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This chapter describes functions for the construction and manipulation of sparse matrices, matrices which are populated primarily with zeros and contain only a few non-zero elements. Sparse matrices often appear in the solution of partial differential equations. It is beneficial to use specialized data structures and algorithms for storing and working with sparse matrices, since dense matrix algorithms and structures can be very slow and use huge amounts of memory when applied to sparse matrices.

The header file `gsl_spmatrix.h` contains the prototypes for the
sparse matrix functions and related declarations.

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