GNU Octave Manual Version 3by John W. Eaton, David Bateman, Søren Hauberg Paperback (6"x9"), 568 pages ISBN 095461206X RRP £24.95 ($39.95) |

### 8.5.1 Element-by-element Boolean Operators

An *element-by-element boolean expression* is a combination of
comparison expressions using the boolean
operators “or” (`‘|’`), “and” (`‘&’`), and “not” (`‘!’`),
along with parentheses to control nesting. The truth of the boolean
expression is computed by combining the truth values of the
corresponding elements of the component expressions. A value is
considered to be false if it is zero, and true otherwise.

Element-by-element boolean expressions can be used wherever comparison
expressions can be used. They can be used in `if`

and `while`

statements. However, a matrix value used as the condition in an
`if`

or `while`

statement is only true if *all* of its
elements are nonzero.

Like comparison operations, each element of an element-by-element boolean expression also has a numeric value (1 if true, 0 if false) that comes into play if the result of the boolean expression is stored in a variable, or used in arithmetic.

Here are descriptions of the three element-by-element boolean operators.

`boolean1`&`boolean2`-
Elements of the result are true if both corresponding elements of
`boolean1`and`boolean2`are true. `boolean1`|`boolean2`-
Elements of the result are true if either of the corresponding elements
of
`boolean1`or`boolean2`is true. `!`

`boolean``~`

`boolean`-
Each element of the result is true if the corresponding element of
`boolean`is false.

For matrix operands, these operators work on an element-by-element basis. For example, the expression

[1, 0; 0, 1] & [1, 0; 2, 3]

returns a two by two identity matrix.

For the binary operators, the dimensions of the operands must conform if both are matrices. If one of the operands is a scalar and the other a matrix, the operator is applied to the scalar and each element of the matrix.

For the binary element-by-element boolean operators, both subexpressions
`boolean1` and `boolean2` are evaluated before computing the
result. This can make a difference when the expressions have side
effects. For example, in the expression

a & b++

the value of the variable `b` is incremented even if the variable
`a` is zero.

This behavior is necessary for the boolean operators to work as described for matrix-valued operands.

ISBN 095461206X | GNU Octave Manual Version 3 | See the print edition |