Scalar function

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A scalar function is one of a class of primitive functions that apply to arguments one element at a time. Dyadic scalar functions pair elements of their arguments based on conformability rules, and thus are subject to scalar extension. In nested array languages scalar functions recursively descend into nested arrays until they can be applied to simple scalars; in flat array languages they usually do not apply inside boxes.

Only a particular valence of a function is labelled "scalar". The scalar monad Not usually shares the glyph ~ with non-scalar dyad Without, and similarly scalar Roll and non-scalar Deal are both written ?.

Standard scalar functions

Most APLs use a set of scalar functions that was worked out fairly early in APL's development. These are listed in this section.

Monadic function Glyph Dyadic function
Conjugate + Plus
Negate - Minus
Signum or Direction × Times
Reciprocal ÷ Divide
Floor Minimum
Ceiling Maximum
Exponential * Power function
Natural Logarithm Logarithm
Magnitude or Absolute value | Residue
Pi Times Circle function
Factorial ! Binomial coefficient or combination function
Roll ?
Not ~
Logical And
Logical Or
< Less than
Less than or equal to
= Equal to
Greater than or equal to
> Greater than
Not equal to

Additional scalar functions

Very few additional scalar functions have been added later in various dialects:

Monadic function Glyph Dyadic function
Square Root Nth Root
Type or
Lowest Common Multiple (LCM)
Greatest Common Divisor (GCD)

External links

APL features [edit]
Built-ins Primitive functionPrimitive operatorQuad name
Array model ShapeRankDepthBoundIndex (Indexing) ∙ AxisRavelRavel orderElementScalarVectorMatrixSimple scalarSimple arrayNested arrayCellMajor cellSubarrayEmpty arrayPrototype
Data types Number (Boolean, Complex number) ∙ Character (String) ∙ BoxNamespace
Concepts and paradigms Leading axis theoryScalar extensionConformabilityScalar functionPervasionGlyphIdentity elementComplex floorTotal array ordering