# How to Set a Variable in Matlab as an Integer Only?

• MATLAB
• ecastro
In summary, there are several functions in Matlab, such as int16() and int32(), that can preset the value of a variable as an integer. However, the datatype of a variable can still be changed by a second assignment. Other options for locking down a variable to a specific datatype include using Julia, a recent numerical programming language with similarities to Matlab.
ecastro
Is there a function in Matlab that presets the value of a variable as an integer only? For example I will set the variable 'y' as an integer at the very beginning of the code, and whenever the variable gains a new value it automatically returns an integer value.

Thank you in advance.

There are several functions int16() and int32() are two examples:

Matlab:
a=int32(10)    // sets a = 32-bit integer value of 10

However, I think a second assignment to variable 'a' can change the datatype:

Matlab:
a=3.1415         // a is now set to a floating point value

Here's a more complete list of MATLAB functions for datatype specific values:

https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/numeric-types.html

I've tested the datatype changing in FREEMAT and know that the variable's datatype can be changed by another assignment so basically I don't think you can restrict it from being changed. FREEMAT is an open source clone of the core MATLAB functionality.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/freemat/

In contrast, Julia can lock down a variable to a specific datatype and that is the primary reason why it runs significantly faster than MATLAB as it can dispense with datatype checks each time it uses a variable. Julia (julialang.org) is a recent numerical programming language with many similarities to MATLAB but is open source and gaining traction in data sciences world.

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introducing_Julia/Types

Last edited:
Thank you for this. I guess I just have to use those two functions every time the variable is re-assigned.

## 1. How do I set a variable as an integer in Matlab?

To set a variable as an integer in Matlab, you can use the int function. For example, int x = 5; will set the variable x as an integer with a value of 5.

## 2. Can I change the type of a variable to an integer after it has been declared?

Yes, you can use the int function to change the type of a variable to an integer after it has been declared. For example, x = 5; followed by x = int(x); will convert x to an integer with a value of 5.

## 3. How can I check if a variable is an integer in Matlab?

You can use the isinteger function to check if a variable is an integer in Matlab. It will return a logical value of true if the variable is an integer, and false if it is not.

## 4. What happens if I try to assign a non-integer value to an integer variable?

If you try to assign a non-integer value to an integer variable, Matlab will round the value to the nearest integer. For example, int x = 3.14; will set x to be an integer with a value of 3.

## 5. Can I perform mathematical operations on integer variables in Matlab?

Yes, you can perform mathematical operations on integer variables in Matlab. However, if the result of the operation is not an integer, Matlab will round it to the nearest integer. For example, int x = 5; followed by x = x/2; will result in x being an integer with a value of 2.

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