Book Image

Scientific Computing with Scala

By : Vytautas Jancauskas
Book Image

Scientific Computing with Scala

By: Vytautas Jancauskas

Overview of this book

Scala is a statically typed, Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-based language with strong support for functional programming. There exist libraries for Scala that cover a range of common scientific computing tasks – from linear algebra and numerical algorithms to convenient and safe parallelization to powerful plotting facilities. Learning to use these to perform common scientific tasks will allow you to write programs that are both fast and easy to write and maintain. We will start by discussing the advantages of using Scala over other scientific computing platforms. You will discover Scala packages that provide the functionality you have come to expect when writing scientific software. We will explore using Scala's Breeze library for linear algebra, optimization, and signal processing. We will then proceed to the Saddle library for data analysis. If you have experience in R or with Python's popular pandas library you will learn how to translate those skills to Saddle. If you are new to data analysis, you will learn basic concepts of Saddle as well. Well will explore the numerical computing environment called ScalaLab. It comes bundled with a lot of scientific software readily available. We will use it for interactive computing, data analysis, and visualization. In the following chapters, we will explore using Scala's powerful parallel collections for safe and convenient parallel programming. Topics such as the Akka concurrency framework will be covered. Finally, you will learn about multivariate data visualization and how to produce professional-looking plots in Scala easily. After reading the book, you should have more than enough information on how to start using Scala as your scientific computing platform
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Scientific Computing with Scala
About the Author
About the Reviewer

Mixing Java and Scala code

Using Java code from Scala is fairly easy. This is because both languages are based on JVM. Using Scala code in Java is also possible but trickier. In general, Scala is designed to be compatible with Java. You can take advantage of this if you want to use one of the many available Java libraries. For example, you could use Java's Swing library to write a user interface for your program, or you may want to use Java's useful JFreeChart to perform data visualization or just basic plotting. All Java concepts translate more or less directly to the Scala concepts. We will look into that in one of the chapters of this book. For now, let's consider a really simple Scala program just to see how easy it is to write user interfaces with Swing in Scala. You can type the following into a script and then run it on Unix-like systems. You may have to modify the shell name and parameters:

exec scala "$0" "$@"

import javax.swing.JFrame

object GUIHelloWorld extends App {
  val f = new JFrame
  f.setTitle("Hello, world!")
  f.setSize(300, 200)


We will discuss using other Java libraries in Chapter 8, Scientific Plotting with Scala.