ranges

base:limit

Specify a range of values

base:incr:limit

beginning with base with no elements

greater than limit. If it is omitted, the

default value of incr is 1. Negative

increments are permitted.

Shell Commands

cd dir

change the working directory to dir

pwd

print the working directory

ls

print the directory listing

getenv(string)

returns the value of the named

environment variable.

[status,result]=system(cmd)

executes

arbitrary shell command string, cmd, and

returns the status and the result of

the string.

A string constant consists of a sequence of

characters enclosed in single-quote marks.

\\

a literal backslash.

\

a literal single-quote character.

\n

newline, ASCII code 10.

\t

horizontal tab, ASCII code 9.

Matrices

Square brackets delimit literal matrices. Commas

separate elements on the same row. Semicolons separate

rows. Commas may be replaced by spaces, and semicolons

may be replaced by one or more newlines. Elements of a

matrix may be arbitrary expressions, assuming all the

dimensions agree. Generic matrices will denoted as a capital

letter, for example, A. A vector, which is, either a row or

column matrix will be denoted by a lower case letter, for

example, x.

[x, y, ... ]

enter a row vector.

[x; y; ... ]

enter a column vector.

[w, x; y, z ]

enter a 2-by-2 matrix.

Index Expressions

A(selection)selects the elements of a matrix, where

selection can be any of the following:

1) 2,3 selects the entry located at the 2nd

row and 3rd column of the matrix; 2) 2

selects the second entry of a vector; 3)

a:b,2 selects the values in rows

between a and b and the second column; 4)

:,2 selects all the values in the second

column; 5) 4:end,2 selects all the

values in the second column and in rows

starting at the 4th row and continuing to the

end.

selection can be any of the following:

1) 2,3 selects the entry located at the 2nd

row and 3rd column of the matrix; 2) 2

selects the second entry of a vector; 3)

a:b,2 selects the values in rows

between a and b and the second column; 4)

:,2 selects all the values in the second

column; 5) 4:end,2 selects all the

values in the second column and in rows

starting at the 4th row and going to the end.

Selected Built-in Functions

IEEE infinity, NaN

Inf, NaN

NA

Missing value

ans

last result not explicitly assigned

eps

machine precision

pi

i or j

realmax

realmin

1

maximum representable value

minimum representable value

Assignment Expressions

var = expr assign expression to variable.

var (idx)= expr

assign expression to indexed

variable.

var (idx) = []

delete the indexed elements.

var {idx} = expr assign elements of a cell array.

Arithmetic and Increment Operators

x+y

addition

xy

subtraction

x*y

matrix multiplication

x.*y

element by element multiplication

x/y

matrix right division

x./y

element by element right division

X\y

left division. For a full-rank system, this is

1

this is equivalent to the least-squares

solution,

x^y

x.^y

-x

x

x.

(X X)

T

X y.

power operator

element by element power operator

negation

complex conjugate transpose

transpose

These operators work on an element-by-element

basis. Both arguments are always evaluated.

x < y

true if x is less than y.

x <= y

true if x is less than or equal to y.

x == y

true if x is equal to y.

x >= y

true if x is greater than or equal to y.

x > y

true if x is greater than y.

x~=y

true if x is not equal to y.

x & y

true if both x and y are true.

x | y

true if at least one of x or y is true.

~bool

true if bool is false.

Note: if x and y are scalars than the usual

comparisons are performed. If x is a vector or matrix and y

is a scalar, then all entries must be fulfil the criterion.

Short-circuit Boolean Operators

Operators evaluate left-to-right. Operands are only

evaluated if necessary, stopping once overall truth value can

be determined. Operands are converted to scalars using the

all function.

x && y

true if both x and y are true.

x || y

true if at least one of x or y is true.

Operator Precedence

Table of MATLAB operators, in order of increasing

precedence.

; ,

statement separators

=

assignment, groups left to right

|| &&

logical OR and AND

| &

element-wise OR and AND

< <= == >= > !=

relational operators

colon

:

+ addition and subtraction

*/\ .* ./ .\

multiplication and division

.

transpose

- !

unary minus, logical NOT

^ .^

exponentiation

Control Statements

for i =range; commands; end; Execute commands

until the last entry of the range vector is

reached. This is MATLABs FOR loop.

while (condition); commands; end; Executes

commands until the condition is false. This

is MATLABs WHILE loop.

break

exits the innermost loop

return

return to the calling function.

if (condition); commands; end;

executes the commands if the

condition is true.

if (condition); commands1; else;

commands2; end;

executes

commands1 if the condition is true.

Otherwise, commands2 is executed.

if (condition1); commands1; elseif

(condition2); commands2;;

else; commandsE; end

executes commands1 if the first condition

is true. Otherwise, the second condition is

tested and if true commands2 is executed.

This can be continued, with the final

conditions ending in an else and then the

commandsE will be executed if none of the

conditions are satisfied.

try; body; catch; cleanup; end;

executes the body. If the body fails, the

code in clean-up is executed.

Defining Functions

function [outList]=fctName(argList);

function-body; return;

defines a function, called fctName,

which has inputs argList and outputs

outList. Both outList and argList

can be empty, contain a single variable, or

contain a list of variables separated by a

comma.

Function Handles

@func

defines a function handle to func.

@(var1, ...) expr defines an anonymous function

handle. Anonymous function handles take

a copy of the variables in the current

workspace.

str2func (str)

creates a function handle from a

string.

func2str (handle) returns a string representation of

afunction handle.

handle (arg1, ...)

evaluates a function

handle.

feval (func, args)

evaluates a function

handle or string by passing the remaining

args to func.

Miscellaneous Functions

eval(str)

evaluates a string, str, as a command.

error (message)

prints the error message and

returns to top level.

clear variables matching the given

clear pattern

pattern string

exist(str) checks whether str exists.

rem(x, y)

finds the remainder of x divided by y.

Basic Matrix Manipulations

rows(A)

returns the number of rows in A.

columns(A) return the number of columns in A.

all(A)

checks if all the elements of A are nonzero.

any(A)

checks if any of the elements in A are

nonzero.

find(A)

returns the indices of the nonzero elements

of A.

sum(A)

sums the elements in each of the columns

of A.

prod(A)

finds the product of the elements of A.

min(A)

finds the minimum value in each columns

of A.

max(A)

finds the maximum value in each of the

columns of A.

diag(n)

creates an n-by-n diagonal matrix.

eye(n)

creates an n-by-n identity matrix.

ones(n, m) creates an n-by-m matrix of ones.

zeros(n, m) creates an n-by-m matrix of zeros.

rand(n, m) creates an n-by-m matrix of random values.

[x,y]=size(A)Determines the size of A, where x is the

number of rows, and y is the number of

columns in A.

length(A)

Returns the total number of elements in A.

Linear Algebra

chol(A)

Cholesky factorisation of A.

det(A)

computes the determinant of matrix, A.

eig(A)

computes the eigenvalues of A.

expm (A)

computes the matrix exponential of A.

inv(A) or A^-1

inverts a square matrix, A.

norm(A, p) computes the p-norm of the matrix, A.

qr(A)

computes the QR-factorisation of A.

rank(A)

finds the rank of matrix A.

svd(A)

finds the singular value decomposition of

A.

cross(x,y) Determines the cross product for two

3-dimensional vectors, x and y.

Signal Processing

fft(a)

computes the Fast Fourier Transform using

FFTW.

ifft(a)

computes the inverse FFT using FFTW.

freqz(args) computes the finite impulse response (FIR)

filter frequency response.

filter(a,b,x)

computes the filtered data based

on the filter transfer functions a and b

(which are given as polynomials in

decreasing powers of z or z-1) and the

original data, x.

conv(a,b)

finds the convolution of 2 vectors a and b.

Plotting Functions

plot(x,y,format) plots a 2-D graph using the data as

the point (x, y). The format string, which

can be omitted, describes how the data will

be plotted. Linear axes are used.

plot3(x,y,,z,format)

plots a 3-D graph using

the data as the point (x, y, z). The format

string, which can be omitted, describes how

the data will be plotted. Linear axes are

used.

surf(x,y,z) Creates a 3-dimensional graph, where x is

the data for the x-axis, y is the data for the

y-axis, and z is the data for the z-axis.

fplot(function,[l,u]) Plots a function over the

range [l, u], where l is the lower point

and u is the upper point of the region, so

that it appears correctly.

semilogx(x,y,format)

plots a 2-D graph similar

to plot, except that the scale for the x-axis is

logarithmic.

semilogy(x,y,format)

plots a 2-D graph similar

to plot, except that the scale for the y-axis is

logarithmic.

loglog(x,y,format)

plots a 2-D graph similar

to plot, except that both axes have a

logarithmic scale.

hist(x)

plots a histogram of the data.

title(string)

sets the plot title.

xlabel(string)

sets the x-axis label.

ylabel(string)

sets the y-axis label.

zlabel(string)

sets the z-axis label

legend(array)

sets the legend. The data in

array is a cell array containing an entry

for each of the data.

grid on

displays grids on a plot.

grid off

removes grids from a plot.

hold on

holds the current plot.

hold off

stops holding the current plot.

subplot(r,c,w), plot() creates an array of plots

with r rows and c columns, with the current

plot being located at point w, which is an

integer given by w = ( rd 1) c + cd , where

d is the desired position in the matrix.

Table 1: Common Plot Formatting Codes

format

b

r

c

y

.

x

*

meaning

blue

red

cyan

yellow

point

x-mark

star,

format

g

w

m

k

o (letter)

+

s

meaning

green

white

magenta

black

circle

cross, +

square

diamond,

<

>

h

:

--

hexagram

dotted

dashed

p

-.

solid

dash-dot

TeX

^

{}

\beta

\delta

\lambda

\pi

\sigma

\phi

\psi

\circ

\rm

\nabla

\infty

Display

superscript

grouping

Roman

TeX

_

\alpha

\gamma

\theta

\mu

\rho

\tau

\chi

\omega

\it

\partial

\pm

\bf

Display

subscript

italics

bold

For more information about all the options and

required parameters for these functions refer to manuals or

more involved MATLAB summaries.

fsolve()

solves nonlinear algebraic equations.

equations. ID is any of the following tags:

23, 113, 15s, 23s, 23t, 23tb.

quad()

integrates nonlinear functions.

fminsearch(f,xo)

Calculates the minimum

of the function, f,based on an initial

guess, xo. The function can be an M-file.

The output from the function must be a

scalar. Thus, a vector funtion can be

converted to a scalar by taking the normal

of the function. However, the values should

have a similar magnitude or else the value

obtained may not be very accurate.

fzero(f,xo)

Determines a zero of the function

f based on the initial guess xo. The

function can be an M-file.

feval(Mfilename,x1,x2,,xn) or

feval(handlef, x1,x2,,xn)

Evaluates an M-file using the variables

given after the file name. There must be as

many variables as is necessary. The

difference between the two forms lies in the

manner in which the function is presented.

In the first case, the actual name of the

M-file is known, while in the second the

variable, handlef, stores the name of the

function.

Polynomials

Polynomials are stored as a vector consisting of the

coefficients in decreasing powers of x. The vectors

containing the coefficients of the generic polynomials will be

referred to as p and q.

conv(p, q) computes the convolution of 2

polynomials.

deconv(p, q) computes the deconvolution of 2

polynomials (long division of a by b).

r=poly(p)

create a polynomial from the co-efficient

vector.

polyval(r, x) computes the value of the polynomial, r,

at a vector value of x.

polyvalm(r, X) computes the value of the polynomial,

r, for a matrix (or set) of values X.

roots(r)

finds the roots of the polynomial, r.

residue(p, q) finds the partial fraction decomposition

of the ratio p / q.

odeID()

fid=fopen(name, mode)

open a file in mode

located at name and stores its

identification in fid.

fclose(fid) closes the file with identification fid.

fprintf(fid, string,variables)

sends

formatted output to the file with

identification given by fid. The string

contains the text and formatting desired,

while variables is a vector containing the

data to be formatted.

sprintf(fid, string, variables)

sends

formatted output to a string

fgetl(fid) reads a line of text from the file with

identification, fid.

fgets(fid, len)

reads len characters from the

file with identification, fid.

ftell(fid)

returns the file pointer position for the

given file identification number, fid.

frewind(fid) moves the file pointer to the beginning of

the file with the given file identification

number, fid.

fread(fid, size, prec) reads binary data files

fwrite(fid, size, prec) writes binary data files

feof(fid)

returns if the pointer is at EOF (end of file).

Other Input and Output functions

save filename var1,var2,... saves variables

(var1, var2,) in the file called,

filename.

load filename

loads the variables stored in the

given file.

[A B] = xlsread(filename,sheetname)

Reads an Excel file, filename, takes

the data from the given spreadsheet name,

sheetname, and then stores all

numerical data in A and all text data in B.

Symbolic Math

Matlab can perform symbol math using the Maple

kernel. The symbolic variables are declared as using the

syntax >>syms var1 var2 condition, where

condition is any of the following:

a) real this limits the variable to only be in the real

domain, that is, R .

b) positive this limits the variable to only be

positive, that is, 0.

negative, that is, 0.

d) unreal this undoes any of the above 3 statements

and allows the variable to include complex numbers.

Generally, the same function can be used for symbolic math

as for numerical math. The following are special functions:

simplify(expression)

simplifies a given

expression. It should be run more then

once in order to truly simplify the results.

pretty(expression) displays the results in a nice

format.

sets the precision for the evaluation of a

digits(n)

symbolic expression to n-digits.

evaluates an expression to the

vpa(expression)

speficied precision.

subs(expression,{variable1,variable2

}, {value1,value2}) Replaces all

instance of variable1 with value1,

which can be another variable and so on.

jacobian(v, [x y z]) calculates the Jacobian of the

vector function, v, which is entered as a

column vector, and the independent

variables, x, y, and z. It should be noted

that the vector function need not be directly

a function of the variables desired. The

chain rule will, if necessary, be applied.

diff(f,variableWRT,n) calculates the nth order

derivative of the function, f, with respect

to the variable variableWRT.

int(f,variable,a,b) integrates symbolically the

function, f, with respect to the variable,

variable and determines the exact value of

the integral from a to b.

dsolve(f)

Solves algebraically the differential

equation, f.

Algebraically solves the equation, f.

solve(f)

Statistics

computes the correlation

corrcoef(x, y)

coecient for the data.

cov(x, y)

computes the covariance.

mean(a)

determines the mean value.

median(a)

determines the median value.

std(a)

determines the standard deviation.

var(a)

determines the variance.

Statistical Toolbox

The following functions require the statistical toolbox.

Z=norminv(p)Calculates the Z-score for probability p,

which lies between 0 and 1.

X=tinv(p,df)Calculates the inverse t-distribution at a

probability, p, given the number of degrees

of freedom, df.

[coeff,Cint,res,resint,stats]=regress(b,

A,alpha)

Computes a multiple

linear regression model of the form Ax = b

and returns the following parameters:

coeff a vector of the estimated

coefficients; Cint vector that contains the

100(1-alpha)% confidence intervals for

the coefficients; res a vector that contains

the residuals; resint a vector for residual

analysis; stats a vector with the

following entries: R2-statistic assuming that

the model contains a constant term; the

F-statistic for the full model; p-value for

the full model; and the estimated error

variance.

[beta,r,J] = nlinfit(x,y,FUN,beta0)

Performs non-linear regression. The x-data

is given as x, while the y-data is given as y.

The function, FUN that is to be fitted must

be written as an M-file that takes 3

arguments: x, y, and the coefficient values.

The function should allow matrix

evaluation. The initial guess is given as

beta0. beta contains the estimated

coefficients, r contains the residuals, and J

is the Jacobian evaluated at final

calculation.

Calculates the

Ci=nlparci(beta,r,J,alpha)

100(1-alpha)% confidence intervals for

the coefficients, beta, given the residuals,

r, and the Jacobian, J. The default value of

alpha is 0.05.

[y,delta]=nlpredci(Fun, x, beta,r,J)

Calculates the 100(1-alpha)% prediction

confidence intervals for the non-linear

function, Fun, given x, the estimated

coefficients, beta, the residuals, r, the

Jacobian, J. The function returns the

predicted y-values, y, and the half-width

lengths, delta.

Copyright 2009Yuri Shardt. All rights reserved.

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