Hi all,

I'm mostly into my Java so I'm not even sure if I gave the post a proper heading. Basically I'm trying to read two matrices from the command line and print them out. Reading works as far as I can tell but when my program tries to call the printArr functions I get a segmentation fault. I think this is being caused because my pointers A and B are no longer pointing to the dynamic arrays once my function exits but the whole pointers thing is very new to me. Can anybody spot what the problem is?

#include <fstream>
#include <iostream>

using std::cout;
using std::endl;
using std::ofstream;

#include <math.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

typedef float** fArray;// in C++ multidimensional arrays are arrays of array pointers

void readArr(int, int, fArray);
void printArr(int, int, fArray);

int rows1;
int rows2;
int cols1;
int cols2;
int rowsum;
int colsum;
fArray A;
fArray B;
fArray Sum;

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
  if(argc != 5)// incorrect number of parameters
	cout<< "Usage : [" << argv[0]<<" rows1 cols1 rows2 cols2] where rows and cols are the number of columns and rows in a given matrix."<<endl;

	  //atoi converts a string to an integer
	   rows1 = atoi(argv[1]);//number of rows matrix 1
	   cols1 = atoi(argv[2]);//number of cols matrix 1
	   rows2 = atoi(argv[3]);//number of rows matrix 2
	   cols2 = atoi(argv[4]);//number of cols matrix 2
	  if(cols1 == rows2)//we can multiply these matrices
		//matrixMult(rows1, cols1, rows2, cols2);//call multiplication function with command line arguments
		readArr(rows1, cols1, A);
		readArr(rows2, cols2, B);
		printArr(rows1, cols1, A);
		printArr(rows2, cols2, B);

		  else //must be unable to multiply matrices
		cout<< "Unable to multiply matrices. The number of columns in matrix 1 must equal the number of rows in matrix 2. You supplied a value of" 			<<cols1<<" for the number of columns in matrix 1 and " <<rows2<<" for the number of rows in matrix 2."<<endl; 

void readArr(int rows, int cols, fArray array)
	array = new float*[rows];  //as noted above multidimensional arrays are arrays of arrays, new array[][] does not work so we need to create a 1d 
	for(int k = 0; k < rows; k++) // array and then iterate through the array with a for loop assigning each array as a further pointer which then 
	{                             //completes the "2d" array.
		array[k] = new float[cols];
	for(int i = 0; i < rows; i++)
		for (int j = 0; j < cols; j++)
			std::cin >> array[i][j];

void printArr(int rows, int cols, fArray array)
	for(int i = 0; i < rows; i++)
		for(int j = 0; j < cols; j++)
			cout<< array[i][j] <<" ";

Just to mention the end goal of the program is to multiply 2 matrices, hence the currently unused ints and extra double ** declaration

You're correct, your array is going out of scope. You need to either pass your array by reference or by pointer. I suggest reference unless you explicitly need pointers.

void readArr(int rows, int cols, fArray& array)

And that should do it. You need to add the reference to both the declaration and the prototype.

Clear, concise, excellent advice

Thanks for the reply, what do you mean by prototype? I assume declaration is the fArray A; etc.?

Ok I figured out that the prototype is the initial empty declaration of the function. Sorry about the lack of terminology knowledge but I'm coming from Java.

Everything works brilliantly now I just have a question or two about the mechanics.

& declares that I'm passing the address in memory, not the actual data from what I understand. Therefore using the & with the pointer is the equivalent of passing a java reference variable.

printArr still works without passing the reference but I'm wondering is this less efficient than passing in by reference? Does printArr(int rows, int cols, fArray array) create a local copy of the array to be manipulated, using more memory, and if so would adding the & operator to the prototype and function declaration for the printArr function result in less duplication and a more efficient program?

You're correct, print Arr is creating it's own copy. This obviously doesn't mean much with a small program, but passing by reference is good practice (unless you want the variable to fall out of scope at the end of the function). Adding the & to printArr is not necessary but is good practice.

That's excellent, thank you so much for the help. I was pulling my hair out trying to make sense of pointers, dereferencing and references but I think you've clarified nearly everything in 2 posts.

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