# 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 12-40. 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) "
echo -n "Enter interest rate (percent) "  # If 12%, enter "12", not ".12".
echo -n "Enter term (months) "

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 12-41. Base Conversion

```#!/bin/bash
##########################################################################
# 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 \$
# ==> Above line is RCS ID info.
##########################################################################
# 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 <<!
obase=16; "hex="; \$dec
obase=10; "dec="; \$dec
obase=8;  "oct="; \$dec
obase=2;  "bin="; \$dec
!
` | sed -e 's: :	:g'

done
}

while [ \$# -gt 0 ]
# ==>  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
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 12-42. 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 12-43. 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 mostly water, except for land in the four corners.
#  (Think of it as a square with an inscribed circle.)
#
#  We will fire iron cannonballs from an old-style cannon
#+ at the square.
#  All the shots impact somewhere on the square,
#+ either in the lake or on the dry corners.
#  Since the lake takes up most of the 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 square.
#
#  If we take enough random, unaimed shots at the square,
#+ 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, of course.

DIMENSION=10000  # Length of each side of the plot.
# 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 12-44. Converting a decimal number to hexadecimal

```#!/bin/bash
# hexconvert.sh: Convert a decimal number to hexadecimal.

E_NOARGS=65 # Command-line arg missing.

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.

```bash\$ echo "16i[q]sa[ln0=aln100%Pln100/snlbx]sbA0D68736142snlbxq" | dc"
Bash
```

Example 12-45. 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 <charpov@cs.unh.edu>.
# 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 12-46. 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"
fi

AWKSCRIPT=' { printf( "%3.7f\n", sqrt(\$1*\$1 + \$2*\$2) ) } '
#            command(s) / parameters passed to awk

# Now, pipe the parameters to awk.
echo -n "Hypotenuse of \$1 and \$2 = "
echo \$1 \$2 | awk "\$AWKSCRIPT"

exit 0```

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