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MAT file format

DescriptionThe MAT file format is a binary file format used by the MATLAB software to store variables and data structures. The format was introduced in MATLAB version 4 and has been used in subsequent versions.
Technical detailsMAT files contain binary data, which is not human-readable. They can store variables of different types, such as scalars, vectors, matrices, arrays, and structures, as well as data types such as logical, character, and cell arrays. MAT files can also store metadata about the variables, including their names, dimensions, data types, and attributes. The format uses a hierarchical structure to organize the data, with the top-level element being a MATLAB variable or data structure. Each variable or data structure is represented by a tag, which identifies its type, size, and other properties. The data is then stored in a binary format, with the exact representation depending on the type of data. MAT files can be read and written by MATLAB, as well as by other software programs that support the format. The format is platform-independent, meaning that a MAT file created on one platform can be read on another platform. However, there may be differences in the byte ordering and data alignment between platforms, which can affect the portability of the data.