MATLAB: How does the MATLAB symvar function work

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I read the documentation and help about the symvar function but I'm still confused about how it works, especially for the following example:
clc
clear all
syms x y a
symvar(x + y, 1)
When I run this M-file, I get the answer 'x'. Why am I getting this answer? Why not 'y'? And what is the role of the number 1 written as the second argument?

Best Answer

  • "symvar(s,n) chooses the n symbolic variables in s that are alphabetically closest to x and returns them in alphabetical order."
    You get 1 because you asked for only 1.
    You get x because it is alphabetically closer to x than y is