Sunday, September 9, 2012

Matrix Operations in Mata


* This post demonstrates a few methods for how to input matrices into Mata and how to do some basic matrix operations.  Mata is a matrix programming language so basic matrix operations are extremely easy.

mata
// Let's first build some matrices in Mata
// They can be built directly
A = ( 2 , -1, 5 \ 3, 0 , -1 \ 3, 3 , -1)
A

B1 = (0 , 3 ,-1)
B2 = (3 , 0 , 0)
B3 = (0 , 2 , 0)

// Or through a combination of vectors
B = (B1 \ B2 \ B3)

B

// We can also start with an empty matrix and fill in values

C = J(3,2,4)
// The J command creates a matrix with 3 rows, 2 colums, and with default values of 4

C
// We can replace individual elements once the matrix is created
C[1,2] = 3
C[3,1] = 7

// Or entire submatrices
C[2,] = (2,6)
C

// Now let's see how various matrix operations perform in Mata:

// a. AB
A*B

// b. BA
B*A

// c. A+B
A+B

// d. A'B'
A'*B'

// e. B'A'
B'*A'

// f. A'B
A'*B

// g. (AB)'
(A*B)'

// h. ABC
A*B*C

// i. C'AC
C'*A*C

// j. CAC'
C*A*C'
// This does not exist because C*A cannot be multiplied as C is 3x2 and A is 3x3

// k. trace(C'AC)
trace(C'*A*C)

// l. trace(CAC')
trace(C*A*C')
// Likewise the trace does not exist

end

* Matrices can also be input into Mata from data sets.

clear
set obs 5
gen y = 3
replace y = 6  if _n == 2
replace y = 10 if _n == 3
replace y = 8  if _n == 4
replace y = 2  if _n == 5

mata
// The command st_data retrieves data from stata variables to be used in Mata
y = st_data(. , "y")
y

// Once input, matrices can easily be manipulated
y*y'

// The square of the norm of y
norm(y)^2

// This happens to be identical to:
sum(y:^2)

// The norm is the equclidean norm which is the square square root of the sum of all of the squares of a vector.
// Thus the square of it is just the sum of the squares.

// As should be clear, manipulating matrices in Mata is extremely easy.
// Thus Stata is able to pack a powerful Matrix programming language inside an effective high level user language.

// The largest frustration that I have had with Mata is the relative quality of the documentation.
// I find the documentation of Mata much harder to use than that of Stata (at least in version 11, perhaps version 12 has better documentation).
end

2 comments :

  1. Do you know how to turn a Mata matrix into a Stata matrix? I'm basically looking for the opposite of "st_matrix()".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interestingly, st_matrix works either direction. It just depends which argument you feed it.

      st_matrix("B_shell", B)

      from Mata will send the B matrix into the Stata shell and call it B_shell. You can see it:

      matrix list B_shell

      Delete