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Newsgroups: comp.soft-sys.matlab
Subject: Re: taking the exponential of only the nonzero elements of a sparse matrix
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 17:37:02 +0000 (UTC)
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"Akim " <aaa@bbb.ccc> wrote in message <gkmlm5\$f7s\$1@fred.mathworks.com>...
> Dear All,
>
> Matlab help tells me that "Multiplication and division are performed on only the nonzero elements of sparse matrices." What about something similar for the exponential?
>
> Specifically, given a sparse matrix A, I wish to obtain a sparse matrix B, such that
>
> B(i,j)=exp(A(i,j)), for all nonzero A(i,j)
> B(i,j)=0, for all zero A(i,j)
>
> I'm only interested in the exponents of the nonzeros, and calculating the exponents of a vast number of zeros slows things down a little bit.
>
> Thank you for your help.

Akim, in doing what you ask there is the risk of misinterpreting your results in B.  In those cases where A contained a legitimate zero for which the answer ought to be one, you would have zeros instead.  In those cases where A was minus infinity (-inf) the answer would also be zero.  There is no easy way afterwards of distinguishing between the two possibilities in B.

I would think you would want all the zeros in A replaced by ones, which could be done rather efficiently without using 'exp' - either that or produce a B of smaller size with all the zeros eliminated as Nor Ki has done.  Of course the cost of the former is the loss of being sparse.  The notion of a sparse exponential result seems to me inherently self-contradictory unless we extend the notion of sparsity to encompass constants other than zero.

Roger Stafford

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