Extended Features
Future Direction

Table of Contents:

1 Formatting of Matlab Text Files

The text files used in the Matlab GUI application specify 152 morphological traits of a wolf spider. The parameters range anywhere from color specifications to length, width or scaling factors for individual segments of the spider morphology. See 'spider.txt' for example of a formatted file. The order of the parameters specified in the text files matters since each data point is copied into a vector and passed in as an argument to the OpenGL/Visual C++ program. Therefore, there must always be 152 parameters in the same order as specified in the 'spider.txt' file. Each line of input in these files must also be as follows:

    <parameter name> <parameter value>
The <parameter value> must be numerical and contain no spaces afterward. However, note the space that exists between the <parameter name> and <parameter value>. Blank lines and commented lines (i.e., lines beginning with '%') are allowed and skipped by the program. Variables specified after the 152nd one are ignored by the program.

2 Development of MEX-files

For this project, the following configurations were used during development:

  • Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Visual C/C++ version 6.0
  • Glut library version 3.7.6
  • Matlab 6p1
  • To build a MEX-file using Microsoft Visual C++, refer to To execute the MEX-file under Matlab, the libraries used for rendering the spider need to be present. This requires that the glut library be downloaded and installed as well. Precompiled versions of the library can be found at

    Once the appropriate libraries are installed, the command 'mex -setup' needs to be ran from the Matlab prompt to ensure the system recognizes the appropriate compiler and links in the appropriate libraries (i.e. select the 'Microsoft Visual C/C++ compiler' when prompted). These setup instructions only need to be done once on a system to ensure that all mex files run properly in the future. For further information on mex file setup, please refer to mathworks documentation of MEX-files.