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Recursive method to get the differential not working.

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Hampus Toft
Hampus Toft on 14 Mar 2021
Commented: Hampus Toft on 17 Mar 2021
Im trying to make a recursive method to get the n:th-order differential equation.
what i have currently is 2 methods im my .m file first one being the simple 1st order differential.
function func = differential(f) % callculates the n:th-order differential
f function_handle
h = 10^(-5);
func = @(x)((f(x+h)-f(x))./h);
then im trying to use this in my recursive method
function output = differentialPower(f,n)
f function_handle
output = f;
f = differentialPower(differential(f),n-1);
output = f;
to get the n:th differential
Problem i have is that my output will allways be either the original function (f)
or the first order differential of:
f = @(x)((f(x+h)-f(x))./h)
gooten from the differential method.
what i want to happen is that each time it gose deeper it will replace f(x) with ((f(x+h)-f(x))./h) and there for going deeper.
is this possible without using syms? or do i have to use the syms methods?

Accepted Answer

Uday Pradhan
Uday Pradhan on 17 Mar 2021
Hi Hampus,
You will need to use the output function handle to evaluate the nth derivative approximation:
f = @(x) x^5;
df3 = differentialPower(f,3);
%Find approximation of f'''(1)
>> df3(1)
ans =
This approximation will get highly inaccurate as you increase the order of the derivative. Instead, a neat way to calculate higher order derivatives is using the diff function.
  1 Comment
Hampus Toft
Hampus Toft on 17 Mar 2021
Yes i noticed that the resault got worse and worse for each derivative when using a function like e^x
where dfn(0) always should be 0 but when using this approximation the answer started to giving answers ≠ 1...
I wanted to use this to calculate a Taylor Polynomial for e^(-x), but in the end i wrote a custom function to get the Taylor Polynomial only for e^(-x).
creating a function that would convert x^k/k! to a Pn(x) function for later use. Code for anyone intreasted:
% Method to give n:th Taylor Polynom String
function output = taylor(taylorFunction,n)
fstring = "";
for loop = 0:n
varfix = strrep(func2str(taylorFunction),'@(n,x)',"@(x)");
fstring = strrep(varfix,'n',"(" + num2str(loop) + ")");
fstring = fstring + "+" + strrep(strrep(func2str(taylorFunction),'@(n,x)',""),'n',"(" + num2str(loop) + ")");
output = str2func(fstring);
Usage would be:
% Taylor function for e^(-x)
fTaylor = @(n,x) ((-1).^n*(x.^n./factorial(n)));
% gets the Taylor Function of order n using the fTaylor
Pn = taylor(fTaylor,n)
PnFunction = stringFormat(Pn);
PnFunction is a optional poorly written function_handle -> latex text converter
function out = stringFormat(in)
instring = func2str(in);
displayString = strrep(instring,'@(x)',"");
displayString = regexprep(displayString,"\.",""); % finds . and replace with nothing
% removes redundant (-1)^n
displayString = regexprep(displayString,"(\+*\(\(-1\)\^\((.?[02468])\)\*)","+");
displayString = regexprep(displayString,"(\+*\(\(-1\)\^\((.?[13579])\)\*)","-");
% formats exponetials to latex format i.e from 1^(15) to 1^{15} etc
displayString = regexprep(displayString,"\^\((?<exponetial>.*?)\)","\^\{$<exponetial>}");
% formats matlabs factorial(n) function into n!
displayString = regexprep(displayString,"factorial\((?<factorial>.*?)\)","$<factorial>!");
% an attempt to fix fractions in latex, proabably wrong but works in
% this use case...
expression = "\((?<numerator>.*?)\/\((?<denominator>.*?)\)([\+\-\*\!]?)\)\)";
displayString = regexprep(displayString,expression,"\\frac{$<numerator>}{$<denominator>}");
% dont remeber what this part even fixes :/
out = regexprep(displayString,"^\+","");
The reason for trying to get n:th derivative numerical was due tou the assignment not allowing the usage os the syms toolbox, and i wanted a method to get the generic Taylor polynomial.
Anyway i'm going to consider this answard.

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