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I agree with everyone else here, Ben is very mean, this took a long time to answer.

First I split intervals into three groups using this interval sign:

; Signs for Intervals: ; ; +1: Sits only in the positives ; 0: Contains 0, or includes 0 in it's bounds ; -1: Sits only in the negatives ; ; To see how this works draw a chart of the operator, along side a ; chart of s. (define (sign-interval iv) (let* ((l (lower-bound-interval iv)) (u (upper-bound-interval iv)) (s (sign (* u l)))) (if (= s -1) 0 (* (sign l) s))))

Then I went through every combination of sign of two intervals, discarding with respect commutating (when switching the signs around gives you the same result as something else you have worked out), on paper, working out the combinations of multiplications needed, I resulted with this:

(define (symbol->sign s) (cond ((eq? s 0) 0) ((eq? s '+) 1) ((eq? s '-) -1))) ; This took me a long time to do. ; I hope you appreciate this imagined reader of my code. (define (mul-interval a b) (let ((sa (sign-interval a)) (sb (sign-interval b))) ; Signs: Returns true if the signs given match the intervals (define (signs a b) (and (= sa (symbol->sign a)) (= sb (symbol->sign b)))) ; Pos: Retrieves the (p)osition of the (i)nterval (define (pos i p) (if (eq? p 'u) (upper-bound-interval i) (lower-bound-interval i))) ; Mult: Multiplies the value of the position of a (pa) by the value of the position of b (pb) (define (mult pa pb) ; (u)pper or (l)ower for pa and pb (* (pos a pa) (pos b pb))) ; This is the core of the function: (cond ((signs '+ '+) (make-interval (mult 'l 'l) (mult 'u 'u))) ((signs '- '+) (make-interval (mult 'l 'u) (mult 'u 'l))) ((signs 0 '+) (make-interval (mult 'l 'u) (mult 'u 'u))) ((signs '+ '-) (mul-interval b a)) ((signs '- '-) (make-interval (mult 'u 'u) (mult 'l 'l))) ((signs 0 '-) (make-interval (mult 'u 'l) (mult 'l 'l))) ((signs '+ 0) (mul-interval b a)) ((signs '- 0) (mul-interval b a)) ((signs 0 0) (make-interval (min (mult 'l 'u) (mult 'u 'l)) (max (mult 'l 'l) (mult 'u 'u)))) ) ) )

Then I built some code to test it:

(define (random-interval) (define width 5) (define granularity 0.25) (define (random-point) (let* ((num-granules (inexact->exact (/ width granularity))) (a-granule (random (+ num-granules 1))) (scaled-granule (* a-granule granularity)) (scaled-and-shifted-granule (- scaled-granule (/ width 2)))) scaled-and-shifted-granule)) (let ((p1 (random-point)) (p2 (random-point))) (make-interval (min p1 p2) (max p1 p2)))) (define (format-interval iv) (define $ number->string) (string-append "[" ($ (lower-bound-interval iv)) "," ($ (upper-bound-interval iv)) "]")) (define (repeat-call f n) (f) (if (= n 1) nil (repeat-call f (- n 1))) ) (define (equal?-interval a b) (and (= (upper-bound-interval a) (upper-bound-interval b)) (= (lower-bound-interval a) (lower-bound-interval b)))) (define (test-new-mul-interval) (define number-of-tests 1000) (define (error i1 i2) (newline) (display "Failed Match: ") (display (format-interval i1)) (display " , ") (display (format-interval i2)) (display " => ") (display (format-interval (old-mul-interval i1 i2))) (display " != ") (display (format-interval (mul-interval i1 i2))) (newline)) (define (test) (let ((i1 (random-interval)) (i2 (random-interval))) (if (equal?-interval (old-mul-interval i1 i2) (mul-interval i1 i2)) (display ".") (error i1 i2)) )) (repeat-call test number-of-tests) )

And everything seems to pass, so I think it is working :)

Contact me at (join-with-dots jared b ross) on gmail

Ben Bitdiddle should stick to diddling his own bits. His comment just obfuscates the code. But, if we know the signs of the endpoints, we have 3 possible cases for each interval: both ends positive, both negative, or an interval spanning zero; therefore, there are 3x3 = 9 possible cases to test for, which reduces the number of multiplications, except when both intervals span zero.

;; ex 2.7 (define (make-interval a b) (cons a b)) (define (upper-bound interval) (max (car interval) (cdr interval))) (define (lower-bound interval) (min (car interval) (cdr interval))) (define (print-interval name i) (newline) (display name) (display ": [") (display (lower-bound i)) (display ",") (display (upper-bound i)) (display "]")) ;; Old multiplication (given) (define (old-mul-interval x y) (let ((p1 (* (lower-bound x) (lower-bound y))) (p2 (* (lower-bound x) (upper-bound y))) (p3 (* (upper-bound x) (lower-bound y))) (p4 (* (upper-bound x) (upper-bound y)))) (make-interval (min p1 p2 p3 p4) (max p1 p2 p3 p4)))) ;; This looks a *lot* more complicated to me, and with the extra ;; function calls I'm not sure that the complexity is worth it. (define (mul-interval x y) ;; endpoint-sign returns: ;; +1 if both endpoints non-negative, ;; -1 if both negative, ;; 0 if opposite sign (define (endpoint-sign i) (cond ((and (>= (upper-bound i) 0) (>= (lower-bound i) 0)) 1) ((and (< (upper-bound i) 0) (< (lower-bound i) 0)) -1) (else 0))) (let ((es-x (endpoint-sign x)) (es-y (endpoint-sign y)) (x-up (upper-bound x)) (x-lo (lower-bound x)) (y-up (upper-bound y)) (y-lo (lower-bound y))) (cond ((> es-x 0) ;; both x endpoints are +ve or 0 (cond ((> es-y 0) (make-interval (* x-lo y-lo) (* x-up y-up))) ((< es-y 0) (make-interval (* x-up y-lo) (* x-lo y-up))) (else (make-interval (* x-up y-lo) (* x-up y-up))))) ((< es-x 0) ;; both x endpoints are -ve (cond ((> es-y 0) (make-interval (* x-lo y-up) (* x-up y-lo))) ((< es-y 0) (make-interval (* x-up y-up) (* x-lo y-lo))) (else (make-interval (* x-lo y-up) (* x-lo y-lo))))) (else ;; x spans 0 (cond ((> es-y 0) (make-interval (* x-lo y-up) (* x-up y-up))) ((< es-y 0) (make-interval (* x-up y-lo) (* x-lo y-lo))) (else ;; Both x and y span 0 ... need to check values (make-interval (min (* x-lo y-up) (* x-up y-lo)) (max (* x-lo y-lo) (* x-up y-up)))))))))

The above is so gross I tested it out. Yes, I'm a keener.

(define (eql-interval? a b) (and (= (upper-bound a) (upper-bound b)) (= (lower-bound a) (lower-bound b)))) ;; Fails if the new mult doesn't return the same answer as the old ;; naive mult. (define (ensure-mult-works aH aL bH bL) (let ((a (make-interval aL aH)) (b (make-interval bL bH))) (if (eql-interval? (old-mul-interval a b) (mul-interval a b)) true (error "new mult returns different value!" a b (old-mul-interval a b) (mul-interval a b))))) ;; The following is overkill, but it found some errors in my ;; work. The first two #s are the endpoints of one interval, the last ;; two are the other's. There are 3 possible layouts (both pos, both ;; neg, one pos one neg), with 0's added for edge cases (pos-0, 0-0, ;; 0-neg). (ensure-mult-works +10 +10 +10 +10) (ensure-mult-works +10 +10 +00 +10) (ensure-mult-works +10 +10 +00 +00) (ensure-mult-works +10 +10 +10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +10 +10 -10 +00) (ensure-mult-works +10 +10 -10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +10 +10 +10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +10 +00 +10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +10 +00 +00) (ensure-mult-works +00 +10 +10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +10 -10 +00) (ensure-mult-works +00 +10 -10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +00 +10 +10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +00 +00 +10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +00 +00 +00) (ensure-mult-works +00 +00 +10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +00 +00 -10 +00) (ensure-mult-works +00 +00 -10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +10 -10 +10 +10) (ensure-mult-works +10 -10 +00 +10) (ensure-mult-works +10 -10 +00 +00) (ensure-mult-works +10 -10 +10 -10) (ensure-mult-works +10 -10 -10 +00) (ensure-mult-works +10 -10 -10 -10) (ensure-mult-works -10 +00 +10 +10) (ensure-mult-works -10 +00 +00 +10) (ensure-mult-works -10 +00 +00 +00) (ensure-mult-works -10 +00 +10 -10) (ensure-mult-works -10 +00 -10 +00) (ensure-mult-works -10 +00 -10 -10) (ensure-mult-works -10 -10 +10 +10) (ensure-mult-works -10 -10 +00 +10) (ensure-mult-works -10 -10 +00 +00) (ensure-mult-works -10 -10 +10 -10) (ensure-mult-works -10 -10 -10 +00) (ensure-mult-works -10 -10 -10 -10) ;; All of these run without any errors now.

Yeah, Ben certainly has an evil streak.

I was able to reduce a bit of the clutter by reworking the way the conditional logic is framed. I observed that there were certain patterns in where values were getting passed to the call to make-interval. So rather than working through the conditions and calling make-interval accordingly, I set it up to select the appropriate value for each "slot".

For clarity everything else is the same as jz's solution above. The testing procedures he came up with were also invaluable in working out kinks. Ultimately I'm not sure my solution is any clearer or better -- it's quite possibly neither. It is a tiny bit more concise though:

```
(define (mul-interval x y)
(define (endpoint-sign i)
(cond ((and (>= (upper-bound i) 0)
(>= (lower-bound i) 0))
1)
((and (< (upper-bound i) 0)
(< (lower-bound i) 0))
-1)
(else 0)))
(let ((es-x (endpoint-sign x))
(es-y (endpoint-sign y))
(x-up (upper-bound x))
(x-lo (lower-bound x))
(y-up (upper-bound y))
(y-lo (lower-bound y)))
(if (and (= es-x 0) (= es-y 0))
; Take care of the exceptional condition where we have to test
(make-interval (min (* x-lo y-up) (* x-up y-lo))
(max (* x-lo y-lo) (* x-up y-up)))
; Otherwise, select which value goes in which "slot". I'm not sure
; whether there is an intuitive way to explain *why* these
; selections work.
(let ((a1 (if (and (<= es-y 0) (<= (- es-y es-x) 0)) x-up x-lo))
(a2 (if (and (<= es-x 0) (<= (- es-x es-y) 0)) y-up y-lo))
(b1 (if (and (<= es-y 0) (<= (+ es-y es-x) 0)) x-lo x-up))
(b2 (if (and (<= es-x 0) (<= (+ es-x es-y) 0)) y-lo y-up)))
(make-interval (* a1 a2) (* b1 b2))))))
```

This solutions has 9 cases, exactly as it is required by the problem statement, and all of them are clearly visible (although I wouldn't say readable). I had to redefine positive? predicate that is provided by my scheme interpreter. It also passes all of jz's test cases.

```
(define (mul-interval x y)
(define (positive? x) (>= x 0))
(define (negative? x) (< x 0))
(let ((xl (lower-bound x))
(xu (upper-bound x))
(yl (lower-bound y))
(yu (upper-bound y)))
(cond ((and (positive? xl) (positive? yl))
(make-interval (* xl yl) (* xu yu)))
((and (positive? xl) (negative? yl))
(make-interval (* xu yl) (* (if (negative? yu) xl xu) yu)))
((and (negative? xl) (positive? yl))
(make-interval (* xl yu) (* xu (if (negative? xu) yl yu))))
((and (positive? xu) (positive? yu))
(let ((l (min (* xl yu) (* xu yl)))
(u (max (* xl yl) (* xu yu))))
(make-interval l u)))
((and (positive? xu) (negative? yu))
(make-interval (* xu yl) (* xl yl)))
((and (negative? xu) (positive? yu))
(make-interval (* xl yu) (* xl yl)))
(else
(make-interval (* xu yu) (* xl yl))))))
```

I believe jz's tests go beyond the scope of this problem by allowing an interval's lower bound to be greater than its upper bound and can make this problem seem more difficult than it actually is.

The constructor for make-interval given in the book (2nd edition) does not swap the values if the first parameter is greater than the second parameter. Instead the onus is on the client to use the function properly. The client should assume that the lower bound has to be smaller than the upper bound. jz's tests while all encompassing will not pass vpraid's solution unless you alter the make-interval constructor to swap out of order values.

This was a mess, and I agree that Ben is extremely unhelpful. I worked out the nine combinations of legal interval signs (eg, an interval cannot be +- because any positive number is greater than any negative. Having worked out those combinations, I generated some test intervals to see what the max and min products for each possible combination were. (I actually did this in python, as im much more fluent in that, and wasn't really sure how to do it in scheme. atomik did it up top, but used for-each and map, but since I'm working through the book in order, i haven't got to those yet).

This got me which bounds to multiply for the min and max for each. I then realized I had the problem of zeros. So, I systematically tested effects of a zero as an endpoint for each type of interval (++, -+, --) and came to the conclusion that i could treat zeros as positive, as they would behave in that way, or push the multiplication into the trouble case of -+*-+.

What followed was the cond block to end all cond blocks. My next challenge would be to make a procedure that simplifies those ands at least, but I want to move on.

; patt | min | max ; ++++ | al bl | ah bh ; ++-+ | ah bl | ah bh ; ++-- | ah bl | al bh ; -+++ | al bh | ah bh ; -+-+ | trouble case ; -+-- | ah bl | al bl ; --++ | al bh | ah bl ; ---+ | al bh | al bl ; ---- | ah bh | al bl (define (pos? n) (>= 0)) (define (neg? n) (not (pos? n))) (define (mul-interval a b) (let ((al (lower-bound a)) (ah (upper-bound a)) (bl (lower-bound b)) (bh (upper-bound b))) (cond ((and (pos? al) (pos? ah) (pos? bl) (pos? bh)) (make-interval (* al bl) (* ah bh))) ((and (pos? al) (pos? ah) (neg? bl) (pos? bh)) (make-interval (* ah bl) (* ah bh))) ((and (pos? al) (pos? ah) (neg? bl) (neg? bh)) (make-interval (* ah bl) (* al bh))) ((and (neg? al) (pos? ah) (pos? bl) (pos? bh)) (make-interval (* al bh) (* ah bh))) ((and (neg? al) (pos? ah) (neg? bl) (neg? bh)) (make-interval (* ah bl) (* al bl))) ((and (neg? al) (neg? ah) (pos? bl) (pos? bh)) (make-interval (* al bh) (* ah bl))) ((and (neg? al) (neg? ah) (neg? bl) (pos? bh)) (make-interval (* al bh) (* al bl))) ((and (neg? al) (neg? ah) (neg? bl) (neg? bh)) (make-interval (* ah bh) (* al bl))) ((and (neg? al) (pos? ah) (neg? bl) (pos? bh)) ; our trouble case (let ((p1 (* al bl)) (p2 (* al bh)) (p3 (* ah bl)) (p4 (* ah bh))) (make-interval (min p1 p2 p3 p4) (max p1 p2 p3 p4)))))))

What a mess. It might save on multiplications but it certainly didn't on programmer work, headaches, or readability.

Here is my code. It is a little simpler. But I still agree that Ben's advice is awful...

```
(define (mul-interval x y)
(let ((x1 (lower x))
(x2 (upper x))
(y1 (lower y))
(y2 (upper y)))
(let ((x-neg (< x2 0))
(x-pos (> x1 0))
(y-neg (< y2 0))
(y-pos (> y1 0)))
(cond (x-neg (cond (y-neg (make-interval (* x2 y2) (* x1 y1)))
(y-pos (make-interval (* x1 y2) (* x2 y1)))
(else (make-interval (* x1 y2) (* x1 y1)))))
(x-pos (cond (y-neg (make-interval (* x2 y1) (* x1 y2)))
(y-pos (make-interval (* x1 y1) (* x2 y2)))
(else (make-interval (* x2 y1) (* x2 y2)))))
(else (cond (y-neg (make-interval (* x2 y1) (* x1 y1)))
(y-pos (make-interval (* x1 y2) (* x2 y2)))
(else (make-interval (min (* x1 y2) (* x2 y1))
(max (* x1 y1) (* x2 y2))))))))))
```

Here's a slightly cleaned up solution of what rjk had. You'll notice it has 7 cond statements because the solution for -x1, -x2, +y1, +y2, is equivalent to -x1, -x2, -y1, +y2.

(define (pos? x) (< 0 x)) (define (neg? x) (> 0 x)) (define (mul-interval x y) (let ((x1 (lower-bound x)) (x2 (upper-bound x)) (y1 (lower-bound y)) (y2 (upper-bound y))) (cond ((and (pos? x1) (pos? y1)) (make-interval (* x1 y1) (* x2 y2))) ((and (pos? x2) (pos? y1)) (make-interval (* x1 y2) (* x2 y2))) ((and (pos? x1) (pos? y2)) (make-interval (* x2 y1) (* x2 y2))) ((and (neg? x2) (pos? y2)) (make-interval (* x1 y2) (* x2 y1))) ((and (pos? x2) (neg? y2)) (make-interval (* x1 y2) (* x2 y1))) ((and (neg? x2) (neg? y2)) (make-interval (* x1 y1) (* x2 y2))) ((and (pos? x2) (pos? y2)) (let ((i1 (* x1 y1)) (i2 (* x1 y2)) (i3 (* x2 y1)) (i4 (* x2 y2))) (make-interval (min i1 i2 i3 i4) (max i1 i2 i3 i4)))))))

Here's an attempt of a more readable version by using an auxiliary procedure to test for the signs:

(define (mul-interval x y) (let ((+? positive?) (-? negative?) (lx (lower-bound x)) (ly (lower-bound y)) (ux (upper-bound x)) (uy (upper-bound y))) (cond ((test-signs +? +? +? +? x y) (make-interval (* lx ly) (* ux uy))) ((test-signs +? +? -? +? x y) (make-interval (* ux ly) (* ux uy) )) ((test-signs -? +? +? +? x y) (make-interval (* lx uy) (* ux uy) )) ((test-signs -? -? +? +? x y) (make-interval (* lx uy) (* ux ly) )) ((test-signs +? +? -? -? x y) (make-interval (* ux ly) (* lx uy) )) ((test-signs -? +? -? -? x y) (make-interval (* ux ly) (* lx ly) )) ((test-signs -? -? -? +? x y) (make-interval (* lx uy) (* lx ly) )) ((test-signs -? -? -? -? x y) (make-interval (* ux uy) (* lx ly) )) ((test-signs -? +? -? +? x y) (let ((p1 (* lx ly)) (p2 (* lx uy)) (p3 (* ux ly)) (p4 (* ux uy))) (make-interval (min p1 p2 p3 p4) (max p1 p2 p3 p4))))))) (define (test-signs lx-test ux-test ly-test uy-test x y) (and (lx-test (lower-bound x)) (ux-test (upper-bound x)) (ly-test (lower-bound y)) (uy-test (upper-bound y))))

First things first, let's pre-empt some headaches by redefining our `make-interval` constructor.

`(define (make-interval a b) (if (< a b) (cons a b) (cons b a)))`

Now we can be certain that the lower-bound of any interval will be ALWAYS be less than its upper-bound. You can also place this test inside of the `upper-bound` and `lower-bound` procedures but since we'll be calling those functions more often than our constructor, I figure we should just put it in the constructor.

The next thing we want to do is define some kind of test to ensure correctness of our new `mul-interval` operation. This part took me longer than the rest of the exercise, but once I had some good tests set up I was able to get through the problem very quickly.

The tricky part was generating test data. I abused the `for-each` `map` and `append` procedures to make a procedure which takes two lists and produces a list of all intervals which could be produced from elements of each list. e.g. If you gave it '(a b) '(c d) it would give back '(ac ad bc bd). Because our interval constructor automatically orders the upper and lower bounds, (make-interval a c) and (make-interval c a) are equivalent.

Now that nasty business is over we can write out our test.

We still need more tests, but nothing as awful as what we've already done. These next tests will be used in the body of our new mul-interval procedure. We want to define some procedures to tell us when a pair of numbers are both negative, both positive, or have opposite signs. I decided to start by testing for opposite-ness and then I defined the other two tests in terms of the opposite test.

NOW we can start writing our new interval multiplication procedure, with the help of our `test` procedure. We will keep the old `mul-interval` procedure in scope of our new one, so we can call it during the course of designing our case analysis. This ensures that we're never breaking any more than we need to at any given time.

Now we can design our cases one at a time. For instance:

The above code will only fail and print results for multiplications in which the first pair is negative. If we add a nested cond block we can narrow even further:

Now it will only fail and print results for multiplications in which the first pair is negative and the second pair is negative.

I'm gonna skip to the answer now. If you're reading this because you're stuck, I encourage you to take what I wrote, try to solve the rest of the problem and then come back.

The new mul-interval procedure is WAY longer than the old one. Maybe some day I'll come back to it and check to see if all this optimization was really worth it. Let me know if I made any mistakes. I know the testing procedures don't completely combine the sets (each set should be able to combine with itself). Plus I notice everyone else was fussing about intervals which span 0 or have 0 as one or both boundaries. I think those cases were automatically generated and thus covered in my tests but I could be wrong.