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7 Statements

The blocks of a Stan program are made up of variable declarations and statements; see the blocks chapter for details. Unlike programs in BUGS, the declarations and statements making up a Stan program are executed in the order in which they are written. Variables must be defined to have some value (as well as declared to have some type) before they are used — if they do not, the behavior is undefined.

The basis of Stan’s execution is the evaluation of a log probability function (specifically, a probability density function) for a given set of (real-valued) parameters. Log probability function can be constructed by using assignment statements. Statements may be grouped into sequences and into for-each loops. In addition, Stan allows local variables to be declared in blocks and also allows an empty statement consisting only of a semicolon.