Combining source transformation and operator overloading techniques to compute derivatives for MATLAB programs.




Derivatives of mathematical functions play a key role in various areas of numerical and technical computing. MATLAB is a popular environment for technical computing providing engineers and scientists with capabilities for mathematical computing, analysis, visualization, and algorithmic development. For functions written in the MATLAB language, a novel software tool is proposed to automatically transform a given MATLAB program into another MATLAB program capable of computing not only the original function but also user-specified derivatives of that function. That is, a program transformation known as automatic differentiation is performed to change the semantics of a program in a fashion based on the chain rule of differential calculus. The crucial ingredient of the tool is a combination of source-to-source transformation and operator overloading. The overall design of the tool is described and numerical experiments are reported demonstrating the efficiency of the resulting code for a sample problem.