Special

0th

Percentile

Special Functions of Mathematics

Special mathematical functions related to the beta and gamma functions.

Keywords
math
Usage
beta(a, b)
lbeta(a, b)

gamma(x) lgamma(x) psigamma(x, deriv = 0) digamma(x) trigamma(x)

choose(n, k) lchoose(n, k) factorial(x) lfactorial(x)

Arguments
a, b

non-negative numeric vectors.

x, n

numeric vectors.

k, deriv

integer vectors.

Details

The functions beta and lbeta return the beta function and the natural logarithm of the beta function, $$B(a,b) = \frac{\Gamma(a)\Gamma(b)}{\Gamma(a+b)}.$$ The formal definition is $$B(a, b) = \int_0^1 t^{a-1} (1-t)^{b-1} dt$$ (Abramowitz and Stegun section 6.2.1, page 258). Note that it is only defined in R for non-negative a and b, and is infinite if either is zero.

The functions gamma and lgamma return the gamma function \(\Gamma(x)\) and the natural logarithm of the absolute value of the gamma function. The gamma function is defined by (Abramowitz and Stegun section 6.1.1, page 255) $$\Gamma(x) = \int_0^\infty t^{x-1} e^{-t} dt$$ for all real x except zero and negative integers (when NaN is returned). There will be a warning on possible loss of precision for values which are too close (within about \(10^{-8}\)) to a negative integer less than -10.

factorial(x) (\(x!\) for non-negative integer x) is defined to be gamma(x+1) and lfactorial to be lgamma(x+1).

The functions digamma and trigamma return the first and second derivatives of the logarithm of the gamma function. psigamma(x, deriv) (deriv >= 0) computes the deriv-th derivative of \(\psi(x)\). $$\code{digamma(x)} = \psi(x) = \frac{d}{dx}\ln\Gamma(x) = \frac{\Gamma'(x)}{\Gamma(x)}$$ \(\psi\) and its derivatives, the psigamma() functions, are often called the ‘polygamma’ functions, e.g.in Abramowitz and Stegun (section 6.4.1, page 260); and higher derivatives (deriv = 2:4) have occasionally been called ‘tetragamma’, ‘pentagamma’, and ‘hexagamma’.

The functions choose and lchoose return binomial coefficients and the logarithms of their absolute values. Note that choose(n, k) is defined for all real numbers \(n\) and integer \(k\). For \(k \ge 1\) it is defined as \(n(n-1)\cdots(n-k+1) / k!\), as \(1\) for \(k = 0\) and as \(0\) for negative \(k\). Non-integer values of k are rounded to an integer, with a warning. choose(*, k) uses direct arithmetic (instead of [l]gamma calls) for small k, for speed and accuracy reasons. Note the function combn (package utils) for enumeration of all possible combinations.

The gamma, lgamma, digamma and trigamma functions are internal generic primitive functions: methods can be defined for them individually or via the Math group generic.

References

Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole. (For gamma and lgamma.)

Abramowitz, M. and Stegun, I. A. (1972) Handbook of Mathematical Functions. New York: Dover. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abramowitz_and_Stegun provides links to the full text which is in public domain. Chapter 6: Gamma and Related Functions.

See Also

Arithmetic for simple, sqrt for miscellaneous mathematical functions and Bessel for the real Bessel functions.

For the incomplete gamma function see pgamma.

Aliases
  • Special
  • beta
  • lbeta
  • gamma
  • lgamma
  • psigamma
  • digamma
  • trigamma
  • choose
  • lchoose
  • factorial
  • lfactorial
Examples
library(base) # NOT RUN { require(graphics) choose(5, 2) for (n in 0:10) print(choose(n, k = 0:n)) factorial(100) lfactorial(10000) ## gamma has 1st order poles at 0, -1, -2, ... ## this will generate loss of precision warnings, so turn off op <- options("warn") options(warn = -1) x <- sort(c(seq(-3, 4, length.out = 201), outer(0:-3, (-1:1)*1e-6, "+"))) plot(x, gamma(x), ylim = c(-20,20), col = "red", type = "l", lwd = 2, main = expression(Gamma(x))) abline(h = 0, v = -3:0, lty = 3, col = "midnightblue") options(op) x <- seq(0.1, 4, length.out = 201); dx <- diff(x)[1] par(mfrow = c(2, 3)) for (ch in c("", "l","di","tri","tetra","penta")) { is.deriv <- nchar(ch) >= 2 nm <- paste0(ch, "gamma") if (is.deriv) { dy <- diff(y) / dx # finite difference der <- which(ch == c("di","tri","tetra","penta")) - 1 nm2 <- paste0("psigamma(*, deriv = ", der,")") nm <- if(der >= 2) nm2 else paste(nm, nm2, sep = " ==\n") y <- psigamma(x, deriv = der) } else { y <- get(nm)(x) } plot(x, y, type = "l", main = nm, col = "red") abline(h = 0, col = "lightgray") if (is.deriv) lines(x[-1], dy, col = "blue", lty = 2) } par(mfrow = c(1, 1)) ## "Extended" Pascal triangle: fN <- function(n) formatC(n, width=2) for (n in -4:10) { cat(fN(n),":", fN(choose(n, k = -2:max(3, n+2)))) cat("\n") } ## R code version of choose() [simplistic; warning for k < 0]: mychoose <- function(r, k) ifelse(k <= 0, (k == 0), sapply(k, function(k) prod(r:(r-k+1))) / factorial(k)) k <- -1:6 cbind(k = k, choose(1/2, k), mychoose(1/2, k)) ## Binomial theorem for n = 1/2 ; ## sqrt(1+x) = (1+x)^(1/2) = sum_{k=0}^Inf choose(1/2, k) * x^k : k <- 0:10 # 10 is sufficient for ~ 9 digit precision: sqrt(1.25) sum(choose(1/2, k)* .25^k) # }
Documentation reproduced from package base, version 3.5.1, License: Part of R 3.5.1

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