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Scilab is an open source, cross-platform numerical computational package and a high-level, numerically oriented programming language. It can be used for signal processing, statistical analysis, image enhancement, fluid dynamics simulations, numerical optimization, and modeling and simulation of explicit and implicit dynamical systems. MATLAB code, which is similar in syntax, can be converted to Scilab. Scilab is one of several open source alternatives to MATLAB.


Scilab is a high-level, numerically oriented programming language. The language provides an interpreted programming environment, with matrices as the main data type. By utilizing matrix-based computation, dynamic typing, and automatic memory management, many numerical problems may be expressed in a reduced number of code lines, as compared to similar solutions using traditional languages, such as Fortran, C, or C++. This allows users to rapidly construct models for a range of mathematical problems. While the language provides simple matrix operations such as multiplication, the Scilab package also provides a library of high-level operations such as correlation and complex multidimensional arithmetic. The software can be used for signal processing, statistical analysis, image enhancement, fluid dynamics simulations, and numerical optimization.[1][2] Scilab also includes a package called Xcos (based on Scicos) for modeling and simulation of explicit and implicit dynamical systems, including both continuous and discrete sub-systems.

As the syntax of Scilab is similar to MATLAB, Scilab includes a source code translator for assisting the conversion of code from MATLAB to Scilab. Scilab is available free of cost under an open source license. Due to the open source nature of the software, some user contributions have been integrated into the main program.


Scilab family 5 is distributed under the GPL-compatible CeCILL license.

Prior to version 5, Scilab was semi-free software according to the nomenclature of the Free Software Foundation. The reason for this is that earlier versions' licenses prohibited commercial distribution of modified versions of Scilab.


Scilab syntax is largely based on the MATLAB language. The simplest way to execute Scilab code is to type it in at the prompt, --> , in the graphical command window. In this way, Scilab can be used as an interactive mathematical shell.

LaTeX engine

Scilab can render formulas in mathematical notation using its own java-based [3] rendering engine. This engine is also used in some other projects, including server usage [4]. It is a fork of the JMathTeX project [5].


Scilab has many contributed toolboxes for different tasks:

* Scilab Image Processing Toolbox (SIP) and its variants (such as SIVP)
* Scilab Wavelet Toolbox

Many more toolboxes are available on ATOMS Portal.


Scilab was created in 1990 by researchers from INRIA and École nationale des ponts et chaussées (ENPC). The Scilab Consortium was formed in May 2003 to broaden contributions and promote Scilab as worldwide reference software in academia and industry [6]. In July 2008, the Scilab Consortium joined the Digiteo Foundation.


1. ^ Holopainen, Timo (2000). "Modelling and simulation of multitechnological machine systems". http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/symposiums/2001/S209.pdf.
2. ^ Guenther, Raidl (May 1998). "An improved genetic algorithm for the multiconstrained 0-1 knapsackproblem". Evolutionary Computation Proceedings: 207. doi:10.1109/ICEC.1998.699502. ISBN 0780348699.
3. ^ JLaTeXMath project
4. ^ JLaTeXMath reference on Ultrastudio.org
5. ^ JMathTex SourceForge page
6. ^ "SCILAB Consortium launched". 2003. http://www.ercim.org/publication/Ercim_News/enw54/gomez.html.

See also

* Scicos
* List of numerical analysis software
* Comparison of numerical analysis software

Further reading

* Campbell, S.; Chancelier J.-P., Nikoukhah R. (2006). Modeling and Simulation in Scilab/Scicos. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-27802-5.

External links

* Scilab site
* Scilab online help index (English)
* Introduction to Scilab
* Video tutorials on Scilab from IIT Bombay, Creative Commons share-alike license
* Image processing toolkit for Scilab

Mathematics Software

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