Computing Integral of a Set of (x,y) Data Points in Excel


=QUADXY(x, y, [options])

QUADXY is a powerful function which employs splines to compute the integral of a function defined by a set of (x,y) data points.

With options, you can elect to weigh the data points, use exact or smooth least square fit, as well as specify end points slopes if known.

QUADXY automatically sorts your data points and averages the y values if your data set contains duplicate x points.

Required Inputs

x a vector of the points x-coordinates.

y corresponding vector of the points y-values.

Optional Inputs

ctrl a set of key/value pairs for algorithmic control as detailed below.

Description of key/value pairs for algorithmic control

Admissible Values (Integer) 1 or 3 (linear or cubic)
Default Value 3
Admissible Values real number
Default Value Unconstrained
  • If defined, the spline curve first derivative will match the supplied value.
  • Cannot be imposed with a linear spline or with PERIOIDC option enabled.
Admissible Values (Boolean) True or False
Default Value False
  • The y-values at the end points must be equal if PERIOIDC is set to True.
  • ISLOPE, ESLOPE constraints are ignored
Admissible Values (real) ≥ 0
Default Value 0
  • A zero value will compute an exact interpolating spline passing through the data points. A large value will compute a least-squares smooth fitting curve.
  • The smoothing factor has a significant effect on the computed integral value.

limits integration lower and upper limits if different from the data set end points. Must be within data set. Passing a single value defines the lower limit only. passing a vector of 2 values defines both limits.

w strictly-positive corresponding set of weights for the (x,y) data points. Default value is unity.

In this example we sample the function fx= 2x5-x+3x2, then integrate the sampled data using QUADXY and compare the result to the exact value: 12f(x)dx =9-ln2


Define a vector for the x values in range A1:A21 from 1 to 2 in increments of 0.05. Using AutoFill, generate the corresponding y values as shown in Table 1 from the formula =(2*A1^5 -A1+3)/A1^2 in B1.

Table 1
1 1 4
2 1.05 4.083957
3 1.1 4.232248
4 1.15 4.440616
5 1.2 4.706
6 1.25 5.02625
7 1.3 5.399917
8 1.35 5.8261
9 1.4 6.304327
10 1.45 6.834468
11 1.5 7.416667
12 1.55 8.051288
13 1.6 8.738875
14 1.65 9.480118
15 1.7 10.27583
16 1.75 11.12691
17 1.8 12.03437
18 1.85 12.99926
19 1.9 14.02271
20 1.95 15.10588
21 2 16.25

Table 2 shows the numerical integral value computed by QUADXY formula as well as the analytical exact integral value.

Table 2
1 =QUADXY(A1:A21,B1:B21)
2 =9-LN(2)
Numerical values
1 8.306853473
2 8.306852819

QUADXY computes the integral by fitting a linear or cubic spline model to the data.

  • Paul Dierckx. Curve and Surface Fitting with Splines. Numerical Mathematics and Scientific Computation. Oxford University Press, (1995).
  • Carl de Boor. A Practical Guide to Splines (Applied Mathematical Sciences). Springer, (2001).
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