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iterative comparison

From: E2
Subject: iterative comparison
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 12:42:24 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

Howdy all, 
I've got an array of positions pos = [x1,y1;x2,y2;....] and
an array of obstacles obs = [x1,y1;x2,y2;...] and I'd like to
know the positions that are within some threshold of an obstacle.

the positon array describes the path of a robot, and the obstacle
array describes obstacle positions.  I want to know when the robot
impacted with an obstacle (i.e. came within some threshold) so
I can calculate a reward for reinforcement learning.

I know I could do it with for loops basically doing:

for i 
for j
        if(norm(pos(i,:) - obs(j,:)) < thresh)
                impacts ++;

But I've been told that octave and matlab have lots of overhead
associated with for/while loops, so I was wondering if anyone had
some hints for a faster solution.  


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