Marcin Wojdyr edited this page Jan 3, 2011 · 2 revisions

How to add a built-in function


Add built-in function only if the user-defined function (UDF) is too slow or too limited.

To add a built-in function, you have to change the source of the program and then recompile it. Users who want to do this should be able to compile the program from source and know the basics of C, C++ or another programming language.

In some places in the code fp is used instead of double (typedef double fp).

The name of your function should start with uppercase letter and contain only letters and digits. Let us add function Foo with the formula: Foo(height, center, hwhm) = height/(1+((x-center)/hwhm)^2). C++ class representing Foo will be named FuncFoo.

Find a list of functions in src/tplate.cpp:


and add:


Then in the TplateMgr::add_builtin_types() function add arguments and description of the new function.

In the file src/bfunc.h you can now begin writing the definition of your class:

class FuncFoo : public Function

If you want to make some calculations every time parameters of the function are changed, you can do it in method do_precomputations. This possibility is provided for calculating expressions, which do not depend on x. Write the declaration here:

void do_precomputations(std::vector<Variable*> const &variables);

and provide a proper definition of this method in src/bfunc.cpp.

If you want to optimize the calculation of your function by neglecting its value outside of a given range (see the cut_function_level option in the manual), you will need to use the method:

bool get_nonzero_range (fp level, fp &left, fp &right) const;

This method takes the level below which the value of the function can be approximated by zero, and should set the left and right variables to proper values of x, such that if x<left or x>right than |f(x)|<level. If the function sets left and right, it should return true.

If your function does not have an argument named "center", but there is a center-like point where you want the peak top to be drawn, write:

bool has_center() const { return true; }
fp center() const { return vv[1]; }

In the second line, between return and the semicolon, there is an expression for the x coordinate of the center (peak top); vv[0] is the first parameter of function, vv[1] is the second, etc.

Now go to the file src/bfunc.cpp.

Write how to calculate the value of the function:

fp xa1a2 = (x - vv[1]) / vv[2];
fp inv_denomin = 1. / (1 + xa1a2 * xa1a2);
CALCULATE_VALUE_END(vv[0] * inv_denomin)

The expression at the end (i.e. vv[0]*inv_denomin) is the calculated value. xa1xa2 and inv_denomin are variables introduced to simplify the expression. Note the "fp" (you can also use "double") at the beginning and semicolon at the end of both lines. The meaning of vv has already been explained.

Usually it is more difficult to calculate derivatives:

fp xa1a2 = (x - vv[1]) / vv[2];
fp inv_denomin = 1. / (1 + xa1a2 * xa1a2);
dy_dv[0] = inv_denomin;
fp dcenter = 2 * vv[0] * xa1a2 / vv[2] * inv_denomin * inv_denomin;
dy_dv[1] = dcenter;
dy_dv[2] = dcenter * xa1a2;
dy_dx = -dcenter;
CALCULATE_DERIV_END(vv[0] * inv_denomin)

You must set derivatives dy_dv[n] for n=0,1,...,(number of parameters of your function - 1) and dy_dx. In the last brackets there is a value of the function again.

If you declared do_precomputations or get_nonzero_range methods, do not forget to write definitions for them.

After compilation of the program check if the derivatives are calculated correctly using the command debug dF(x), e.g. debug dF(30.1). You can also use numarea, findx and extremum to verify center, area, height and FWHM properties.

You are welcome to improve this description and to share your function with other users.