Charles Greathouse on Fri, 10 Dec 2010 22:50:59 +0100

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Pari has many types of collections: vectors, column vectors, matrices,
sets, lists, small vectors, etc.  I understand the difference between
matrices and the others (two-dimensional vs. one-) and between small
vectors and the others (word-sized integers vs. Pari GENs).  Even sets
I have a reasonable understanding of, even if I'm not too sure of
their efficiency (what operations are fast and which slow?).  I can
see that column vectors are useful if you're going to do matrix
operations, but they are otherwise the same as vectors.

But what are lists?  When should they be used, why are they distinct
from vectors, what's their underlying mathematical structure (if any)?
 Can someone give an example of when it's 'right' to use a List but
not a vector, or when a List is fast but a vector slow?

The Pari User's Manual doesn't seem to address this.

Charles Greathouse
Case Western Reserve University