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1 Introduction

Signals and Systems is a Mathematica implementation of the necessary tools for working with signals and linear systems. These tools can be used in signal processing tasks; they can also be used for educational purposes. To this end, most of the operations in the packages can be made to justify their results step by step. It also extends beyond the traditional scope of a signals and linear systems course by implementing multidimensional operations.

A variety of analysis techniques for both discrete and continuous signals are available in Signals and Systems. You can employ Laplace and Fourier transforms for continuous signals and discrete Fourier, discrete-time Fourier, and Z transforms for discrete signals. You can also make use of traditional analog filter design methods, and their translations to digital filters. Other capabilities are present, as described in this manual.

Signals and Systems does not contain a complete introduction to signals and linear systems. A standard text on this topic is Discrete-Time Signal Processing by Alan V. Oppenheim and Ronald W. Schafer (Prentice-Hall, 1989).

This manual assumes a general familiarity with Mathematica. The standard reference is Stephen Wolfram's book Mathematica: A System for Doing Mathematics by Computer, Second Edition (Addison-Wesley, 1991).

1.1 Using Signals and Systems

The application provides functionality as Mathematica structures and functions in a series of packages. All of the functions can be accessed by loading the initialization package, which enables a series of stubs that load each of the packages on demand.

This loads the stubs for accessing the routines in Signals and Systems.


There may be pauses of various lengths the first time a given function is used, as the appropriate packages are loaded.

When a function from Signals and Systems is used for the first time, several routines may be loaded.

In[2]:=LaplaceTransform[1/t, t, s]


The on-line version of the documentation provided with the application is accessible via the Help Browser, in the Signals and Systems category of the Add-Ons item. Here you can browse through the notebooks and execute code. Alternatively, you can open notebooks outside the Help Broser by locating them in the Documentation subdirectory of the application's directory.

1.2 Organization of the Packages

Signals and Systems is organized as a collection of files in the SignalProcessing directory. Within the directory is a collection of .m files that can be loaded to prepare stubs to all of the functions available to you. These stubs cause only the packages you use to be loaded when needed. In normal practice, you will explicitly load only the initialization package, as described earlier. There is also a file called Compatability.m that can be loaded to allow a degree of compatability with the old freely distributable release of the Signal Processing Packages. A special file Bridge.m is used by some of the packages to handle loading of certain standard Mathematica packages, and to perform operations like replacing the standard version of LaplaceTransform by the Signals and Systems version.

There are four directories of packages: Analog, Digital, Support, and SystemDesign. You will usually not load the packages directly, but it is useful to know where to find them if you are interested in examining algorithms or writing your own routines that access these functions. (You can generally locate the package containing a particular function by using the command Context, which returns a context corresponding to the filename of the package.)

Packages in the SignalProcessing`Analog` directory.

Packages in the SignalProcessing`Digital` directory.

Packages in the SignalProcessing`SystemDesign` directory.

Packages in the SignalProcessing`Support` directory.

There is also a subdirectory named Documentation that contains the documentation notebooks accompanying Signals and Systems.

BibliographyA Quick Start