# 12.8. Math Commands

"Doing the numbers"

factor

Decompose an integer into prime factors.

 ```bash\$ factor 27417 27417: 3 13 19 37 ```

bc

Bash can't handle floating point calculations, and it lacks operators for certain important mathematical functions. Fortunately, bc comes to the rescue.

Not just a versatile, arbitrary precision calculation utility, bc offers many of the facilities of a programming language.

bc has a syntax vaguely resembling C.

Since it is a fairly well-behaved Unix utility, and may therefore be used in a pipe, bc comes in handy in scripts.

Here is a simple template for using bc to calculate a script variable. This uses command substitution.

 ``` variable=\$(echo "OPTIONS; OPERATIONS" | bc) ```

Example 12-36. Monthly Payment on a Mortgage

 ```#!/bin/bash # monthlypmt.sh: Calculates monthly payment on a mortgage. # This is a modification of code in the "mcalc" (mortgage calculator) package, #+ by Jeff Schmidt and Mendel Cooper (yours truly, the author of this document). # http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/apps/financial/mcalc-1.6.tar.gz [15k] echo echo "Given the principal, interest rate, and term of a mortgage," echo "calculate the monthly payment." bottom=1.0 echo echo -n "Enter principal (no commas) " read principal echo -n "Enter interest rate (percent) " # If 12%, enter "12", not ".12". read interest_r echo -n "Enter term (months) " read term interest_r=\$(echo "scale=9; \$interest_r/100.0" | bc) # Convert to decimal. # "scale" determines how many decimal places. interest_rate=\$(echo "scale=9; \$interest_r/12 + 1.0" | bc) top=\$(echo "scale=9; \$principal*\$interest_rate^\$term" | bc) echo; echo "Please be patient. This may take a while." let "months = \$term - 1" # ==================================================================== for ((x=\$months; x > 0; x--)) do bot=\$(echo "scale=9; \$interest_rate^\$x" | bc) bottom=\$(echo "scale=9; \$bottom+\$bot" | bc) # bottom = \$((\$bottom + \$bot")) done # -------------------------------------------------------------------- # Rick Boivie pointed out a more efficient implementation #+ of the above loop, which decreases computation time by 2/3. # for ((x=1; x <= \$months; x++)) # do # bottom=\$(echo "scale=9; \$bottom * \$interest_rate + 1" | bc) # done # And then he came up with an even more efficient alternative, #+ one that cuts down the run time by about 95%! # bottom=`{ # echo "scale=9; bottom=\$bottom; interest_rate=\$interest_rate" # for ((x=1; x <= \$months; x++)) # do # echo 'bottom = bottom * interest_rate + 1' # done # echo 'bottom' # } | bc` # Embeds a 'for loop' within command substitution. # ==================================================================== # let "payment = \$top/\$bottom" payment=\$(echo "scale=2; \$top/\$bottom" | bc) # Use two decimal places for dollars and cents. echo echo "monthly payment = \\$\$payment" # Echo a dollar sign in front of amount. echo exit 0 # Exercises: # 1) Filter input to permit commas in principal amount. # 2) Filter input to permit interest to be entered as percent or decimal. # 3) If you are really ambitious, # expand this script to print complete amortization tables.```

Example 12-37. Base Conversion

 ```: ########################################################################## # Shellscript: base.sh - print number to different bases (Bourne Shell) # Author : Heiner Steven (heiner.steven@odn.de) # Date : 07-03-95 # Category : Desktop # \$Id: base.sh,v 1.2 2000/02/06 19:55:35 heiner Exp \$ ########################################################################## # Description # # Changes # 21-03-95 stv fixed error occuring with 0xb as input (0.2) ########################################################################## # ==> Used in this document with the script author's permission. # ==> Comments added by document author. NOARGS=65 PN=`basename "\$0"` # Program name VER=`echo '\$Revision: 1.2 \$' | cut -d' ' -f2` # ==> VER=1.2 Usage () { echo "\$PN - print number to different bases, \$VER (stv '95) usage: \$PN [number ...] If no number is given, the numbers are read from standard input. A number may be binary (base 2) starting with 0b (i.e. 0b1100) octal (base 8) starting with 0 (i.e. 014) hexadecimal (base 16) starting with 0x (i.e. 0xc) decimal otherwise (i.e. 12)" >&2 exit \$NOARGS } # ==> Function to print usage message. Msg () { for i # ==> in [list] missing. do echo "\$PN: \$i" >&2 done } Fatal () { Msg "\$@"; exit 66; } PrintBases () { # Determine base of the number for i # ==> in [list] missing... do # ==> so operates on command line arg(s). case "\$i" in 0b*) ibase=2;; # binary 0x*|[a-f]*|[A-F]*) ibase=16;; # hexadecimal 0*) ibase=8;; # octal [1-9]*) ibase=10;; # decimal *) Msg "illegal number \$i - ignored" continue;; esac # Remove prefix, convert hex digits to uppercase (bc needs this) number=`echo "\$i" | sed -e 's:^0[bBxX]::' | tr '[a-f]' '[A-F]'` # ==> Uses ":" as sed separator, rather than "/". # Convert number to decimal dec=`echo "ibase=\$ibase; \$number" | bc` # ==> 'bc' is calculator utility. case "\$dec" in [0-9]*) ;; # number ok *) continue;; # error: ignore esac # Print all conversions in one line. # ==> 'here document' feeds command list to 'bc'. echo `bc < Is a "while loop" really necessary here, # ==>+ since all the cases either break out of the loop # ==>+ or terminate the script. # ==> (Thanks, Paulo Marcel Coelho Aragao.) do case "\$1" in --) shift; break;; -h) Usage;; # ==> Help message. -*) Usage;; *) break;; # first number esac # ==> More error checking for illegal input might be useful. shift done if [ \$# -gt 0 ] then PrintBases "\$@" else # read from stdin while read line do PrintBases \$line done fi exit 0```

An alternate method of invoking bc involves using a here document embedded within a command substitution block. This is especially appropriate when a script needs to pass a list of options and commands to bc.

 ```variable=`bc << LIMIT_STRING options statements operations LIMIT_STRING ` ...or... variable=\$(bc << LIMIT_STRING options statements operations LIMIT_STRING )```

Example 12-38. Invoking bc using a "here document"

 ```#!/bin/bash # Invoking 'bc' using command substitution # in combination with a 'here document'. var1=`bc << EOF 18.33 * 19.78 EOF ` echo \$var1 # 362.56 # \$( ... ) notation also works. v1=23.53 v2=17.881 v3=83.501 v4=171.63 var2=\$(bc << EOF scale = 4 a = ( \$v1 + \$v2 ) b = ( \$v3 * \$v4 ) a * b + 15.35 EOF ) echo \$var2 # 593487.8452 var3=\$(bc -l << EOF scale = 9 s ( 1.7 ) EOF ) # Returns the sine of 1.7 radians. # The "-l" option calls the 'bc' math library. echo \$var3 # .991664810 # Now, try it in a function... hyp= # Declare global variable. hypotenuse () # Calculate hypotenuse of a right triangle. { hyp=\$(bc -l << EOF scale = 9 sqrt ( \$1 * \$1 + \$2 * \$2 ) EOF ) # Unfortunately, can't return floating point values from a Bash function. } hypotenuse 3.68 7.31 echo "hypotenuse = \$hyp" # 8.184039344 exit 0```

Example 12-39. Calculating PI

 ```#!/bin/bash # cannon.sh: Approximating PI by firing cannonballs. # This is a very simple instance of a "Monte Carlo" simulation, #+ a mathematical model of a real-life event, #+ using pseudorandom numbers to emulate random chance. # Consider a perfectly square plot of land, 10000 units on a side. # This land has a perfectly circular lake in its center, #+ with a diameter of 10000 units. # The plot is actually all water, except for the four corners. # (Think of it as a square with an inscribed circle.) # # Let us fire iron cannonballs from an old-style cannon #+ at the square of land. # All the shots impact somewhere on the plot of land, #+ either in the lake or on the dry corners. # Since the lake takes up most of the land area, #+ most of the shots will SPLASH! into the water. # Just a few shots will THUD! into solid ground #+ in the four corners of the land. # # If we take enough random, unaimed shots at the plot of land, #+ Then the ratio of SPLASHES to total shots will approximate #+ the value of PI/4. # # The reason for this is that the cannon is actually shooting #+ only at the upper right-hand quadrant of the square, #+ i.e., Quadrant I of the Cartesian coordinate plane. # (The previous explanation was a simplification.) # # Theoretically, the more shots taken, the better the fit. # However, a shell script, as opposed to a compiled language #+ with floating-point math built in, requires a few compromises. # This tends to lower the accuracy of the simulation, unfortunately. DIMENSION=10000 # Length of each side of the plot of land. # Also sets ceiling for random integers generated. MAXSHOTS=1000 # Fire this many shots. # 10000 or more would be better, but would take too long. PMULTIPLIER=4.0 # Scaling factor to approximate PI. get_random () { SEED=\$(head -1 /dev/urandom | od -N 1 | awk '{ print \$2 }') RANDOM=\$SEED # From "seeding-random.sh" #+ example script. let "rnum = \$RANDOM % \$DIMENSION" # Range less than 10000. echo \$rnum } distance= # Declare global variable. hypotenuse () # Calculate hypotenuse of a right triangle. { # From "alt-bc.sh" example. distance=\$(bc -l << EOF scale = 0 sqrt ( \$1 * \$1 + \$2 * \$2 ) EOF ) # Setting "scale" to zero rounds down result to integer value, #+ a necessary compromise in this script. # This diminshes the accuracy of the simulation, unfortunately. } # main() { # Initialize variables. shots=0 splashes=0 thuds=0 Pi=0 while [ "\$shots" -lt "\$MAXSHOTS" ] # Main loop. do xCoord=\$(get_random) # Get random X and Y coords. yCoord=\$(get_random) hypotenuse \$xCoord \$yCoord # Hypotenuse of right-triangle = #+ distance. ((shots++)) printf "#%4d " \$shots printf "Xc = %4d " \$xCoord printf "Yc = %4d " \$yCoord printf "Distance = %5d " \$distance # Distance from #+ center of lake, # the "origin," #+ coordinate (0,0). if [ "\$distance" -le "\$DIMENSION" ] then echo -n "SPLASH! " ((splashes++)) else echo -n "THUD! " ((thuds++)) fi Pi=\$(echo "scale=9; \$PMULTIPLIER*\$splashes/\$shots" | bc) # Multiply ratio by 4.0. echo -n "PI ~ \$Pi" echo done echo echo "After \$shots shots, PI looks like approximately \$Pi." # Tends to run a bit high . . . # Probably due to round-off error and imperfect randomness of \$RANDOM. echo # } exit 0 # One might well wonder whether a shell script is appropriate for #+ an application as complex and computation-intensive as a simulation. # # There are at least two justifications. # 1) As a proof of concept: to show it can be done. # 2) To prototype and test the algorithms before rewriting #+ it in a compiled high-level language.```
dc

The dc (desk calculator) utility is stack-oriented and uses RPN ("Reverse Polish Notation"). Like bc, it has much of the power of a programming language.

Most persons avoid dc, since it requires non-intuitive RPN input. Yet it has its uses.

Example 12-40. Converting a decimal number to hexadecimal

 ```#!/bin/bash # hexconvert.sh: Convert a decimal number to hexadecimal. BASE=16 # Hexadecimal. if [ -z "\$1" ] then echo "Usage: \$0 number" exit \$E_NOARGS # Need a command line argument. fi # Exercise: add argument validity checking. hexcvt () { if [ -z "\$1" ] then echo 0 return # "Return" 0 if no arg passed to function. fi echo ""\$1" "\$BASE" o p" | dc # "o" sets radix (numerical base) of output. # "p" prints the top of stack. # See 'man dc' for other options. return } hexcvt "\$1" exit 0```

Studying the info page for dc gives some insight into its intricacies. However, there seems to be a small, select group of dc wizards who delight in showing off their mastery of this powerful, but arcane utility.

Example 12-41. Factoring

 ```#!/bin/bash # factr.sh: Factor a number MIN=2 # Will not work for number smaller than this. E_NOARGS=65 E_TOOSMALL=66 if [ -z \$1 ] then echo "Usage: \$0 number" exit \$E_NOARGS fi if [ "\$1" -lt "\$MIN" ] then echo "Number to factor must be \$MIN or greater." exit \$E_TOOSMALL fi # Exercise: Add type checking (to reject non-integer arg). echo "Factors of \$1:" # --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- echo "\$1[p]s2[lip/dli%0=1dvsr]s12sid2%0=13sidvsr[dli%0=1lrli2+dsi!>.]ds.xd1<2" | dc # --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- # Above line of code written by Michel Charpentier . # Used with permission (thanks). exit 0```
awk

Yet another way of doing floating point math in a script is using awk's built-in math functions in a shell wrapper.

Example 12-42. Calculating the hypotenuse of a triangle

 ```#!/bin/bash # hypotenuse.sh: Returns the "hypotenuse" of a right triangle. # ( square root of sum of squares of the "legs") ARGS=2 # Script needs sides of triangle passed. E_BADARGS=65 # Wrong number of arguments. if [ \$# -ne "\$ARGS" ] # Test number of arguments to script. then echo "Usage: `basename \$0` side_1 side_2" exit \$E_BADARGS fi AWKSCRIPT=' { printf( "%3.7f\n", sqrt(\$1*\$1 + \$2*\$2) ) } ' # command(s) / parameters passed to awk echo -n "Hypotenuse of \$1 and \$2 = " echo \$1 \$2 | awk "\$AWKSCRIPT" exit 0```