[ADMB Users] Using asin with df1b2variables

Johnoel Ancheta johnoel at hawaii.edu
Wed Oct 16 17:44:07 PDT 2013

Thank you Ben for spotting the error.  It have been corrected in revision
1232 of the ADMB
subversion repository.


On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Ben Stevenson <bcs5 at st-andrews.ac.uk>wrote:

> Hi ADMBers,
> A couple of points:
> 1)
> I have discovered that the function asin does not work with
> df1b2variables, despite appearing in src/df1b2separable/df1b2f26. I am not
> very familiar with the ADMB source code (or with C++ for that matter), but
> I added asin to df1b2fun.h, rebuilt the source and everything worked fine.
> Assuming I did the right thing, could someone with write access make the
> same change to the subversion repo? Note that atan does appear but acos
> does not.
> 2)
> My reason for using asin was to calculate a bearing between two locations,
> which are being treated as latent variables (and so modelled with a
> random_effects_matrix). The model is an animal movement model, and it is
> necessary to work out the direction the animal moved in from one time point
> to the next. The problem for me was that the range of the function asin is
> (-pi, pi) and obviously the range of the directions an animal can move is
> (0, 2*pi). So it was necessary to translate from the first to the second,
> but this depends on what quadrant the bearing belongs to (i.e., if the
> animal moved northeast, southeast, southwest, or northwest). This is
> because for each value returned in (-pi, pi) by asin, there are two
> possible bearings in (0, 2*pi) that this could correspond to.
> "x_diff" and "y_diff" are the differences between the current and previous
> x and y-coordinates, and "dist" is the distance between the current and
> previous locations. I wanted to write something like:
> bearing = asin(x_diff/dist)
> if (southeast) bearing += M_PI  - 2*bearing;
> if (southwest) bearing += M_PI - 2*bearing;
> if (northwest) bearing += 2*M_PI;
> But this would break all sorts of ADMB rules with the if statements.
> In the end, I got around the problem by first emulating the performance of
> R's sign() function (is there a way to do this in ADMB already??):
> sign_x_diff = x_diff/fabs(x_diff);
> sign_y_diff = y_diff/fabs(y_diff);
> And then creating some dummy variables that indicated the animal's
> direction:
> se_dummy = (sign_x_diff - sign_y_diff)*(sign_x_diff +
> square(sign_y_diff))/4;
> nw_dummy = (sign_y_diff - sign_x_diff)*(sign_y_diff +
> square(sign_x_diff))/4;
> sw_dummy = (-sign_x_diff - sign_y_diff)*(square(sign_x_diff) -
> sign_y_diff)/4;
> Before using these instead of the if statements above to make the correct
> adjustments to what was returned by asin:
> bearing = asin(x_diff/dist);
> bearing += se_dummy*M_PI - 2*bearing);
> bearing += nw_dummy*2.0*M_PI;
> bearing += sw_dummy*(M_PI - 2*bearing);
> Everything worked fine once I did all this, but it was quite a big
> procedure to do something quite simple, and I was wondering if I was
> missing an obvious solution I could use in future instead of the mess that
> I've tried to explain above.
> Thanks in advance,
> Ben
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