The Mimetic Operators Library Enhanced
Updated 15 Aug 2023

MOLE: Mimetic Operators Library Enhanced

1: Description

MOLE is a high-quality (C++ & MATLAB/Octave) library that implements high-order mimetic operators to solve partial differential equations. It provides discrete analogs of the most common vector calculus operators: Gradient, Divergence, Laplacian, Bilaplacian and Curl. These operators (matrices) act on staggered grids (uniform and non-uniform) and satisfy local and global conservation laws.

Mathematics are based on the work of Corbino and Castillo, 2020. However, the user may find useful previous publications, such as Castillo and Grone, 2003, in which similar operators were derived using a matrix analysis approach.

2: Licensing

MOLE is distributed under a GNU General Public License, please refer to the LICENSE file for more details.

3.1: Installation (Linux)

To use MOLE (C++ version), you need to have Armadillo C++ and SuperLU installed on your computer.

Assuming a working installation of SuperLU (sudo apt install libsuperlu-dev or sudo yum install SuperLU-devel), follow these steps:


tar xvf armadillo-10.2.1.tar.xz

cd armadillo-10.2.1

NOTE: We suggest to use the latest stable version that is available.

Undefine ARMA_USE_LAPACK and ARMA_USE_BLAS (in case you don't have them installed), then define ARMA_USE_SUPERLU and ARMA_USE_OPENMP in include/armadillo_bits/config.hpp. Make sure that you have cmake and g++ installed before executing:



this will create

Now go to mole/ and set the path to Armadillo in the Makefile, e.g. ARMA = /home/johnny/armadillo-10.2.1.

Lastly, build MOLE by executing:


a static library named libmole.a will get created. From this point you just need to include mole.h in your projects and specify the location of libmole.a to the linker. For the users that are interested in building MOLE as a shared library, you just need to specify make SHARED_LIB=1. Make sure to include mole_C++ directory in LD_LIBRARY_PATH (export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/full/path/to/mole_C++) so the loader can find the library at runtime.

For the MATLAB version of our library, the only dependency is to have MATLAB installed. The two implementations of MOLE (C++ & MATLAB) are independent, that is, you don't need to build the C++ version if you are just interested in using MOLE from MATLAB.

3.2: Installation (MacOS)

First, download Eigen from, and Armadillo C++ from

Extract Eigen and Armadillo, you can use the following command for each compressed file:

tar xvf name_of_the_file_including_extension --directory target_directory

Now, proceed to download MOLE and extract the file:

unzip –d mole

after that, enter MOLE's directory cd mole and edit the following files:

mole_C++/utils.cpp (line 4) to be simply #include <Eigen/SparseLU>

mole_C++/Makefile (line 18) should be CXXFLAGS = -O3 -std=c++11

same for (line 19) of examples_C++/Makefile.

Lastly, (line 25) of examples_C++/Makefile should not include -larmadillo.

At this point, you just need to edit the Makefile located in MOLE's root directory by setting the correct path to each dependency (Eigen and Armadillo), that is:

(Line 2) of that Makefile should look like: ARMA = ../../armadillo-10.7.0 and (line 7) should be EIGEN = ../../eigen-3.4.0.

Now, just build the library and its examples by simply executing make from MOLE's root folder.

IMPORTANT: In order to build any of the aforementioned packages, the operating system needs to have g++ (GNU Compiler) and make (utility) installed. Those two packages will get installed when you set up Xcode on your Mac: xcode-select --install.

4: Documentation

The folder doc_MATLAB contains generated documentation about the MATLAB/Octave API. It was generated with a tool called m2html. However, for a quick start on MOLE's MATLAB/Octave version, we recommend to start with this short guide.

To generate the C++ documentation, just execute:

doxygen Doxyfile (requires Doxygen and Graphviz)

this will create a folder called doc_C++ containing a set of html files. Please refer to the index.html file to start browsing the documentation.

5: Citations

Please cite our work if you use MOLE in your research and/or software. Citations are useful for the continued development and maintenance of the library

View mole on File Exchange

Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators Obtained with curvilinear operators

Cite As

Johnny Corbino Delgado (2024). mole (, GitHub. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2022b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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Version Published Release Notes

See release notes for this release on GitHub:


To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.
To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.