How to support default parameter in MATLAB FUNCTION ?

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1 . As I know , there is no default parameter support on MATLAB FUNCTION like other high level programming language c,c++, Is there any other methodology through which it can be done like other compiler C,C++? or programmer has to do using his own logic through varargin.

Accepted Answer

Stephen23 on 18 May 2015
Edited: Stephen23 on 18 May 2015
MATLAB is an interpreted language, not a compiled language, so there is no compiler as such.
In any case there is no inbuilt syntax to allow such things as:
function out = fun(val_1=def_val, val_2=def_val2, ...)
But you could use the input parser class, or use one of the methods listed here:
The most common ways of dealing with this are:
  • Use nargin and some switch or if statements to detemrine the default parameters.
  • Use varargin and logical indexing to detect non-specified arguments (e.g. empty).
  • Use key-value pairs (usually with varargin) and strcmpi to detect the keys.
  • Use a scalar structure to hold all options.
Using varargin with nargin or logical indexing is very easy:
function foobar(varargin)
Defaults = {A,B,C...};
Defaults(1:nargin) = varargin;
function foobar(varargin)
Defaults = {A,B,C...};
idx = ~cellfun('isempty',varargin);
Defaults(idx) = varargin(idx);
MATLAB themselves use different methods in different functions. Have a look at the ODE functions to see the structure syntax, many plotting functions use the key-value syntax.
You can easily combine key-value and scalar-structure in one function, see my FEX submission here to see how:

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More Answers (3)

Jan Siegmund
Jan Siegmund on 4 Jul 2020
Edited: Jan Siegmund on 8 Jul 2020
The Answers are not up to date. Modern MATLAB supports the arguments Block:
function out = foo(in)
in(1,1) double {mustBeFinite} = 0;
out = in + 1;
Be careful with the validation functions though. They are not "is"-functions returning logical, rather they throw an error. Here is a list of predefined ones:
If the default argument is a class you may want to use <Class>.empty:
nameValueArgs.BaseFigure matlab.ui.Figure = matlab.ui.Figure.empty;

Ingrid on 18 May 2015
in your function you need to check how many parameters have been passed
function myFunction(variable1,variable2, optionalVarChangeDefaultParam)
if nargin > 2
defaultParam = optionalVarChangeDefaultParam;
defaultParam = 2;
  1 Comment
M.K.H. CHANDAN on 18 May 2015
Edited: M.K.H. CHANDAN on 19 Nov 2015
Yes , It is programmer way , but MATLAB does not support like function myFunction(variable1,variable2,... optionalVarChangeDefaultParam1 =3, ... optionalVarChangeDefaultParam2 =4 , ... optionalVarChangeDefaultParam4 =5)

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Stefan Schuberth
Stefan Schuberth on 23 Jan 2023
Edited: Stefan Schuberth on 23 Jan 2023
function testFun(a,b)
arguments a=10; end % default value
arguments b(3,3) double {mustBePositive} = 10; end
% arguments a(size1dim,size2dim) varType {validationFunction} = defaultValue; end

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