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MEX: Problem creating a cell matrix and assign it to the output

Asked by AP on 24 Oct 2012

Dear All,

By using a MEX file, I am trying to loop through array "group_ptr" with size 1000×1 to make a cell with size 4×1. group_ptr(i) contains the group ID which "i" belongs to. The 4 groups have different number of elements. My MEX file does other things beside to creating this cell. It takes one input and generates 4 outputs. When it gets to making the cell, MATLAB crashes.

However, when I comment the part for making the cell and reduce the number of outputs to 3, MEX file works fine. I would be grateful if someone could help me what the problem could be.

Below is the part of my code which creates this cell. The MEX file has 4 output which the last one is this cell.

    #define CELLGROUP plhs[3]    
    mxArray *CellArray_ptr;
    CellArray_ptr = mxCreateCellMatrix( 4, 1 );    
    double *a = new double[ 1000 ];
    for( mwIndex i=0; i<4; i++ )
         int counter = 0;
         for( int j=0; j < 1000; j++ )
             if( (mwIndex)group_ptr[ j ]== (i+1) )
                 a[ counter++ ] = j;            
 	 mxArray *A;    
         A = mxCreateDoubleMatrix( counter, 1, mxREAL );        
         memcpy( mxGetPr(A), a, sizeof(double)*counter );
         mxSetCell( CellArray_ptr, i, A );		               
 	 mxDestroyArray( A );
     CELLGROUP = CellArray_ptr;
     delete[] a;







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1 Answer

Answer by James Tursa on 24 Oct 2012
Edited by James Tursa on 24 Oct 2012
Accepted answer

Your code:

      mxSetCell( CellArray_ptr, i, A );		               
      mxDestroyArray( A );  // get rid of this line

Get rid of the mxDestroyArray call. When you call the mxSetCell function, three things happen:

1) The address of A gets put into the i'th cell location in the CellArray_ptr variable

2) The type of A gets changed from "temporary" to "sub-element"

3) The address of A gets removed from the garbage collection list.

After the mxSetCell function call, A is literally now part of the CellArray_ptr array. Its ultimate clearing will depend entirely on what happens to CellArray_ptr. When you call mxDestroyArray on A, you are invalidating part of a legitimate variable. Hence when MATLAB tries to access or clear CellArray_ptr later on it crashes since it accesses invalid memory.


AP on 24 Oct 2012


This is great news. Can't wait to see it published.


AP on 24 Oct 2012


How can I privately send you my email address so you could let me know when it is published?

James Tursa on 24 Oct 2012

You can use the Contact Author link:

I can probably send you a preliminary incomplete doc if you are interested, with all the usual caveats about potential errors in the doc and using undocumented functions. Just e-mail me through the link and let me know.

James Tursa

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