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Patterns for Some Common Types of ExpressionContents

2.3.14 An Example: Defining Your Own Integration Function

Now that we have introduced the basic features of patterns in Mathematica, we can use them to give a more or less complete example. We will show how you could define your own simple integration function in Mathematica.

From a mathematical point of view, the integration function is defined by a sequence of mathematical relations. By setting up transformation rules for patterns, you can implement these mathematical relations quite directly in Mathematica.

Definitions for an integration function.

This implements the linearity relation for integrals: .

In[1]:= integrate[y_ + z_, x_] :=

integrate[y, x] + integrate[z, x]

The associativity of Plus makes the linearity relation work with any number of terms in the sum.

In[2]:= integrate[a x + b x^2 + 3, x]


This makes integrate pull out factors that are independent of the integration variable x.

In[3]:= integrate[c_ y_, x_] := c integrate[y, x] /; FreeQ[c, x]

Mathematica tests each term in each product to see whether it satisfies the FreeQ condition, and so can be pulled out.

In[4]:= integrate[a x + b x^2 + 3, x]


This gives the integral of a constant.

In[5]:= integrate[c_, x_] := c x /; FreeQ[c, x]

Now the constant term in the sum can be integrated.

In[6]:= integrate[a x + b x^2 + 3, x]


This gives the standard formula for the integral of . By using the pattern x_^n_., rather than x_^n_, we include the case of .

In[7]:= integrate[x_^n_., x_] :=

x^(n+1)/(n+1) /; FreeQ[n, x] && n != -1

Now this integral can be done completely.

In[8]:= integrate[a x + b x^2 + 3, x]


Of course, the built-in integration function Integrate (with a capital I) could have done the integral anyway.

In[9]:= Integrate[a x + b x^2 + 3, x]


Here is the rule for integrating the reciprocal of a linear function. The pattern a_. x_ + b_. stands for any linear function of x.

In[10]:= integrate[1/(a_. x_ + b_.), x_] :=

Log[a x + b]/a /; FreeQ[{a,b}, x]

Here both a and b take on their default values.

In[11]:= integrate[1/x, x]


Here is a more complicated case. The symbol a now matches 2 p.

In[12]:= integrate[1/(2 p x - 1), x]


You can go on and add many more rules for integration. Here is a rule for integrating exponentials.

In[13]:= integrate[Exp[a_. x_ + b_.], x_] :=

Exp[a x + b]/a /; FreeQ[{a,b}, x]

Patterns for Some Common Types of ExpressionContents