Max February 2016

How to Assign values to Expression tree parameters and evaluate

I'm hoping some kind soul here might be able to help me with this. Essentially, I've got a random function represented as an expression tree in C#. I would like for it to consist of variables, and for me to be able to evaluate it based on the values I assign the variables. So, in its simplest form, the tree might look like:

ParameterExpression a = Expression.Variable(typeof(double), "a");
ParameterExpression b = Expression.Variable(typeof(double), "b");
Expression function = Expression.MakeBinary(ExpressionType.Subtract, a, b);

so that the function looks like (a - b). I then wish to evaluate this, which I can do as:

Expression.Lambda<Func<double, double, double>>(function, a, b).Compile()(5.0, 3.0);

The problems I have are:

  1. The function is randomly generated, so I do not know how many variables it has. I only have a list of possible variables
  2. I do not know in what order the variables are used

So is there a way I can declare, much like normal code, a = 4 and b = 2 and then compile the function based on those declarations?

If not, then what other alternatives are there? So far I have:

  • Loop through the tree (using ExpressionVisitor) and replace, say a with just Expression.Constant(4.0)
  • Go down the route of:

    ParameterExpression variableExpr = Expression.Variable(typeof(double), "a");
    Expression assignExpr = Expression.Assign(variableExpr,Expression.Constant(4.0));
    Expression a = Expression.Block(new ParameterExpression[] { variableExpr }, assignExpr);

    but I would like to try and avoid adding block segments to the function if possible.

Any help and pointers would be greatly appreciated



svick February 2016

I do not know how many variables it has.

You have the list of all possible variables. Because of that, I think the simplest solution would be to always assume all variables are used. So, you generate a lambda that has all the variables as parameters and then call it while passing values to all parameters.

I do not know in what order the variables are used

I don't see how does that matter. The order of parameters when declaring the function and when calling the function have to match, but you control both, so that shouldn't be a problem.

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Asked in February 2016
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