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Variables in LabVIEW MathScript

Module by: Anthony Antonacci, Darryl Morrell. E-mail the authors

Based on: Variables in MATLAB by Darryl Morrell

Summary: This module provides a brief introduction to the use of variables in LabVIEW MathScript.

Variables in LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT

A variable in LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT is a named value. Using variables allows us to manipulate values symbolically, which is particularly useful when programming.

Example 1

Suppose we wish to compute the circumference of a circle of diameter 5 units using the formula c = π d c π d . We could first set the variable d to a value of 5:


>> d = 5

d =

    5.000

Then we could compute the circumference and assign its value to the variable c:

>> c = pi*d

c =

    15.708

To execute this command, LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT computes the product of the value of d (which LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT knows because we earlier set it to 5) and the value of pi (which is a pre defined variable in LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT) and stores the value of the product in the variable c.

Variable names must begin with an upper- or lower-case letter. They may contain letters, digits, and underscores; they may not contain spaces or punctuation characters. LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT is case sensitive, so A and a are different variables.

Exercise 1

Valid variable names

Which of the following are valid variable names?

  1. a
  2. B
  3. ecky_ecky_ecky_ecky_ptang_zoo_boing
  4. ecky ecky ecky ecky ptang zoo boing
  5. 2nd
  6. John-Bigboote

Solution

  1. Valid.
  2. Valid.
  3. Valid.
  4. Invalid, because the variable name contains spaces.
  5. Invalid, because the variable name begins with a number.
  6. Invalid, because the variable name contains a dash.

LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT has several predefined variables. The most commonly used include

  • ans - the default variable in which computation results are stored.
  • pi - π.
  • i or j - -1 -1 .
Once assigned, variable names remain until they are reassigned or eliminated by the clear command.

LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT variables can contain several types of numerical values. These types include the following:

  • Scalar values - scalar is a mathematical term for a single value (i.e. a number). c and d in Example 1 are scalar variables.
  • Vectors - a vector is an ordered series of numbers.
  • strings - LABVIEW MATHSCRIPT variables may also contain strings of characters.

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