Configure up-arrow to browse through commands with same initial characters rather than all previous commands

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – On the bash command-line, ↑ gives me the previous command. On the command-lines in numpy or matlab, when I type a few characters, ↑ gives me the previously entered command starting with those characters. How can I enable exactly this behaviour in bash? I am aware of more advanced ways of searching through the command-line history, but sometimes a simple way is more convenient. (HowTos)