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Session 0: Scilab - History, Features and Applications


  • Understand the history of Scilab
  • Learn about key features of Scilab
  • List the fields where Scilab can be applied

History of Scilab

  • Scilab was created in 1990 by researchers from INRIA and ENPC.
  • Scilab Consortium was formed in 2003, to broaden contributions and promote its use in academia and industry worldwide.
  • Scilab adopted the CeCILL license in July 2004, which is compatible with the GNU GPL.
  • In July 2008, Scilab Consortium joined Digiteo, a research cluster in Information Science & Technology.
  • In June 2010, Scilab Consortium announced the formation of Scilab Enterprises to broaden contributions to Scilab and promote its use in academis and industry worldwide.
  • The lastes version of Scilab is 5.3.2 released on May 12, 2011

Key Features of Scilab

  • Maths and Simulation: Elementary mathematics, Liner Algebra, Sparse matrices, Polynomials, Ordinary differential equation solvers
  • 2D and 3D visualization: Graphs of 2D and 3D functions and data, Contour plots, LaTeX and MathML annotations, export to various graphic formats
  • Built-in interpreted programming language with access to all Scilab functions
  • Optimization: Nonlinear optimization, Quadratic optimization, Semi-definite programming, Genetic algorithms, Simulated annealing
  • Control Systems Analysis and Design: Transfer function, Classic and robust control, State-space control system design
  • Signal processing
  • Application design: Advanced data structures, User defined GUI, Interface with Fortran, C/C++, Java, Embedding Scilab in C/C++, Java, .NET, Dynamic build, link and testing framework
  • Export and Import: Matlab to Scilab code translator, Read and write MS Excel files

Applications of Scilab

This list would have to be based on my limited experience and knowledge and hence would necessarily be incomplete. In fact, it is is a futile exercise attempting to prepare such a list. Rather, it would be better to say that Scilab can be used wherever one needs a matrix numerical computation tool with an ability to visuaize data. So I will not attempt to prepare such a list.

Useful Links

Task Discussion