How can I use cross-correlation as a tool to align two signals in MATLAB?

I have two signals that have a similar behavior but are not aligned. I would like to use cross-correlation to align them.

ANSWER

Correlation reaches a maximum value at the point where two signals are maximally correlated. You may therefore use this value to align them. The following code provides an example of how this can be done using the XCORR function in the Signal Processing Toolbox (see attached file variable_file.mat):

load variable_file X1=xcorr(s1,s2); %compute cross-correlation between vectors s1 and s2 [m,d]=max(X1); %find value and index of maximum value of cross-correlation amplitude delay=d-max(length(s1),length(s2));

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