Data: 1.000000000000002, 0.999999999999999
Expected output: 1.0..02, 0.9..9 where you can replace .. with any other shorthand for cut
Pseudocode in Matlab

float_thing=1.0000000000000002; % 0.999999999999999 
regexprep(str, '[09]{3,}' , 'SOME_lookBehind_thing_here for 0..0/9..9')
  1. you have a float float_thing
  2. you convert/cast it to string by num2str with 17 digit precision
  3. you use regular-expression by regexprep where you replace the string str with the match [09]{3,} i.e. all characters of zeros and nines whose count is at least three, with the replacement 0..0 and 9..9, respectively
    • the last part should be possible where you should use lookBehind possibly in the last part

Both answers works

Matlab version based on Stephane's answer and docs

% http://se.mathworks.com/help/matlab/matlab_prog/tokens-in-regular-expressions.html
p=1.0000000000000002; str=num2str(p,17); regexprep(str, '([09])\1{3,}' , '$1..$1')
% 1.0..02

p=0.9999999999999999; str=num2str(p,17); regexprep(str, '([09])\1{3,}' , '$1..$1')
% 0.9..989

System: Linux Ubuntu 16.04
Languages: Perl, Matlab, Unix, Bash, Python, ...

  • 1
    Do you really want the .. characters in the output? – roaima Aug 8 '16 at 14:45

What about:

$ echo 1.000000000000002, 0.999999999999999, 999.000999000999|
   sed 's/\([09]\)\1\{2,\}/\1..\1/g'
1.0..02, 0.9..9, 9..9.0..09..90..09..9

That is a [09] followed by itself (\1 being a backreference to the [09] captured in the capturing group \([09]\)) repeated 2 or more times. Note that it's different from [0-9]\{3,\} which would match 0000 but also 0909.

Not all regular expression syntaxes support back-references. Standard Basic Regular Expressions as used by sed do, Standard Extended Regular Expressions (like in egrep) don't though some implementations of ERE support it as an extension. That's the case of GNU sed with the -r/-E option (another non-standard extension) with which you could use sed -E 's/([09])\1{2,}/\1..\1/g' here.

Perl and compatible regular expressions do, and it looks like MATLAB regular expressions support them too, and even support named backreferences like in perl.

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