Using associativity can lead to big performance improvements in matrix multiplication

In a previous post, I stated that you should avoid matrix multiplication that involves a huge diagonal matrix because that operation can be carried out more efficiently. Here's another tip that sometimes improves the efficiency of matrix multiplication: use parentheses to prevent the creation of large matrices. Matrix multiplication is […]
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Never multiply with a large diagonal matrix

I love working with SAS Technical Support because I get to see real problems that SAS customers face as they use SAS/IML software. The other day I advised a customer how to improve the efficiency of a computation that involved multiplying large matrices. In this article I describe an important […]
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How much RAM do I need to store that matrix?

Dear Rick, I am trying to create a numerical matrix with 100,000 rows and columns in PROC IML. I get the following error: (execution) Unable to allocate sufficient memory. Can IML allocate a matrix of this size? What is wrong? Several times a month I see a variation of this […]
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The inverse of the Hilbert matrix

Just one last short article about properties of the Hilbert matrix. I've already blogged about how to construct a Hilbert matrix in the SAS/IML language and how to compute a formula for the determinant. One reason that the Hilbert matrix is a famous (some would say infamous!) example in numerical […]
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Vector and matrix norms in SAS

Did you know that SAS/IML 12.1 provides built-in functions that compute the norm of a vector or matrix? A vector norm enables you to compute the length of a vector or the distance between two vectors in SAS. Matrix norms are used in numerical linear algebra to estimate the condition […]
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How to coerce SAS/IML vectors to matrices

Recently a SAS/IML programmer asked a question regarding how to perform matrix arithmetic when some of the data are in vectors and other are in matrices. The programmer wanted to add the following matrices: The problem was that the numbers in the first two matrices were stored in vectors. The […]
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Ways to multiply in the SAS/IML language

For programmers who are learning the SAS/IML language, it is sometimes confusing that there are two kinds of multiplication operators, whereas in the SAS DATA step there is only scalar multiplication. This article describes the multiplication operators in the SAS/IML language and how to use them to perform common tasks […]
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How to compute the distance between observations in SAS

In statistics, distances between observations are used to form clusters, to identify outliers, and to estimate distributions. Distances are used in spatial statistics and in other application areas. There are many ways to define the distance between observations. I have previously written an article that explains Mahalanobis distance, which is […]
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Got Matrix? Reach for the SAS/IML language

Someone recently asked a question on the SAS Support Communities about estimating parameters in ridge regression. I answered the question by pointing to a matrix formula in the SAS documentation. One of the advantages of the SAS/IML language is that you can implement matrix formulas in a natural way. The […]
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Computing the nearest correlation matrix

Frequently someone will post a question to the SAS Support Community that says something like this: I am trying to do [statistical task] and SAS issues an error and reports that my correlation matrix is not positive definite. What is going on and how can I complete [the task]? The […]
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