* The diff.plt PlaneT Package: Automatic Differentiation -*- outline -*-

* The diff.plt PlaneT Package: _Automatic Differentiation_   -*- outline -*-

The _diff.plt_ PlaneT package provides a MzScheme language module
which replaces the usual numerical operators of scheme with ones
extended to allow for the _automatic computation of derivatives_.  The
higher-order procedures _D_ and _partial_ compute ordinary derivatives
of functions of a single variable and _partial derivatives_ of
functions of more than one variable, respectively.  These derivatives
are computed without numerical approximation; see the scribble
documentation which is installed with the package for more

To use the diff.plt package in your programs, wrap them in a module
which uses 

(planet "" ("wmfarr" "diff.plt" 1))

as its initial language.  Write your functions in the same way as you
normally would (i.e. there are no Scheme statements which are
off-limits); the _diff-lang.ss_ module extends numerical operations to
allow for computing derivatives of arbitrary order.  (See the How it's
Done section for an explanation of the method used.)

The diff.plt package was written by Will M. Farr <> and is
released under the GPL.  See the License section of this document for
more information.

** Examples

The following examples illustrate the use of the _D_ and _partial_
higher-order functions.  

(module check-vdp (planet "" ("wmfarr" "deriv.plt" 2))
  (provide solves-vdp?)

  ;; Check whether the given function satisfies the second-order
  ;; nonlinear Van der Pol oscillator equation at a randomly-chosen
  ;; argument.  (ODE from the GSL Reference Manual, at
  ;; ).  The Van der Pol equation is
  ;; x''(t) + \mu x'(t) (x(t)^2 - 1) + x(t) = 0.
  ;; Note that (D x) returns a function which computes the derivative
  ;; of x at a given argument, and (D (D x)) returns a function which
  ;; computes the second derivative of x at a given argument, etc.
  (define (solves-vdp? mu x)
    (let ((arg (random)))
      (let ((xpp ((D (D x)) arg))
            (xp ((D x) arg))
            (x (x arg)))
        (zero? (+ xpp
                  (* mu xp (- (* x x) 1))

(module paraboloid-derivs (planet "" ("wmfarr" "deriv.plt" 2))
  (provide paraboloid dpdx dpdy)

  ;; Paraboloid centered on 0.
  (define (paraboloid x y)
    (+ (* 10 x x)
       (* 20 y y)

  ;; And its partial derivatives.
  (define dpdx ((partial 0) paraboloid))
  (define dpdy ((partial 1) paraboloid)))