Built-in Mathematical Functions in R

Like other programming languages, R programming language also has various built-in mathematical functions to perform mathematical calculations. All these functions are vectorised. In this tutorial you will learn what are the built-in mathematical functions in R and how to use mathematical functions in R.

Built-in Mathematical Functions in R

Some commonly used built-in mathematical functions in R are as follows:

Function Operation Performed
max(x) Maximum of the elements of x
min(x) Minimum of the elements of x
sqrt(x) Square root of x
abs(x) Absolute value of x
exp(x) Exponential value of x
log(x,base) Logarithm value of x with given base
log10(x) Logarithm of x (base 10)
ceiling(x) Closest integer not less than x
floor(x) Closest integer not greater than x
trunc(x) Closest integer towards zero
round(x,n) Round x to n significant places
rev(x) reverse the elements of x
sort(x) sort the elements of x in increasing order
rank(x) assign ranks to the elements of x

Examples of Some Mathematical Functions

min() function in R

The min() function returns the minimum of the elements of a vector.

# Create a vector x
x <- c(10,-20,45,30)
y <- c(10,-20,45,30,NA)
min(x)
[1] -20
min(y)
[1] NA

max() function in R

The max() function returns the maximum of the elements of a vector.

# Create a vector x
x <- c(10,-20,45,30)
y <- c(10,-20,45,30,NA)
max(x)
[1] 45
max(y,na.rm = TRUE)
[1] 45

Note that while using max or min function, if the vector contains NA values the result will be NA because the default value of argument na.rm=FALSE. To remove the missing values while computing min or max use the argument na.rm=TRUE.

abs() function in R

The abs() function returns the absolute values of the elements of a vector.

# Create a vector x
x <- c(10,-20,45,30)
# Compute absolute of x
abs(x)
[1] 10 20 45 30

sqrt() function in R

The sqrt() function returns the principal square root of the elements of a vector.

# compute square root of x
sqrt(x)
Warning in sqrt(x): NaNs produced
[1] 3.162278      NaN 6.708204 5.477226

Examples of logarithmic and exponent functions in R

log() function in R

The log() function returns the natural logarithm of the elements of a vector.

# Create a vector y
y <- c(5,6.5,8)
# compute natural logarithm of y
log(y)
[1] 1.609438 1.871802 2.079442

Note that in log(x,base) function, if you do not specify the base argument, R will use the default base as e (i.e., logarithm of x to the base e).

Suppose we need to find the logarithm of elements of y vector with base 2, we can use same log() function with argument base=2.

log(y,base=2)
[1] 2.321928 2.700440 3.000000

log10() function in R

The log10() function returns the logarithm of the elements of a vector to the base 10.

# compute logarithm of y to the base 10
log10(y)
[1] 0.6989700 0.8129134 0.9030900

exp() function in R

The exp() function returns the exponential of the elements of a vector.

# compute exponent of y
exp(y)
[1]  148.4132  665.1416 2980.9580

Examples of Rounding functions in R

R has number of rounding functions available in the base package like ceiling(), floor(), trunc(), round() and signif().

# Create a vector x
x<-c(10.6787,9.456,12.554,-10.67)

ceiling() function in R

The ceiling(x) function is used to return the closest integer not less than the corresponding elements of x.

# return closest integer not less than x
ceiling(x)
[1]  11  10  13 -10

floor() function in R

The floor(x) function is used to return the closest integer not greater than the corresponding elements of x.

# return closest integer not greater than x
floor(x)
[1]  10   9  12 -11

trunc() function in R

The trunc(x) function returns a numeric vector containing the integers formed by truncating the values in x towards zero.

trunc(x)
[1]  10   9  12 -10

round() function in R

The round(x,digits) function is used to return the rounded values to the specified number of decimal places.

# round x to 2 significant places
round(x,digits=2)
[1]  10.68   9.46  12.55 -10.67

signif() function in R

The signif(x,digits) function rounds the values in its first argument to the specific number of significant digits.

g <- exp(-10:-7)
g
[1] 4.539993e-05 1.234098e-04 3.354626e-04 9.118820e-04
signif(g,digits = 3)
[1] 4.54e-05 1.23e-04 3.35e-04 9.12e-04

Examples of rev, rank and sort function in R

rev() function in R

The rev(x) function is used to get the vector x in reverse order, i.e., the rev(x) function reverse the elements of the vector x.

# create a vector x
x <- c(10,12,9,13,8,17,13)
# reverse the elements of x
rev(x)
[1] 13 17  8 13  9 12 10

rank() function in R

The rank() function is used to assign the ranks to the values in a vector. The ranks are given from smallest to largest. In case of ties in the observations, the ranks are given as an average rank they jointly occupy (by default R uses ties.method="average").

x
[1] 10 12  9 13  8 17 13
# assign ranks to the elements of x
avg_ties <- rank(x)
avg_ties
[1] 3.0 4.0 2.0 5.5 1.0 7.0 5.5

Assign the rank 1 to the smallest value 8, the rank 2 to the next value 9 and so on. Since the value 13 occurs twice, R assign the average rank which they jointly occupy (i.e., $\frac{5+6}{2}=5.5$).

For other ties.method see the R code and its output.

first_ties <- rank(x,ties.method="first")
first_ties
[1] 3 4 2 5 1 7 6

The first value of the rank (which they jointly occupy) is assigned to the values when ties encountered.

last_ties <- rank(x,ties.method="last")
last_ties
[1] 3 4 2 6 1 7 5

The last value of the rank (which they jointly occupy) is assigned to the values when ties encountered.

random_ties <- rank(x,ties.method="random")
random_ties
[1] 3 4 2 5 1 7 6

The random value of the rank (which they jointly occupy) is assigned to the values when ties encountered.

max_ties <- rank(x,ties.method="max")
max_ties
[1] 3 4 2 6 1 7 6

The maximum value of the rank (which they jointly occupy) is assigned to the values when ties encountered.

min_ties <- rank(x,ties.method="min")
min_ties
[1] 3 4 2 5 1 7 5

The minimum` value of the rank (which they jointly occupy) is assigned to the values when ties encountered.

Ranks by different ties.method for comparison

x avg_ties first_ties last_ties random_ties max_ties min_ties
10 3.0 3 3 3 3 3
12 4.0 4 4 4 4 4
9 2.0 2 2 2 2 2
13 5.5 5 6 5 6 5
8 1.0 1 1 1 1 1
17 7.0 7 7 7 7 7
13 5.5 6 5 6 6 5

rank() function in R with NA

If the vector contains NA values, then by default NA values are ranked last (default argument is na.last=TRUE).

data_1 <- c(10,12,9,13,NA,8,17,13)
rank(data_1)
[1] 3.0 4.0 2.0 5.5 8.0 1.0 7.0 5.5

To assign NA the first rank, use the argument na.last=FALSE.

rank(data_1,na.last = FALSE)
[1] 4.0 5.0 3.0 6.5 1.0 2.0 8.0 6.5

The NA values can be removed while ranking using the argument na.last=NA.

rank(data_1,na.last=NA)
[1] 3.0 4.0 2.0 5.5 1.0 7.0 5.5

sort() function in R

The sort() function sorts the elements of vector in increasing order of magnitude by default. To sort the elements in decreasing order, use the argument decreasing=TRUE in sort() function.

# sort elements of x in increasing order  
sort(x)
[1]  8  9 10 12 13 13 17
# sort elements of x in decreasing order
sort(x,decreasing=TRUE)
[1] 17 13 13 12 10  9  8

If the data contains NA value(s), by default the sort function ignore the NA value(s) and sort the remaining data.

sort(data_1)
[1]  8  9 10 12 13 13 17

Use the argument na.last=TRUE to put the NA values last while sorting.

sort(data_1,na.last=TRUE)
[1]  8  9 10 12 13 13 17 NA

Use the argument na.last=FALSE to put the NA values first while sorting.

sort(data_1,na.last=FALSE)
[1] NA  8  9 10 12 13 13 17

Build-in Functions for Complex numbers

Some built-in function for complex numbers in R are as follows:

Function Operation Performed
Re(x) Real part of complex number x
Im(x) Imaginary part of complex number x
Mod(x) Modulus of complex number x
abs(x) Modulus of complex number x
Arg(x) Angle in radian of complex number x
Conj(x) Complex conjugate of complex number x

Examples of Built-in function for complex numbers

Suppose the given complex number is z=3+4i.

# Store a complex number to z
z<-3+4i

Re() or Im() function for complex numbers

For the complex number $z=a+bi$, the real part of $z$ is $a$ and the imaginary part of $z$ is $b$. The function Re(z) and Im(z) returns real and imaginary part of $z$ respectively.

## Returns real part of z
Re(z)
[1] 3
## Returns imaginary part of z
Im(z)
[1] 4

Mod() or abs() function for complex numbers

To get the modulus of complex number, use the function Mod(z) or abs(z). The modulus of complex number $z=a+bi$ is given by $|z|=\sqrt{a^2+b^2}$.

## Returns modulus of z
Mod(z)
[1] 5
## Returns modulus of z
abs(z)
[1] 5

Arg() function for complex numbers

The argument of complex number $z=a+bi$ is the angle made by the complex number $z$ with the positive real axis. To get the real part of complex number, use the function Re(z).

## Returns angle in radians of z
Arg(z)
[1] 0.9272952

conj() function for complex numbers

The conjugate of the complex number $z=a+bi$ is $\overline{z}=a-bi$. To get the complex conjugate of the complex number, use the function Conj(z).

## Return complex conjugate of z
Conj(z)
[1] 3-4i

Endnote

In this tutorial you learned about some commonly used built-in mathematical functions in R and how to use these functions in R.

To learn more about other built-in functions and user-defined functions in R, please refer to the following tutorials:

Hopefully you enjoyed learning this tutorial on built-in mathematical functions in R. Hope the content is more than sufficient to understand mathematical functions in R.

VRCBuzz co-founder and passionate about making every day the greatest day of life. Raju is nerd at heart with a background in Statistics. Raju looks after overseeing day to day operations as well as focusing on strategic planning and growth of VRCBuzz products and services. Raju has more than 25 years of experience in Teaching fields. He gain energy by helping people to reach their goal and motivate to align to their passion. Raju holds a Ph.D. degree in Statistics. Raju loves to spend his leisure time on reading and implementing AI and machine learning concepts using statistical models.

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