What is vectorization? Why use vectorization instead of loops?

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Hans Scharler 2023 年 10 月 11 日

Over at Reddit, a user asked about vectorization vs. a loop. This is a fundemental concept in MATLAB. So, what is vectorization? Why use it instead of loops?

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Hans Scharler 2023 年 10 月 11 日
Vectorization is about replacing explicit loops with matrix and vector operations. This can lead to more readable and efficient code. MATLAB is particularly well-suited for vectorized operations as it is designed to work with matrices and vectors natively.
Here's a normal loop approach to square each element in a vector.
n = 10;
vector = 1:n;
result = zeros(1, n);
% Use a loop to square each element of a vector
for i = 1:n
result(i) = vector(i)^2;
end
disp(result);
1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 100
Here's how this looks with vectorization:
vector = 1:10;
% Square each element of a vector using vectorization
result = vector.^2;
disp(result);
1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 100
The magic here is the ".^" which is an element-wise operation. You can also do this with ".*" and "./".

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