multidimensional cell-based bsxfun generalization

Preliminary M-ary singleton expansion based upon cell arrays sequentially sent to user function.


Updated 24 Mar 2009

No License

Preliminary release of a generalization of bsxfun to cell arrays of arbitrary length, arbitrary number and arbitrary contents.

The cell arrays may contain virtually any matlab object: numbers, arrays, strings, structures etc.

The user supplied function should handle the inputs as presented (using a try-catch block preferably) or return an identifiable default value such as nan, [] or 0 etc. on failure.

x = {rand(20), rand(20), rand(20)};
y = {rand(20), rand(20)};
z = {rand(20), rand(20)};

Save the following file myFunc1.m:
function res = myFunc1(varargin)

xyz=mAryCellFcn(@myFunc1, x, y, z)

this results in a cell array of size 3x2x2 composed of 20x20 doubles.

by choosing various values of N from 100 to 1000 and setting


and saving the following as myFunc3.m:
function res = myFunc3(varargin)

the execution time is as given in the screen shot. The time on the order of 25 seconds for N=1000 results from allocating 1,000,000 empty cells and then populating them by calling myFunc3 one million times. 1000 times for each of x, and 1000 times for each of y.

Acknowledged limitations:
This function will not handle anonymous functions.
Additional error trapping is probably useful.
Other limitations are TBD.

Additional examples are available by invoking mAryCellFcn with no inputs.

I'd like constructive criticisms and suggestions rather than pompous, self-important ramblings.

Cite As

michaelB brost (2023). multidimensional cell-based bsxfun generalization (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2007a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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