# MATLAB Programming/Portable Functions

*Portable* functions are expressions defined once, then called whenever it is needed regardless of the platform. Portable functions include *anonymous functions*, and *function handles*. A third form of portable functions which is being phased out is inline functions.

## Anonymous Functions[edit]

Anonymous functions can be created from the command line without a script.

>> convert_min_to_s = @(t) t*60; >> convert_min_to_s(4) ans = 240

## Function Handles[edit]

*Function handles* are doubles serving as an abstract reference to the function. Handles allow an equation to be passed to another function for direct evaluation. Anonymous functions are useful for command-line evaluation or for multiple evaluations in the same m-file.

The ampersat returns the handle of a function either built into Matlab or defined in an M-file.

>> sum_by_a_different_name = @sum; >> sum_by_a_different_name([3 3]) ans = 6 >> not_sum ([3 3]) ??? Undefined function or method 'not_sum' for input arguments of type 'double'.

## Function Handles in m-files[edit]

If you are not familiar with m-files, then skip this and come back.

A function handle passes an *m-file function* into another function. This of course lets you have more control over what's passed there, and makes your program more general as it lets you pass *any* m-file (as long as it meets other requirements like having the right number of input arguments and so on). The functionality is similar to that of function pointers in C++.

To pass an m-file to a function, you must first write the m-file, say something like this:

function xprime = f(t,x) xprime = x;

Save it as myfunc.m. To pass this to another function, say an ODE integrator, use the @ symbol as follows:

>> ode45(@myfunc, [0:15], 1)

One advantage of using function handles over anonymous functions is that you can evaluate more than one equation in the m-file, thus allowing you to do things like solve *systems* of ODEs rather than only one. Anonymous functions limit you to one equation.

### How to write a function that accepts a function handle[edit]

Functions can accept function handles. To do this define them as variables in your header, and then call the handles as if they were functions:

% myadd adds two variables together function result = myfunc(func, a, b); result = func(a, b); [in a separate m-file] function sum = myadd(a, b) sum = a+b;

The command you send to myfunc looks like this:

>> result = myfunc(@myadd, 1, 2); result = 3

## Inline Functions[edit]

Inline functions are currently being phased out. Anonymous functions should be used instead. Inline functions are included here for information purposes.

>> convert_s_to_ms = inline('x*1000','x'); >> convert_s_to_ms(20) ans = 20000