10.10 Logical Operations

The following commands and algebraic functions return true/false values, where 1 represents “true” and 0 represents “false.” In cases where a truth value is required (such as for the condition part of a rewrite rule, or as the condition for a Z [ Z ] control structure), any nonzero value is accepted to mean “true.” (Specifically, anything for which dnonzero returns 1 is “true,” and anything for which dnonzero returns 0 or cannot decide is assumed “false.” Note that this means that Z [ Z ] will execute the “then” portion if its condition is provably true, but it will execute the “else” portion for any condition like ‘a = b’ that is not provably true, even if it might be true. Algebraic functions that have conditions as arguments, like ? : and &&, remain unevaluated if the condition is neither provably true nor provably false. See Declarations.)

The a = (calc-equal-to) command, or ‘eq(a,b)’ function (which can also be written ‘a = b’ or ‘a == b’ in an algebraic formula) is true if ‘a’ and ‘b’ are equal, either because they are identical expressions, or because they are numbers which are numerically equal. (Thus the integer 1 is considered equal to the float 1.0.) If the equality of ‘a’ and ‘b’ cannot be determined, the comparison is left in symbolic form. Note that as a command, this operation pops two values from the stack and pushes back either a 1 or a 0, or a formula ‘a = b’ if the values’ equality cannot be determined.

Many Calc commands use ‘=’ formulas to represent equations. For example, the a S (calc-solve-for) command rearranges an equation to solve for a given variable. The a M (calc-map-equation) command can be used to apply any function to both sides of an equation; for example, 2 a M * multiplies both sides of the equation by two. Note that just 2 * would not do the same thing; it would produce the formula ‘2 (a = b)’ which represents 2 if the equality is true or zero if not.

The eq function with more than two arguments (e.g., C-u 3 a = or ‘a = b = c’) tests if all of its arguments are equal. In algebraic notation, the ‘=’ operator is unusual in that it is neither left- nor right-associative: ‘a = b = c’ is not the same as ‘(a = b) = c’ or ‘a = (b = c)’ (which each compare one variable with the 1 or 0 that results from comparing two other variables).

The a # (calc-not-equal-to) command, or ‘neq(a,b)’ or ‘a != b’ function, is true if ‘a’ and ‘b’ are not equal. This also works with more than two arguments; ‘a != b != c != d’ tests that all four of ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, and ‘d’ are distinct numbers.

The a < (calc-less-than) [‘lt(a,b)’ or ‘a < b’] operation is true if ‘a’ is less than ‘b’. Similar functions are a > (calc-greater-than) [‘gt(a,b)’ or ‘a > b’], a [ (calc-less-equal) [‘leq(a,b)’ or ‘a <= b’], and a ] (calc-greater-equal) [‘geq(a,b)’ or ‘a >= b’].

While the inequality functions like lt do not accept more than two arguments, the syntax ‘a <= b < c is translated to an equivalent expression involving intervals: ‘b in [a .. c)’. (See the description of in below.) All four combinations of ‘<’ and ‘<=’ are allowed, or any of the four combinations of ‘>’ and ‘>=’. Four-argument constructions like ‘a < b < c < d’, and mixtures like ‘a < b = c that involve both equations and inequalities, are not allowed.

The a . (calc-remove-equal) [rmeq] command extracts the righthand side of the equation or inequality on the top of the stack. It also works elementwise on vectors. For example, if ‘[x = 2.34, y = z / 2]’ is on the stack, then a . produces ‘[2.34, z / 2]’. As a special case, if the righthand side is a variable and the lefthand side is a number (as in ‘2.34 = x’), then Calc keeps the lefthand side instead. Finally, this command works with assignments ‘x := 2.34’ as well as equations, always taking the righthand side, and for ‘=>’ (evaluates-to) operators, always taking the lefthand side.

The a & (calc-logical-and) [‘land(a,b)’ or ‘a && b’] function is true if both of its arguments are true, i.e., are non-zero numbers. In this case, the result will be either ‘a’ or ‘b’, chosen arbitrarily. If either argument is zero, the result is zero. Otherwise, the formula is left in symbolic form.

The a | (calc-logical-or) [‘lor(a,b)’ or ‘a || b’] function is true if either or both of its arguments are true (nonzero). The result is whichever argument was nonzero, choosing arbitrarily if both are nonzero. If both ‘a’ and ‘b’ are zero, the result is zero.

The a ! (calc-logical-not) [‘lnot(a)’ or ‘! a’] function is true if ‘a’ is false (zero), or false if ‘a’ is true (nonzero). It is left in symbolic form if ‘a’ is not a number.

The a : (calc-logical-if) [‘if(a,b,c)’ or ‘a ? b : c’] function is equal to either ‘b’ or ‘c’ if ‘a’ is a nonzero number or zero, respectively. If ‘a’ is not a number, the test is left in symbolic form and neither ‘b’ nor ‘c’ is evaluated in any way. In algebraic formulas, this is one of the few Calc functions whose arguments are not automatically evaluated when the function itself is evaluated. The others are lambda, quote, and condition.

One minor surprise to watch out for is that the formula ‘a?3:4’ will not work because the ‘3:4’ is parsed as a fraction instead of as three separate symbols. Type something like ‘a ? 3 : 4’ or ‘a?(3):4’ instead.

As a special case, if ‘a’ evaluates to a vector, then both ‘b’ and ‘c’ are evaluated; the result is a vector of the same length as ‘a’ whose elements are chosen from corresponding elements of ‘b’ and ‘c’ according to whether each element of ‘a’ is zero or nonzero. Each of ‘b’ and ‘c’ must be either a vector of the same length as ‘a’, or a non-vector which is matched with all elements of ‘a’.

The a { (calc-in-set) [‘in(a,b)’] function is true if the number ‘a’ is in the set of numbers represented by ‘b’. If ‘b’ is an interval form, ‘a’ must be one of the values encompassed by the interval. If ‘b’ is a vector, ‘a’ must be equal to one of the elements of the vector. (If any vector elements are intervals, ‘a’ must be in any of the intervals.) If ‘b’ is a plain number, ‘a’ must be numerically equal to ‘b’. See Set Operations using Vectors, for a group of commands that manipulate sets of this sort.

The ‘typeof(a)’ function produces an integer or variable which characterizes ‘a’. If ‘a’ is a number, vector, or variable, the result will be one of the following numbers:

 1   Integer
 2   Fraction
 3   Floating-point number
 4   HMS form
 5   Rectangular complex number
 6   Polar complex number
 7   Error form
 8   Interval form
 9   Modulo form
10   Date-only form
11   Date/time form
12   Infinity (inf, uinf, or nan)
100  Variable
101  Vector (but not a matrix)
102  Matrix

Otherwise, ‘a’ is a formula, and the result is a variable which represents the name of the top-level function call.

The ‘integer(a)’ function returns true if ‘a’ is an integer. The ‘real(a)’ function is true if ‘a’ is a real number, either integer, fraction, or float. The ‘constant(a)’ function returns true if ‘a’ is any of the objects for which typeof would produce an integer code result except for variables, and provided that the components of an object like a vector or error form are themselves constant. Note that infinities do not satisfy any of these tests, nor do special constants like pi and e.

See Declarations, for a set of similar functions that recognize formulas as well as actual numbers. For example, ‘dint(floor(x))’ is true because ‘floor(x)’ is provably integer-valued, but ‘integer(floor(x))’ does not because ‘floor(x)’ is not literally an integer constant.

The ‘refers(a,b)’ function is true if the variable (or sub-expression) ‘b’ appears in ‘a’, or false otherwise. Unlike the other tests described here, this function returns a definite “no” answer even if its arguments are still in symbolic form. The only case where refers will be left unevaluated is if ‘a’ is a plain variable (different from ‘b’).

The ‘negative(a)’ function returns true if ‘a’ “looks” negative, because it is a negative number, because it is of the form ‘-x’, or because it is a product or quotient with a term that looks negative. This is most useful in rewrite rules. Beware that ‘negative(a)’ evaluates to 1 or 0 for any argument ‘a’, so it can only be stored in a formula if the default simplifications are turned off first with m O (or if it appears in an unevaluated context such as a rewrite rule condition).

The ‘variable(a)’ function is true if ‘a’ is a variable, or false if not. If ‘a’ is a function call, this test is left in symbolic form. Built-in variables like pi and inf are considered variables like any others by this test.

The ‘nonvar(a)’ function is true if ‘a’ is a non-variable. If its argument is a variable it is left unsimplified; it never actually returns zero. However, since Calc’s condition-testing commands consider “false” anything not provably true, this is often good enough.

The functions lin, linnt, islin, and islinnt check if an expression is “linear,” i.e., can be written in the form ‘a + b x’ for some constants ‘a’ and ‘b’, and some variable or subformula ‘x’. The function ‘islin(f,x)’ checks if formula ‘f’ is linear in ‘x’, returning 1 if so. For example, ‘islin(x,x)’, ‘islin(-x,x)’, ‘islin(3,x)’, and ‘islin(x y / 3 - 2, x)’ all return 1. The ‘lin(f,x)’ function is similar, except that instead of returning 1 it returns the vector ‘[a, b, x]’. For the above examples, this vector would be ‘[0, 1, x]’, ‘[0, -1, x]’, ‘[3, 0, x]’, and ‘[-2, y/3, x]’, respectively. Both lin and islin generally remain unevaluated for expressions which are not linear, e.g., ‘lin(2 x^2, x)’ and ‘lin(sin(x), x)’. The second argument can also be a formula; ‘islin(2 + 3 sin(x), sin(x))’ returns true.

The linnt and islinnt functions perform a similar check, but require a “non-trivial” linear form, which means that the ‘b’ coefficient must be non-zero. For example, ‘lin(2,x)’ returns ‘[2, 0, x]’ and ‘lin(y,x)’ returns ‘[y, 0, x]’, but ‘linnt(2,x)’ and ‘linnt(y,x)’ are left unevaluated (in other words, these formulas are considered to be only “trivially” linear in ‘x’).

All four linearity-testing functions allow you to omit the second argument, in which case the input may be linear in any non-constant formula. Here, the ‘a=0’, ‘b=1’ case is also considered trivial, and only constant values for ‘a’ and ‘b’ are recognized. Thus, ‘lin(2 x y)’ returns ‘[0, 2, x y]’, ‘lin(2 - x y)’ returns ‘[2, -1, x y]’, and ‘lin(x y)’ returns ‘[0, 1, x y]’. The linnt function would allow the first two cases but not the third. Also, neither lin nor linnt accept plain constants as linear in the one-argument case: ‘islin(2,x)’ is true, but ‘islin(2)’ is false.

The ‘istrue(a)’ function returns 1 if ‘a’ is a nonzero number or provably nonzero formula, or 0 if ‘a’ is anything else. Calls to istrue can only be manipulated if m O mode is used to make sure they are not evaluated prematurely. (Note that declarations are used when deciding whether a formula is true; istrue returns 1 when dnonzero would return 1, and it returns 0 when dnonzero would return 0 or leave itself in symbolic form.)