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Semantic Preserving Bijective Mappings for Representations of Special Functions between Computer Algebra Systems and Word Processors



Howard S. Cohl, Moritz Schubotz, Andre Greiner Petter


Purpose: Modern mathematicians and scientists of math-related disciplines use word processors (WP) to write and Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) to calculate mathematical expressions. Usually, they translate the expressions manually between WP and CAS. This process is time- consuming and error-prone. Our goal is to automate this translation. This paper uses Maple and Mathematica as the CAS, and LaTeX as our WP. Approach: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a collection of special LaTeX macros that create links from mathematical symbols to their definitions in the NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF). We are using these macros to perform rule-based translations between the formulae in the DLMF and CAS. Moreover, we develop software to ease the creation of new rules and to discover inconsistencies. Findings: We created 396 mappings and translated 58.8% of the DLMF (2,405 expressions) successfully between Maple and DLMF. For a significant percentage, the definitions in Maple and the DLMF were different. Consequently, an atomic symbol in one system maps to a composite expression in the other system. The translator was also successfully used for automatic verification of mathematical online compendia and CAS. Our evaluation techniques discovered two errors in the DLMF and one defect in Maple. Originality: This paper introduces the first translation tool for special functions between LaTeX and CAS. The approach improves error-prone manual translations and can be used to verify mathematical online compendia and CAS.
Aslib Proceedings


LaTeX, Computer Algebra System, Translation, Presentation to Computation, Special Functions


Cohl, H. , Schubotz, M. and Greiner, A. (2019), Semantic Preserving Bijective Mappings for Representations of Special Functions between Computer Algebra Systems and Word Processors, Aslib Proceedings, [online], (Accessed December 5, 2023)
Created May 19, 2019, Updated May 4, 2021