Suppose you have values and classify them in a histogram. In pseudo code this may look like this:

foreach value
  foreach bucket
    if(value > bucket.lowerBound && value <= bucket.upperBound)
      bucket.count = bucket.count + 1

Is there a mathematical notation for this selection task?

Suppose $i$ is an index denoting the bucket and $j$ an index of the values. Does a nice compact notation exist for writing the count $c_i$ in bucket $i$ as a function of the lower $l_i$ and upper $u_i$ bounds of bucket $i$, akin to

$ c_i = ... someNotation (v_j, l_i, u_i)$

Or maybe a matrix notation could better fit? With $C$ the vector of counts, $V$ the vector of values and $U$,$L$ the vectors of bounds.

$C = ...$


The indicator function is defined as \begin{align} \mathbf{1}_A(x) :=\begin{cases} 1 &\text{if } x \in A, \\ 0 &\text{if } x \notin A. \end{cases} \end{align} So you could rewrite your expression as \begin{align} c_i = \sum_{j} {1}_{[l_i,r_i]}(x_j) \end{align} But I don't know, whether there is a matrix notation.

Edit: It might be a problem that you check for $\quad left < x \leq right$ and not $ left \leq x \leq right$

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that. About your edit, I need to avoid duplicate counting so need to have strict inequality on one side: left<x≤right $\endgroup$ – Philipp Mar 5 '13 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ Ah okay, you could write it as $1_{(l_i,r_i]}$ but this does not really change the fact that you have no matrix representation. $\endgroup$ – k1next Mar 5 '13 at 14:01

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