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Topic: clearing a variable with a dummy subscript
Replies: 5   Last Post: May 21, 2012 5:59 AM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Christoph Lhotka Posts: 39 Registered: 2/9/12
Re: clearing a variable with a dummy subscript
Posted: May 21, 2012 5:59 AM

Hello,

a workaround could be to delete just the entries of DownValues
which contain the symbol u.

Subscript[u, k_] := k; Subscript[u, 2]
2

another one of similar form:

Subscript[v, k_] := k; Subscript[v, 2]
2

Here are the values stored in the down values list of subscript:

DownValues[Subscript]

{HoldPattern[Subscript[v, k_]] :> k, HoldPattern[Subscript[u, k_]] :> k}

To delete definitions made just to u use something like

DownValues[Subscript] = Select[DownValues[Subscript], FreeQ[#, u,
\[Infinity]] &]
{HoldPattern[Subscript[v, k_]] :> k}

Now the definition for u_k is deleted

Subscript[u, 2]
Subscript[u, 2]

while the definition for v_k is still present

Subscript[v, 2]
2

To this end you could define something like:

myClear[x_Symbol] := Block[{},
DownValues[Subscript] = Select[DownValues[Subscript], FreeQ[#, x,
\[Infinity]] &]];

which works as expected:

myClear[v];Subscript[v,2]
Subscript[v,2]

Hope that helps,

Christoph

On 05/20/2012 08:34 AM, Peter Breitfeld wrote:
> Andre Hautot wrote:
>

>> Hi !
>> Here is something very simple I don't understand :
>>
>> f[x_] := x; f[2] (*A function*)
>> 2
>>
>> Clear[f]; f[2] (*The same perfectly cleared as expected*)
>> f[2]
>>
>>
>> Subscript[u, k_] := k; Subscript[u, 2] (*u with subscript k_
>> entered via the palette*)
>> 2
>>
>> Clear[u]; Subscript[u, 2] (*I found no way to clear u; a
>> suggestion ?)
>> 2
>>
>>
>> ahautot
>>
>>

> The values of supcripted Variables are not associated with u, but to
> Subscript:
>
> Subscript[u,2]=123
>
> DownValues[u] returns: {}
>
> DownValues[Subscript] returns: {HoldPattern[u_2]:>123}
>
> So to Clear, you must call:
>
> Clear[Subscript]
>
> (but then *all* subscripted variables are cleared)
>

Date Subject Author
5/18/12 André Hautot
5/19/12 Albert Retey
5/19/12 Bill Rowe
5/20/12 Peter Breitfeld
5/21/12 Christoph Lhotka