1. Eike Welk
  2. scala-symbolic-algebra-test


scala-symbolic-algebra-test / README.rst

Simple Symbolic Mathematics for Scala

This project contains a very simple, and incomplete symbolic math library in Scala. It can differentiate and evaluate simple mathematical expressions. The library also contains some aspects of an internal DSL: The expressions can be entered like regular math with Int or Double objects, and there is a ML style "let" expression.

The library is not intended to be seriously used. Instead it should demonstrate features of Scala that are interesting for programmers that come form traditional object oriented languages; such as: C++, Java, Python, Ruby. The project should especially demonstrate the usefulness of pattern matching. Therefore this library is implemented three times with different programming paradigms:

Package symathm : Functional, with pattern matching.
Package symathoo: Classical object oriented.
Package symathv : Object oriented with Visitor pattern.

Package Contents

Symbolic math library, implemented in functional fashion, with pattern matching. (Package: symathm)
Implementation of the library with the visitor pattern. - Object oriented, but structure similar to pattern matching. (Package: symathv)
The symbolic math library implemented in simple object oriented fashion. (Package: symathoo)
Short example implementation of the libraries' "DSL" features.
Short example implementation of the visitor pattern.
Compile all Scala source files.
Create API documentation with scaladoc.
This file.


Getting the Software

Either get the software by cloning the repository with Mercurial:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/eike_welk/scala-symbolic-algebra-test

Or download (and extract) one of the auto-generated archives from here:


Without IDE

Run the script make-compile.sh to compile all source files. This might take a minute or two:


Then run any object with a main method. Start with the usage example UseTheLibraries, which explains all of the libraries' (few) features:

scala -classpath bin/ UseTheLibraries

With IDE

The Sala IDE for Eclipse at least, finds the source files and compiles them automatically. You can run any file that contains an object with a main method by clicking the Run button.

First try out the usage example UseTheLibraries.scala.

Required Knowledge of Scala

Only little knowledge of Scala is needed to understand the code. A good introductory text on Scala is:


The text above unfortunately does not cover pattern matching, which is IMHO one of Scala's main attractions. Pattern matching is covered here:


Required Software

Either a working Scala installation (programs scalac and scala) on a Unix-like operating system. (On Windows you have to come up with the right command to compile the sources and run them yourself.)

Or even better a IDE with Scala support, for example the Scala-IDE for Eclipse.



To compare the characteristics of the different programming paradigms, you can add features to each version of the library.

  • Add derivation of the Log node.
  • Add new nodes, for example sin, cos and tan.
  • Add new simplification algorithms. Especially add a separate simplify function.
  • Add function call node. Maybe this makes an inert diff node superfluous. (See point below.)
  • Add lambda (function body) node.
  • Implement an inert diff node. The "a$x" notation is a hack.
  • Implement some of the TODOs