# Simplification Methods Survey

I noted that SageMath has many ways to simplify expressions, including simplify_full(), full_simplify and canonicalize_radical. Is there a survey nd usage guide available for these? In particular, I am trying to simplify an expression as in

constants=var('a1,a2,b,c')

((a1*b)^c/(a2*b)^c).simplify_full()


such that I get (a1/a2)^c, but without success.

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There may be a simplification in Sage Maths, but it doesn't look easy to find anyway. In any case, me too I was not able to found it!

constants=var('a1,a2,b,c')

f=((a1*b)^c/(a2*b)^c)
show(f.simplify())
show(f.simplify_full())
show(f.simplify_rational(algorithm='simple'))
show(f.simplify_rational())

show(f.simplify_rational(algorithm='simple',map=True))
show(f.simplify_rational(map=True))
show(f.simplify_rational(algorithm='noexpand'))
show(f.simplify_rational(algorithm='full'))

show(f.simplify_real())
show(f.simplify_rectform())

f.simplify_rational??

( 2020-10-28 08:10:18 +0100 )edit

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When Sage doesn't want to simplify my expressions, I do it myself.

I wrote a function to do that some time ago, and I just need to change the rules (I already used the same function to solve this other question).

Here I use the rule $a^b\to e^{b \log a}$, defined on the third line (holding the result, otherwise it immediatly goes back to $a^b$). The function will try to apply this rule everywhere, then finish with one step of log_simplify.

def custom_simplify(E):
"""Apply some rules on expression E as long as it changes, then apply some final steps."""

w = [SR.wild(i) for i in (0, .., 10)]

rules = {w[0]^w[1]: lambda f: ((exp(f[w[1]]*log(f[w[0]]), hold=True)), f[w[0]]>0),}
final_steps = ['log_simplify']

def apply_rules():
nonlocal E
for r in rules:
for e in E.find(r):
f = e.match(r)
if rules[r](f)[1]:
E = E.substitute({e: rules[r](f)[0]})
return E

while(E!=apply_rules()):
pass

for step in final_steps:
E = getattr(E, step)()

return E


It works as expected:

sage: assume(a1>0, a2>0, b>0)
sage: custom_simplify((a1*b)^c/(a2*b)^c)
(a1/a2)^c


Edit: Modified for use with assumptions for correctness, as suggested by Emmanuel Charpentier. The rules now returns a tuple, the second element being a condition that must hold for the substitution to be valid.

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This transform is legitimate only for some cases. See for example the discussion in Sympy's documentation of powsimp... The necessary checks could be integrated in custom_simplify...

( 2020-10-28 16:28:47 +0100 )edit

You are completely right. I edited the code. The rules now contain a condition describing when it is valid. This code is getting even uglier... Well, it was supposed to be a dirty hack anyway.

( 2020-10-28 18:06:13 +0100 )edit

Thanks, that's indeed a helpful function. Experimenting with it I wonder why

from sage.symbolic.constants import Constant
constants=var('a1,a2,b,c,L')
custom_simplify((a1*b)^c/(L*a1*z+a1*b)^c)


does not work, but it is working if L is replaced by d.

( 2020-10-28 18:18:02 +0100 )edit

My initial problem was not whether there is a function that handles this specific term, but whether there is some guidance to find functions that may handle some given term, so I don't think this was overkill.

If there is no automatic selection of a simplification method, the approach to define a set of rewrite rules and apply them is helpful, preferably encapsulated in a single function which takes a term and a ruleset and applies it. https://wiki.sagemath.org/symbolics/r... is close to that, except that it has a fixed ruleset.

.

I confess that I am looking for an easy-to-use function as I am not a Sage expert.

( 2020-10-28 18:31:05 +0100 )edit

hmm, I don't really know. How do you define z? What does the import do? Did you remember to use the assumptions assume(a1>0, b>0, L>0) ?

This works for me:

sage: constants=var('a1,a2,b,c,L')
sage: assume(a1>0, a2>0, L>0, b>0)
sage: custom_simplify((a1*b)^c/(L*a1*a2+a1*b)^c)
(b/(L*a2 + b))^c

( 2020-10-28 19:30:17 +0100 )edit

Nope : without further hypotheses, neither Sage, Sympy nor Mathematica can do better than :

sage: constants=var('a1,a2,b,c')
sage: f=((a1*b)^c/(a2*b)^c)
a1^c/a2^c


Powers and logs are simple to treat in the "usual" special cases and extremely tricky in general. Hiont : think of lomplex logarithm and its branch cut...

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I wouldn't mind if the system asks for assumptions to work (as desolve does).

( 2020-10-28 18:01:20 +0100 )edit

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Last updated: Oct 28 '20