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### 4.1.1 Empty Matrices

A matrix may have one or both dimensions zero, and operations on empty matrices are handled as described by Carl de Boor in An Empty Exercise, SIGNUM, Volume 25, pages 2-6, 1990 and C. N. Nett and W. M. Haddad, in A System-Theoretic Appropriate Realization of the Empty Matrix Concept, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Volume 38, Number 5, May 1993. Briefly, given a scalar s, an m by n matrix `M(mxn)`, and an m by n empty matrix `[](mxn)` (with either one or both dimensions equal to zero), the following are true:

 ```s * [](mxn) = [](mxn) * s = [](mxn) [](mxn) + [](mxn) = [](mxn) [](0xm) * M(mxn) = [](0xn) M(mxn) * [](nx0) = [](mx0) [](mx0) * [](0xn) = 0(mxn) ```

By default, dimensions of the empty matrix are printed along with the empty matrix symbol, ‘[]’. The built-in variable `print_empty_dimensions` controls this behavior.

Built-in Function: val = print_empty_dimensions ()
Built-in Function: old_val = print_empty_dimensions (new_val)

Query or set the internal variable that controls whether the dimensions of empty matrices are printed along with the empty matrix symbol, ‘[]’. For example, the expression

 ```zeros (3, 0) ```

will print

 ```ans = [](3x0) ```

Empty matrices may also be used in assignment statements as a convenient way to delete rows or columns of matrices. See section Assignment Expressions.

When Octave parses a matrix expression, it examines the elements of the list to determine whether they are all constants. If they are, it replaces the list with a single matrix constant.

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