In a previous blog, I showed how to use SAS/IML subscript reduction operators to compute the location of the maximum values for each row of a matrix. The subscript reduction operators are useful for computing simple statistics for each row (or column) of a numerical matrix.

If `x` is a matrix, I primarily use subscript reduction operators to compute the following quantities:

- the row vector that contains the sum of the elements for each column of a matrix:
`x[+, ]` - the row vector that contains the mean of the elements for each column of a matrix:
`x[:, ]` - the column vector that contains the sum of the elements for each row of a matrix:
`x[, +]` - the column vector that contains the mean of the elements for each row of a matrix:
`x[, :]`

Recently a SAS/IML programmer contacted me about how to compute the maximum value of each row in a matrix. He sent the following program, which uses a DO loop and the MAX function to compute a column vector whose *i*th element is the maximum value of the *i*th row of a matrix:

proc iml; x = {10 0 1 0 2 0 4, 0 3 9 7 20 8 8, 4 4 30 9 0 2 1, 0 1 2 4 6 40 3 }; /* Find max of each row. Method 1: DO loop (inefficient) */ y = J(nrow(x), 1, 0); do i = 1 to nrow(x); y[i] = max(x[i, ]); end; print y; |

You can eliminate the DO loop by using the <> operator, as follows:

/* Method 2: subscript operator (efficient) */ y = x[, <>]; /* max of each row */ |

The expression `x[, <>]` is read as follows:

- No subscripts are specified for the row index (before the comma). This means "use all rows." (You could also use the expression
`x[1:nrow(x), <>]`, but this is less efficient.) - The operator (<>) is specified for the column index (after the comma). This means "find the maximum element for columns." Because the operator is specified in place of a column index, the result is a column vector.

The hardest part, for me, is remembering where to put the subscript reduction operator. I use the following mnemonics:

- If you want a
*column*vector, use the operator in place of a*column*index:`x[, <>]` - If you want a
*row*vector, use the operator in place of a*row*index:`x[<>, ]` - If you want a scalar value, use the operator as a sole subscript. For example,
`x[<>]`computes the maximum element of an entire matrix, and is equivalent to`max(x)`.

In addition to finding sums, means, maxima, and minima, you can also use subscript reduction operators to compute products (#) and sum of squares (##). These operations are useful for forming simple statistics for each row or for each column of a matrix.

## 4 Comments

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Thanks Rick finding your blogs useful, just used this one.

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