pchip
Piecewise Cubic Hermite Interpolating Polynomial (PCHIP)
Description
returns
a vector of interpolated values p
= pchip(x
,y
,xq
)p
corresponding
to the query points in xq
. The values of p
are
determined by shapepreserving piecewise cubic
interpolation of x
and y
.
Examples
Data Interpolation with spline
, pchip
, and makima
Compare the interpolation results produced by spline
, pchip
, and makima
for two different data sets. These functions all perform different forms of piecewise cubic Hermite interpolation. Each function differs in how it computes the slopes of the interpolant, leading to different behaviors when the underlying data has flat areas or undulations.
Compare the interpolation results on sample data that connects flat regions. Create vectors of x
values, function values at those points y
, and query points xq
. Compute interpolations at the query points using spline
, pchip
, and makima
. Plot the interpolated function values at the query points for comparison.
x = 3:3; y = [1 1 1 0 1 1 1]; xq1 = 3:.01:3; p = pchip(x,y,xq1); s = spline(x,y,xq1); m = makima(x,y,xq1); plot(x,y,'o',xq1,p,'',xq1,s,'.',xq1,m,'') legend('Sample Points','pchip','spline','makima','Location','SouthEast')
In this case, pchip
and makima
have similar behavior in that they avoid overshoots and can accurately connect the flat regions.
Perform a second comparison using an oscillatory sample function.
x = 0:15; y = besselj(1,x); xq2 = 0:0.01:15; p = pchip(x,y,xq2); s = spline(x,y,xq2); m = makima(x,y,xq2); plot(x,y,'o',xq2,p,'',xq2,s,'.',xq2,m,'') legend('Sample Points','pchip','spline','makima')
When the underlying function is oscillatory, spline
and makima
capture the movement between points better than pchip
, which is aggressively flattened near local extrema.
Interpolation with Piecewise Polynomial Structure
Create vectors for the x
values and function values y
, and then use pchip
to construct a piecewise polynomial structure.
x = 5:5; y = [1 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 2 2 2]; p = pchip(x,y);
Use the structure with ppval
to evaluate the interpolation at several query points. Plot the results.
xq = 5:0.2:5; pp = ppval(p,xq); plot(x,y,'o',xq,pp,'.') ylim([0.2 2.2])
Input Arguments
x
— Sample points
vector
Sample points, specified as a vector. The vector x
specifies
the points at which the data y
is given. The elements
of x
must be unique.
Data Types: single
 double
y
— Function values at sample points
vector  matrix  array
Function values at sample points, specified as a numeric vector,
matrix, or array. x
and y
must
have the same length.
If y
is a matrix or array, then the values
in the last dimension, y(:,...,:,j)
, are taken
as the values to match with x
. In that case, the
last dimension of y
must be the same length as x
.
Data Types: single
 double
xq
— Query points
scalar  vector  matrix  array
Query points, specified as a scalar, vector, matrix, or array. The points
specified in xq
are the xcoordinates
for the interpolated function values yq
computed by
pchip
.
Data Types: single
 double
Output Arguments
p
— Interpolated values at query points
scalar  vector  matrix  array
Interpolated values at query points, returned as a scalar, vector, matrix,
or array. The size of p
is related to the sizes of
y
and xq
:
If
y
is a vector, thenp
has the same size asxq
.If
y
is an array of sizeNy = size(y)
, then these conditions apply:If
xq
is a scalar or vector, thensize(p)
returns[Ny(1:end1) length(xq)]
.If
xq
is an array, thensize(p)
returns[Ny(1:end1) size(xq)
.
pp
— Piecewise polynomial
structure
Piecewise polynomial, returned as a structure. Use this structure
with the ppval
function to
evaluate the interpolating polynomials at one or more query points.
The structure has these fields.
Field  Description 

form 

breaks  Vector of length 
coefs 

pieces  Number of pieces, 
order  Order of the polynomials 
dim  Dimensionality of target 
Since the polynomial coefficients in coefs
are
local coefficients for each interval, you must subtract the lower
endpoint of the corresponding knot interval to use the coefficients
in a conventional polynomial equation. In other words, for the coefficients [a,b,c,d]
on
the interval [x1,x2]
, the corresponding polynomial
is
$$f\left(x\right)=a{\left(x{x}_{1}\right)}^{3}+b{\left(x{x}_{1}\right)}^{2}+c\left(x{x}_{1}\right)+d\text{\hspace{0.17em}}.$$
More About
ShapePreserving Piecewise Cubic Interpolation
pchip
interpolates using
a piecewise cubic polynomial $$P(x)$$ with
these properties:
On each subinterval $${x}_{k}\le x\le {x}_{k+1}$$, the polynomial $$P(x)$$ is a cubic Hermite interpolating polynomial for the given data points with specified derivatives (slopes) at the interpolation points.
$$P(x)$$ interpolates y, that is, $$P({x}_{j})={y}_{j}$$, and the first derivative $$\frac{dP}{dx}$$ is continuous. The second derivative $$\frac{{d}^{2}P}{d{x}^{2}}$$ is probably not continuous so jumps at the $${x}_{j}$$ are possible.
The cubic interpolant $$P(x)$$ is shape preserving. The slopes at the $${x}_{j}$$ are chosen in such a way that $$P(x)$$ preserves the shape of the data and respects monotonicity. Therefore, on intervals where the data is monotonic, so is $$P(x)$$, and at points where the data has a local extremum, so does $$P(x)$$.
Note
If y is a matrix, $$P(x)$$ satisfies these properties for each row of y.
Tips
spline
constructs $$S(x)$$ in almost the same waypchip
constructs $$P(x)$$. However,spline
chooses the slopes at the $${x}_{j}$$ differently, namely to make even $${S}^{\u2033}(x)$$ continuous. This difference has several effects:spline
produces a smoother result, such that $${S}^{\u2033}(x)$$ is continuous.spline
produces a more accurate result if the data consists of values of a smooth function.pchip
has no overshoots and less oscillation if the data is not smooth.pchip
is less expensive to set up.The two are equally expensive to evaluate.
References
[1] Fritsch, F. N. and R. E. Carlson. "Monotone Piecewise Cubic Interpolation." SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis. Vol. 17, 1980, pp.238–246.
[2] Kahaner, David, Cleve Moler, Stephen Nash. Numerical Methods and Software. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988.
Extended Capabilities
C/C++ Code Generation
Generate C and C++ code using MATLAB® Coder™.
Usage notes and limitations:
Input
x
must be strictly increasing.Code generation does not remove
y
entries withNaN
values.If you generate code for the
pp = pchip(x,y)
syntax, then you cannot inputpp
to theppval
function in MATLAB^{®}. To create a MATLABpp
structure from app
structure created by the code generator:In code generation, use
unmkpp
to return the piecewise polynomial details to MATLAB.In MATLAB, use
mkpp
to create thepp
structure.
ThreadBased Environment
Run code in the background using MATLAB® backgroundPool
or accelerate code with Parallel Computing Toolbox™ ThreadPool
.
This function fully supports threadbased environments. For more information, see Run MATLAB Functions in ThreadBased Environment.
GPU Arrays
Accelerate code by running on a graphics processing unit (GPU) using Parallel Computing Toolbox™.
The pchip
function
fully supports GPU arrays. To run the function on a GPU, specify the input data as a gpuArray
(Parallel Computing Toolbox). For more information, see Run MATLAB Functions on a GPU (Parallel Computing Toolbox).
Distributed Arrays
Partition large arrays across the combined memory of your cluster using Parallel Computing Toolbox™.
Usage notes and limitations:
The
pchip(
syntax is not supported for distributed arrays.x
,y
)
For more information, see Run MATLAB Functions with Distributed Arrays (Parallel Computing Toolbox).
Version History
Introduced before R2006a
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