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8.3 Vectors

Vectors are defined by a gsl_vector structure which describes a slice of a block. Different vectors can be created which point to the same block. A vector slice is a set of equally-spaced elements of an area of memory.

The gsl_vector structure contains five components, the size, the stride, a pointer to the memory where the elements are stored, data, a pointer to the block owned by the vector, block, if any, and an ownership flag, owner. The structure is very simple and looks like this,

typedef struct
  size_t size;
  size_t stride;
  double * data;
  gsl_block * block;
  int owner;
} gsl_vector;

The size is simply the number of vector elements. The range of valid indices runs from 0 to size-1. The stride is the step-size from one element to the next in physical memory, measured in units of the appropriate datatype. The pointer data gives the location of the first element of the vector in memory. The pointer block stores the location of the memory block in which the vector elements are located (if any). If the vector owns this block then the owner field is set to one and the block will be deallocated when the vector is freed. If the vector points to a block owned by another object then the owner field is zero and any underlying block will not be deallocated with the vector.

The functions for allocating and accessing vectors are defined in gsl_vector.h

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