[R] NaN not expected
Duncan Murdoch
murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Fri Dec 17 19:43:03 CET 2010
On 17/12/2010 11:40 AM, Thiem Alrik wrote:
> Dear mailing list,
>
> Why does the following code produce numerical results for x.pos.l, but NaNs for x.neg.l?
>
> x.pos<- function(tau.e, tau.c){
> tau.e + ((-tau.e^3 + 3*tau.e^2*tau.c -
> 3*tau.e*tau.c^2 + tau.c^3)^(1/3))/(2*2^(1/3))
> }
> (x.pos.l<- x.pos(1, 2))
>
> x.neg<- function(tau.c, tau.i){
> tau.i + ((tau.c^3 - 3*tau.c^2*tau.i +
> 3*tau.c*tau.i^2 - tau.i^3)^(1/3))/(2*2^(1/3))
> }
> (x.neg.l<- x.neg(2, 3))
The expression you're taking a cube root of
tau.c^3 - 3*tau.c^2*tau.i +
3*tau.c*tau.i^2 - tau.i^3
is negative. You can't raise negative numbers to fractional powers in R. (This has been discussed lots of times on the list; use Google if you don't understand why it has to be that way.) What you should do is write a cuberoot function, something like
cuberoot<- function(x) ifelse(x< 0, -(-x)^(1/3), x^(1/3))
and use that instead.
Duncan Murdoch
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