Symmetrising etc

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It is possible to do combinational operations on sqw objects, e.g. to combine specified symmetrically equivalent wavevectors such as (-1,0,0) and (1,0,0), for example. The advantage of doing this is that for a given cut or slice you are able to include data from many more detector pixels, thus improving the statistical quality of your data.

Commands for cuts and slices


Symmetrising data in memory

v1=[0,1,0]; v2=[0,0,1]; v3=[0,0,0];

The object wout is reflected in the plane specified by the vectors v1, v2, and v3. v1 and v2 are vectors which lie parallel to the plane but are not parallel to one another. v3 specifies the offset from Q=(0,0,0) of the reflection plane. In the above example the plane reflects (-1,0,0) to (1,0,0).

As you can notice, symmetrise_sqw works on sqw objects, stored in memory (the Matlab workspace). Therefore the size in memory of a given object can often act as a limitation on what data can be symmetrised. e.g. a large 3d volume may contain information from so many detector pixels that symmetrising it requires more memory than is available on your computer.

Symmetrising whole data files

If you need to symmetrise a large sqw object, it can be done during sqw object generation, i.e. during generation of the sqw file. gen_sqw function has a special option transform_sqw which can be used with any method, transforming an existing sqw object into another sqw object in memory.

For example:

gen_sqw (spefile, par_file, sym_sqw_file, efix, emode, alatt, angdeg,...
    u, v, psi, omega, dpsi, gl, gs,'transform_sqw',@(x)(symmetrise_sqw(x,v1,v2,v3)))

or, more generally:

gen_sqw (spefile, par_file, sym_sqw_file, efix, emode, alatt, angdeg,...
    u, v, psi, omega, dpsi, gl, gs,'transform_sqw',@(x)(user_symmetrisation_routine(x))

where spefile, par_file, etc... are the options used during initial sqw file generation (see Generating SQW files). The first gen_sqw would build a sqw file reflected as in the example for the reflection in memory, but with the transformation applied to the entire dataset. In the second, more general, case the user defined function (in a m-file on the Matlab path) can define multiple symmetrisation operations that are applied sequentially to the entire data. An example is as follows, which folds a cubic system so that all eight of the symmetrically equivalent (1,0,0) type positions are folded on to each other:

function wout = user_symmetrisation_routine(win)

wout=symmetrise_sqw(win,[1,1,0],[0,0,1],[0,0,0]);%fold about line (1,1,0) in HK plane
wout=symmetrise_sqw(wout,[-1,1,0],[0,0,1],[0,0,0]);%fold about line (-1,1,0) in HK plane
wout=symmetrise_sqw(wout,[1,0,1],[0,1,0],[0,0,0]);%fold about line (1,0,1) in HL plane
wout=symmetrise_sqw(wout,[1,0,-1],[0,1,0],[0,0,0]);%fold about line (1,0,-1) in HL plane

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE 1: When defining the function to apply the symmetrisation (as above) one can ONLY use symmetrisation operations, given by symmetrise_sqw. Any other transformations may modify the data ranges in unexpected ways, making the resulting transformed sqw file into complete nonsense!

Note 2: when a complex transformation is run on the isiscompute cluster in parallel mode, one may want to increase number of MPI workers to increase gen_sqw speed during symmetrisation (if the cluster load permits that). The current default number of workers is optimal for using the maximal bandwidth of parallel file system. If bigger computations are performed in memory, it could be beneficial to increase number of workers to use more CPU power. This can be done by issuing the following commands:

hc = hor_config
hc.accumulating_process_num = 16

This instructs Horace to use 16 MPI workers instead of the default of 8.

Note 3: MPI workers are normal Matlab sessions which inherit user's Matlab path and initiate Horace themselves, if Horace path is not stored by user (not usually recommended). The user's symmetrisation routine has to be available on worker's Matlab path, so the best way to achieve this is to put the routine into current Matlab working folder -- the folder where you run the symmetrisation script itself.



Combine two sqw objects (w1 and w2) of the SAME dimensionality into a single sqw object in order to improve statistics. The output object will have a combined value for the integration range e.g. combining two 2d slices taken at L=1 and L=2 will result in an output for which the stated value of L is L=1.5. Two objects which use different projection axes can be combined. The output object will have the projection axes of w1.


Resize the bin boundaries along one or more axes, and rebin the data accordingly. There are several possibilities for the input format:

wout = rebin_sqw(win,step1,step2,...)

Rebin the sqw object win with bins along the first axis that have width step1, bins along the second axis (if there is one) with width step2, and so on. The original limits of the axes will be retained. To leave an axis unaltered, the corresponding step argument can be set to 0.

wout = rebin_sqw(win,[lo1,step1,hi1],[lo2,step2,hi2],...)

As above, but specifying new upper and lower limits along each of the axes to be rebinned.

wout = rebin_sqw(win,w2)

Rebin the sqw object win with the boundaries (and projection axes) of the template object w2.

Symmetrise data, then unfold back to original range

N.B. For producing plots only, any analysis on these results will be invalid due to double / treble / etc. counting of data.

Below we show a script that uses the symmetrise_sqw and combine_sqw commands to fold a dataset and then unfold. In the example we have a constant energy slice in the (h,k)-plane which we fold twice to obtain the positive quadrant. We then unfold the result in the opposite direction and combine with the positive quadrant, then unfold this and combine. This produces an image which covers all four quadrants with suitably folded versions of just one of the quadrants.

%The original data
proj2.u=[1,0,0]; proj2.v=[0,1,0]; proj2.type='rrr'; proj2.uoffset=[0,0,0,0];

%Fold twice to get into a quadrant. Note order of vectors

%Check the result

%Fold this back again (reverse order of vectors in first fold)

%Combine with what you started with

%Fold back again (reverse order of vectors in second fold)

%Combine and plot

Correcting for magnetic form factor

Horace allows basic correction of scattering intensity from simple ions by adjusting it by the magnetic form factor according to formulas provided in International Tables of Crystallography, Vol C. (see, for example here) The class MagneticIons contains the tables of fitting parameters, used to calculate changes in scattering intensity due to changes in magnetic form factor and defines the method correct_mag_ff, which takes a memory based sqw object as input and returns a similar object, with intensities adjusted by the magnetic form factor:

mff = MagneticIons('Fe0');
w2_fixed = mff.correct_mag_ff(w2);

Where 'Fe0' is the name of the ion for which the magnetic form factor is calculated. This method should be applied only once.

The auxiliary MagneticIons's method IonNames returns the cell array of ion names, which are currently tabulated in Horace and for which scattering can be corrected using the expression above. Additional MagneticIons methods calc_mag_ff and apply_mag_ff allow one to calculate magnetic form factor on or apply magnetic form factor to the dataset provided.

Commands for entire datasets

For application of symmetry operations to the entire sqw file when it is being generated, see above

It is possible to make a new .sqw data file that has had a specified symmetrisation performed on it for a certain data range. You specify which Brillouin zone you are interested in, and then tell Horace which Brillouin zones are symmetrically equivalent to this one. Data are then cut from all of these zones and combined with the data from your original choice. The result is output to a new file. For example:


where data_source is the master .sqw file, proj is the projection structure array (the same format as that used for cut_sqw), pos is a 3-element vector [h,k,l] specifying the Brillouin zone of interest. qstep is a single number specifying the desired step size along h, k, and l of the 4-dimensional output object wout. erange is a 3-element vector specifying [lo,step,hi] for the energy range to be cut. Finally, outfile is the .sqw filename (including path and .sqw extension) where the symmetrised data will be saved. transf_list is the cell array of cut_transf classes where each element describes a transformation, applied to particular zone. Note that the output argument transf_list is optional.

For the basic case detailed above, data from all permutations of pos=[h,k,l] will be included in the output file. The cut_transf objects in the transf_list array by default are reflections described by the transformation matrix, specified by cut_transf.transf_matrix property.

If you wish to be more restrictive then you can either use:




The keywords that can be used are as follows:

  • -ab
  • -ac
  • -bc
  • -cyclic
  • -cycwithneg

-ab combines all equivalent zones with the same value of L (i.e. (H,K,L), (-H,K,L), (H,-K,L), (-H,-K,L), (K,H,L), (-K,H,L), (K,-H,L), and (-K,-H,L)). -ac combines all equivalent zones with the same K, and -bc combines equivalent zones with the same H.

-cyclic combines all equivalent zones that are cyclic permutations of (H,K,L) with no sign changes, whereas -cycwithneg does include sign changes.

If you wish to specify which zones to combine manually, this can be done by specifying the argument zonelist. This is a cell array, with each element a 3-element vector. For example you might have pos=[1,2,3], and zonelist={[1,2,3],[3,2,1],[2,3,1],[2,1,3],[3,1,2]}.

Advanced usage

By default combine_equivalent_zones generates a set of reflections, transforming equivalent zones into the target one. For specified Brillouin zones the user can modify transformations to use symmetry, specific to his or her problem. E.g, one can specify shifts, which use the symmetry of the reciprocal lattice to unite various zones together. To combine zones, located at inequivalent hkl positions one may need to apply a correction function. The script below gives the example of combining all equivalent zones and correcting for the magnetic form factor. The shift transformation is defined by the symmetry_type keyword, and the function to apply to each zone before combining is specified by the keyword correct_fun.

data_source= fullfile(pwd,'Data','Fe_ei200.sqw');
proj.u = [1,0,0];
proj.v = [0,1,0];

% move all zones into the centre.
pos = [0,0,0];

% define function to fix magnetic form-factor different for <1,1,0> and <2,0,0> zones.
mff = MagneticIons('Fe0');
fixer = @(ws)(mff.fix_magnetic_ff(ws));

erange = [0,2,200];
outfile = fullfile(pwd,'Data','Fe_ei200shift110allSymmetries.sqw');

% all zones to combine
zonelist = {[1,1,0],[1,-1,0],[-1,1,0],[0,1,1],[0,1,-1],[0,-1,1],...
tansf_list = combine_equivalent_zones(data_source,proj,pos,...

symmetry_type currently can be sigma (for reflections) or shift (for moving different zones).

The sample script above also generates duplicated pixels, as the [2,0,0] zones are moved into [0,0,0] positions and the same zones at the edges of the cuts (e.g [1,1,0]+-1) will be accounted for twice. The direction of the projection should be changed to avoid this.


  • At present symmetrise_sqw, combine_sqw, and rebin_sqw work ONLY for sqw objects, since they require access to individual detector pixel information. The functions will work for any dimensionality of object, however.
  • combine_equivalent_zones has to perform some memory and hdd-access intensive calculations, which should ideally be performed on high performance computing cluster. The amount of memory used by the code is controlled by hor_config parameter mem_chunk_size and is approximately 10 times larger then the amount, specified by this parameter.