This topic explains how MATLAB® determines which function to call when multiple functions in the current scope have the same name. The current scope includes the current file, an optional private subfolder relative to the currently running function, the current folder, and the MATLAB path.
MATLAB uses this precedence order:
Before assuming that a name matches a function, MATLAB checks for a variable with that name in the current workspace.
Imported package functions
A package function is associated with a particular folder. When you import a package function using the import function, it has precedence over all other functions with the same name.
Nested functions within the current function
Local functions within the current file
Private functions are functions in a subfolder named private that is immediately below the folder of the currently running file.
An object function accepts a particular class of object in its input argument list. When there are multiple object functions with the same name, MATLAB checks the classes of the input arguments to determine which function to use.
Class constructors in @ folders
MATLAB uses class constructors to create a variety of objects (such as timeseries or audioplayer), and you can define your own classes using object-oriented programming. For example, if you create a class folder @polynom and a constructor function @polynom/polynom.m, the constructor takes precedence over other functions named polynom.m anywhere on the path.
When determining the precedence of functions within the same folder, MATLAB considers the file type, in this order:
For example, if MATLAB finds a .m file and a P-file with the same name in the same folder, it uses the P-file. Because P-files are not automatically regenerated, make sure that you regenerate the P-file whenever you edit the program file.
To determine the function MATLAB calls for a particular input, include the function name and the input in a call to the which function. For example, determine the location of the max function that MATLAB calls for double and int8 values:
testval = 10; which max(testval)
% double method built-in (matlabroot\toolbox\matlab\datafun\@double\max)
testval = int8(10); which max(testval)
% int8 method built-in (matlabroot\toolbox\matlab\datafun\@int8\max)
For more information, see: