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version (9.37 KB) by Jan
Fast check if 2 arrays have a common element


Updated 11 Sep 2013

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C-Mex: anyEq

This is a simple but fast check, if two arrays contain any common element.
The C-Mex is 25% to 60% faster than the equivalent Matlab expression "any(X(:) == y)" and much faster than "any(ismember(X, Y))" if Y is an array.
If a matching element is found early, this function returns very fast without testing the rest.
In opposite to the Matlab version, the C-mex does not need any temporary arrays.

R = anyEq(X, Y)
X, Y: Arrays of any size. Complex or sparse array are rejected.
R: TRUE is replied if any element of X occurs in Y, FALSE otherwise.

- This is equivalent to:
R = any(X(:) == Y(1)) || any(X(:) == Y(2)) || ...
- This MEX version is faster than the Matlab method, because the creation of
the intermediate logical array is avoided:
Worst case (no matching element): 25% to 60% faster
Best case (first element matches): 99.99% faster for 1e6 elements
(Matlab 2011b/64, MSVC 2008).
- For small LOGICAL arrays (< 5'000 elements) anyEq is up to 65% slower than
any(X) or ~all(X). For larger arrays the speedup depends on the position of
the first match and can reach a factor of 7.
- X and Y are ordered automatically such, that the elements of the smaller
array are searched in the larger one.

anyEq(0:0.1:1, 0.3) % FALSE: Effect of limited precision
anyEq(1:4, [5,2]) % TRUE: 2 is found in 1:4

COMPILATION: See anyEq.c for instructions how to compile the C-file.

TEST: Run uTest_anyEq to check validity and speed of the Mex function.

Tested: Matlab 6.5, 7.7, 7.8, 7.13, WinXP/32, Win7/64
Compiler: LCC2.4/3.8, BCC5.5, OWC1.8, MSVC2008/2010

Suggestion and bugreports by email or in the comment section are appreciated.

Cite As

Jan (2021). anyEq (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2011b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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