WHAT IS MATLAB ?
MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language. A proprietary programming language developed by MathWorks. MATLAB was originally written to provide easy access to matrix software developed by the LINPACK and EISPACK projects.
MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, Java, Fortran and Python.
The MATLAB system consists of five main parts:
(i) The MATLAB language.
(ii) The MATLAB working environment.
(iii) Handle Graphics.
(iv) The MATLAB mathematical function library.
(v) The MATLAB Application Program Interface (API).
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TOP 5 OPEN SOURCE ALTERNATIVES OF MATLAB:
1. GNU Octave: Octave language is quite identical to MATLAB, which makes for easy portability of most programs.It provides a convenient command-line interface for solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically, and for performing other numerical experiments.
2. Scilab: Scilab also comes with a free “Xcos” package analogous to MATLAB’s Simulink for effortless modeling and simulation). It was developed at INRIA. Scilab has been developed for system control and signal processing applications.
3. FreeMat: FreeMat supports many MATLAB functions and features a codeless interface to external C, C++, and Fortran code, further parallel distributed algorithm development , and it has plotting and 3D visualization capabilities. FreeMat has been in development by Samit Basu over a period of four years with help from a number of contributers distributed throughout the globe.
4. SageMath: SageMath is a robust numerical computing software that uses a Python like syntax. It builds on top of many existing open-source packages: like NumPy, SciPy, matplotlib, Sympy, Maxima, R and so on.
5. R: R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a free implementation of the S programming language, which was originally created and distributed by Bell Labs.