chapter  4
14 Pages

Numerical differentiation

Ifafunctionisspecifiedbymeansofatableofdiscretevalues, ratherthananalgebraicexpression,thentheanalyticalmethods describedinearlierchapterscannotbeusedtodeterminederivatives.Suchsituationscanoccurwhenexperimentalmeasurements areusedtoobtaindata,e.g.distancevaluesatsp~fictimesfora movingobject,andthefunctionrelatingthedatavaluesisnot known.Inaddition,thecalculationofderivativevaluesbymeans ofcomputerstendstobedonenumerically,evenwhenthefunctionisknown,byoperatingondiscretevaluesobtainedforthe function.Thischapterdescribeshowderivativescanbeobtainedin suchsituations.