Modifying select off-diagonal items in a matrix

September 25, 2012

(This article was first published on is.R(), and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

This is something I have had the occasion to do, and never remember how, so this is legitimately a reminder to my future self of how to do things with off-diagonal elements of a matrix.

Select rows and columns are easy: mat[1:10, ] or mat[, -c(5)], for example, as is the diagonal: diag(mat) <- 0.

However, access to select off-diagonal slices is not obvious, without a loop. Fortunately, some friendly experts at Stack Overflow provide an excellent solution, which I include below with an invented application.

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