What will we Learn?
- What is MATLAB and why has it been selected to be the tool of choice for this book?
- What programming environment does MATLAB offer?
- What are M-files?
- What is the difference between MATLAB scripts and functions?
- How can I get started with MATLAB?
3.1 Introduction to MATLAB
MATLAB (MATrix LABoratory) is a data analysis, prototyping, and visualization tool with built-in support for matrices and matrix operations, excellent graphics capabilities, and a high-level programming language and development environment.
MATLAB has become very popular with engineers, scientists, and researchers in both industry and academia, due to many factors, among them, the availability of rich sets of specialized functions—encapsulated in toolboxes—for many important areas, from neural networks to finances to image processing (which is the main focus of our interest and will be discussed in Chapter 4).1
MATLAB has an extensive built-in documentation. It contains descriptions of MATLAB's main functions, sample code, relevant demos, and general help pages. MATLAB documentation can be accessed in a number of different ways, from command-line text-only help to hyperlinked HTML pages (which have their online counterpart in MathWorks's web site: http://www.mathworks.com).
MATLAB's basic data type is the matrix (or array). MATLAB does not require dimensioning, that is, memory allocation prior to actual usage. All data are considered to be matrices of some sort. Single ...