I wrote some very basic R code.

This has at least two problems.

  1. It uses a very basic imperative-programming style instead of good R style.

  2. It draws the result as an ellipse, not a circle. This effect is barely visible on RGui on Windows, but extremely visible in RStudio on Linux. [Edit: rcs has mentioned that the asp parameter of the image command can fix this. Thanks, rcs.]

There are some debatable issues. For example, there is no good reason why I draw the radius at the distance that I do, so I consider this to be a "magic" number, and I try to avoid "magic numbers" in code because they cause maintenance problems. The number is in there because I don't think it's worthwhile specifying a user input or a function argument to control it.




dim(squarelist)<-c(width, width)

for (i in 1:length(x)){
  for (j in 1:length(y)){
    if( (((magicradius-magicmargin)*(edge))<sqrt( x[i]^2 + y[j]^2  ) )
        &(((magicradius+magicmargin)*(edge))>sqrt( x[i]^2 + y[j]^2 ) ) ){
      squarelist[counter]<-sqrt( x[i]^2 + y[j]^2)
    } else {



  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ fix for Problem 2: image(gg, asp=1) \$\endgroup\$ – rcs Nov 21 '13 at 21:19

A vectorized solution using outer (Outer Product of Arrays):

edge <- 100
magicradius <- .81
magicmargin <- .01
width <- (2*edge) + 1

x <- -edge:edge
y <- -edge:edge

mat <- outer(x, y, function(x,y) sqrt(x^2 + y^2))
ind <- mat > ((magicradius-magicmargin)*edge) &
       mat < ((magicradius+magicmargin)*edge)
image(ind, asp=1)

enter image description here

The aspect ratio in image() can be set with the asp argument (see the Details section in ?plot.window)

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had not been aware of the outer() syntax until now --thanks. The ind construction is obviously much easier to write than mine and should result in shorter code. \$\endgroup\$ – dataqeuerent Nov 25 '13 at 3:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have just tested the above code in rstudio and it produces unexpected results. \$\endgroup\$ – dataqeuerent Nov 25 '13 at 3:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ The output produced by gg seems to be very different from the output produced by ind. \$\endgroup\$ – dataqeuerent Nov 25 '13 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ my code produces exactly the same result as your example. \$\endgroup\$ – rcs Nov 25 '13 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ See here r-fiddle.org/#/fiddle/wk5fEVOu \$\endgroup\$ – rcs Nov 25 '13 at 16:13

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