# Relations and Functions

 A relation R from a set A to a set B is a subset of A × B obtained by describing a
relationship between the first element a and the second element b of the ordered
pairs in A × B. That is, R _ {(a, b) e A × B, a e A, b e B}
 The domain of a relation R from set A to set B is the set of all first elements of
the ordered pairs in R.
 The range of a relation R from set A to set B is the set of all second elements of
the ordered pairs in R. The whole set B is called the co-domain of R. Range _
Co-domain
 A relation R in a set A is called an empty relation, if no element of A is related to
any element of A. In this case, R = | c A × A
Example: Consider a relation R in set A = {3, 4, 5} given by R = {(a, b): a
b
<
25, where a, b eA}. It can be observed that no pair (a, b) satisfies this condition.
Therefore, R is an empty relation.
 A relation R in a set A is called a universal relation, if each element of A is related
to every element of A. In this case, R = A × A
Example: Consider a relation R in the set A = {1, 3, 5, 7, 9} given by R = {(a,
b): a + b is an even number}.
Here, we may observe that all pairs (a, b) satisfy the condition R. Therefore, R is
a universal relation.
 Both the empty and the universal relation are called trivial relations.
 A relation R in a set A is called reflexive, if (a, a) e R for every a e R.
Example: Consider a relation R in the set A, where A = {2, 3, 4}, given by R =
{(a, b): a
b
= 4, 27 or 256}. Here, we may observe that R = {(2, 2), (3, 3), and
(4, 4)}. Since each element of R is related to itself (2 is related 2, 3 is related to
3, and 4 is related to 4), R is a reflexive relation.
 A relation R in a set A is called symmetric, if (a
1
, a
2
) e R ¬ (a
2
, a
1
) e R, ¬a
1
,
a
2
e R
Example: Consider a relation R in the set A, where A is the set of natural
numbers, given by R = {(a, b): 2 ≤ ab < 20}. Here, it can be observed that (b,
a) e R since 2 ≤ ba < 20 [since for natural numbers a and b, ab = ba]
Therefore, the relation R is symmetric.
 A relation R in a set A is called transitive, if (a
1
, a
2
) e R and (a
2
, a
3
) e R ¬ (a
1
,
a
3
) e R for all a
1
, a
2
, a
3
e A
Example: Let us consider a relation R in the set of all subsets with respect to a
universal set U given by R = {(A, B): A is a subset of B}

Now, if A, B, and C are three sets in R, such that A c B and B c C, then we also
have A c C. Therefore, the relation R is a symmetric relation.
 A relation R in a set A is said to be an equivalence relation, if R is altogether
reflexive, symmetric, and transitive.
Example: Let (a, b) and (c, d) be two ordered pairs of numbers such that the
relation between them is given by a + d = b + c. This relation will be an
equivalence relation. Let us prove this.
(a, b) is related to (a, b) since a + b = b + a. Therefore, R is reflexive.
If (a, b) is related to (c, d), then a + d = b + c ¬ c + b = d + a. This shows that
(c, d) is related to (a, b). Hence, R is symmetric.
Let (a, b) is related to (c, d); and (c, d) is related to (e, f), then a + d = b + c and
c + f = d + e. Now, (a + d) + (c + f) = (b + c) + (d + e) ¬ a + f = b + e. This
shows that (a, b) is related to (e, f). Hence, R is transitive.
Since R is reflexive, symmetric, and transitive, R is an equivalence relation.
 Given an arbitrary equivalence relation R in an arbitrary set X, R divides X into
mutually disjoint subsets Ai called partitions or subdivisions of X satisfying:
 All elements of Ai are related to each other, for all i.
 No element of Ai is related to any element of Aj , i ≠ j
 Aj = X and Ai · Aj= |, i ≠ j
The subsets Ai are called equivalence classes.
 A function f from set X to Y is a specific type of relation in which every element
x of X has one and only one image y in set Y. We write the function f as f: X ÷
Y, where f (x) = y
 A function f: X ÷ Y is said to be one-one or injective, if the image of distinct
elements of X under f are distinct. In other words, if x
1
, x
2
e X and f (x
1
) = f (x
2
),
then x
1
= x
2
. If the function f is not one-one, then f is called a many-one
function.
The one-one and many-one functions can be illustrated by the following figures:

 A function f: X ÷ Y can be defined as an onto (surjective) function, if ¬ y e Y,
there exists x e X such that f (x) = y.

The onto and many-one (not onto) functions can be illustrated by the following
figures:

 A function f: X ÷ Y is said to be bijective, if it is both one-one and onto. A
bijective function can be illustrated by the following figure:

Example: Show that the function f: R ÷ N given by f (x) = x
3
– 1 is bijective.

Solution:
Let x
1
, x
2
e R
For f (x
1
) = f (x
2
), we have
3 3
1 2
3 3
1 2
1 2
1 1 x x
x x
x x
÷ = ÷
¬ =
¬ =

Therefore, f is one-one.
Also, for any y in N, there exists
3
1 y + in R such that
( ) ( )
3
3 3
1 1 1 f y y y + = + ÷ = . Therefore, f is onto.
Since f is both one-one and onto, f is bijective.
 Composite function: Let f: A ÷ B and g: B ÷ C be two functions. The
composition of f and g, i.e. gof, is defined as a function from A to C given by gof
(x) = g (f (x)), ¬ x e A

Example: Find gof and fog, if f: R ÷ R and g: R ÷ R are given by f (x) = x
2

1 and g (x) = x
3
+ 1.

Solution:
( ) ( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
2
3
2
6 4 2
2 4 2
1
1 1
1 3 3 1
3 3
gof x g f x
g x
x
x x x
x x x
=
= ÷
= ÷ +
= ÷ ÷ + +
= ÷ +

( ) ( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
3
2
3
6 3
3 3
1
1 1
2 1 1
2
fog x f g x
f x
x
x x
x x
=
= +
= + ÷
= + + ÷
= +

 A function f: X ÷ Y is said to be invertible, if there exists a function g: Y ÷ X
such that gof = I
X
and fog = I
Y
. In this case, g is called inverse of f and is written
as g = f
–1

 A function f is invertible, if and only if f is bijective.

Example: Show that f: R
+
{0} ÷ N defined as f (x) = x
3
+ 1 is an invertible
function. Also, find f
–1
.

Solution:
Let x
1
, x
2
e R
+
{0} and f (x
1
) = f (x
2
)
3 3
1 2
3 3
1 2
1 2
1 1 x x
x x
x x
+ = +
¬ =
¬ =

Therefore, f is one-one.
Also, for any y in N, there exists
3
1 y ÷ e R
+
{0} such that
( )
3
1 f y ÷ = y.
f is onto.
Hence, f is bijective.
This shows that, f is invertible.
Let us consider a function g: N ÷ R
+
{0} such that ( )
3
1 g y y = ÷
Now,

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
3 3
3
3
3 3
1 1 1
1 1 1
gof x g f x g x x x
fog y f g y f y y y
= = + = + ÷ =
= = ÷ = ÷ + =

Therefore, we have
( )
{0}
I gof x
+

=
R
and fog (y) = I
N

( ) ( )
1
3
1 f y g y y
÷
= = ÷
 A binary operation - on a set A is a function - : A × A ÷ A
 An operation - on a set A is commutative, if a - b = b - a ¬a, b e A
 An operation - on a set A is associative, if (a - b) - c = a - (b - c) ¬ a, b, c eA
 An element e e A is the identity element for binary operation -: A × A ÷ A, if a
- e = a = e × a ¬ a e A
 An element a e A is invertible for binary operation -: A × A ÷ A, if there exists
b e A such that a - b = e = b - a, where e is the identity for -. The element b is
called inverse of a and is denoted by a
–1
.

Example: Show that - is a binary operation defined on R – {0} by a - b = ab
Also show that - is both commutative and associative. Find the identity element
of -, if it exists. Find the inverse of a where a e R – {0}, if - is invertible.

Solution:
The operation - is defined for ¬ a, b, c e R.
Therefore, - is a binary operation.
Let a, b, c e R – {0}.
Now, a - b = ab and b - a = ba
Since ab = ba, a - b = b - a
[Real numbers are commutative under multiplication]
Hence, - is commutative.
Now, a - (b - c) = a - (bc) = abc
(a - b) - c = (ab) * c = abc
a - (b - c) = (a - b) - c
Hence, - is associative.
Now, 1 e R – {0} and a - 1 = a × 1 = a and 1 - a = 1 × a = a
Therefore, a - 1 = 1 - a = a
Thus, 1 is the identity element for the binary operation -.
Now, since a e R – {0},
1
{0}
a
e ÷ R [a = 0]

However,
1
1 a
a
× =
Therefore,
1
1
a
a
÷
=

R is an equivalence relation.Now. Example: Let (a. Let (a. d). b). b) is related to (c. (a. Since R is reflexive. R is symmetric. x2  X and f (x1) = f (x2). f). then a + d = b + c and c + f = d + e. then f is called a many-one function. In other words. B. R is reflexive. where f (x) = y  A function f: X  Y is said to be one-one or injective. for all i. and transitive. This shows that (a. The one-one and many-one functions can be illustrated by the following figures:  A function f: X  Y can be defined as an onto (surjective) function. i ≠ j  Aj = X and Ai  Aj= . b) since a + b = b + a. d) is related to (e. Now.  No element of Ai is related to any element of Aj .  Given an arbitrary equivalence relation R in an arbitrary set X.  A relation R in a set A is said to be an equivalence relation. If the function f is not one-one. .  A function f from set X to Y is a specific type of relation in which every element x of X has one and only one image y in set Y. if  y  Y. and transitive. We write the function f as f: X  Y. if A. b) is related to (e. symmetric. there exists x  X such that f (x) = y. such that A  B and B  C. Therefore. then x1 = x2. Hence. if R is altogether reflexive. Therefore. and C are three sets in R. R is transitive. if x1. then we also have A  C. symmetric. f). the relation R is a symmetric relation. If (a. (a + d) + (c + f) = (b + c) + (d + e)  a + f = b + e. Let us prove this. i ≠ j The subsets Ai are called equivalence classes. d) is related to (a. This shows that (c. This relation will be an equivalence relation. then a + d = b + c  c + b = d + a. b) is related to (c. d). d) be two ordered pairs of numbers such that the relation between them is given by a + d = b + c. and (c. b) is related to (a. if the image of distinct elements of X under f are distinct. R divides X into mutually disjoint subsets Ai called partitions or subdivisions of X satisfying:  All elements of Ai are related to each other. Hence. b) and (c.

Therefore. f is onto. Solution: Let x1. is defined as a function from A to C given by gof (x) = g (f (x)).  3 Since f is both one-one and onto. i. f is bijective. A bijective function can be illustrated by the following figure: Example: Show that the function f: R  N given by f (x) = x3 – 1 is bijective.e. gof. x2  R For f (x1) = f (x2). The composition of f and g. there exists f 3 y  1 in R such that  3 y 1    3 y  1  1  y . f is one-one.The onto and many-one (not onto) functions can be illustrated by the following figures:  A function f: X  Y is said to be bijective. if it is both one-one and onto.  x  A . we have 3 x13  1  x2  1 3  x13  x2  x1  x2 Therefore. Also.  Composite function: Let f: A  B and g: B  C be two functions. for any y in N.

Also.Example: Find gof and fog. Solution: gof  x   g  f  x    g x2 1     x2  1  1  x6  1  3x 4  3x 2  1  x 2 x 4  3x 2  3 fog  x   f  g  x    f x3  1   3      x3  1  1  x 6  2 x3  1  1  x3 x3  2   2   A function f: X  Y is said to be invertible. if and only if f is bijective. Also. for any y in N. f is one-one. g is called inverse of f and is written as g = f–1  A function f is invertible. if there exists a function g: Y  X such that gof = IX and fog = IY. there exists f is onto. In this case. find f–1. f is bijective. x2  R+  {0} and f (x1) = f (x2) 3  x13  1  x2  1 3  x13  x2  x1  x2 Therefore. Solution: Let x1.  Let us consider a function g: N  R+  {0} such that g  y   3 y  1 Now. . 3 y  1  R+  {0} such that f  3 y  1 = y. This shows that. if f: R  R and g: R  R are given by f (x) = x2 – 1 and g (x) = x3 + 1. f is invertible. Hence. Example: Show that f: R+  {0}  N defined as f (x) = x3 + 1 is an invertible function.

if  is invertible. 1 is the identity element for the binary operation . if a e=a=eaaA  An element a  A is invertible for binary operation : A  A  A. Now. Now. if (a  b)  c = a  (b  c)  a.  is commutative. c A  An element e  A is the identity element for binary operation : A  A  A. a  b = b  a [Real numbers are commutative under multiplication] Hence. a  1 = 1  a = a Thus. Find the inverse of a where a  R – {0}. if there exists b  A such that a  b = e = b  a. b  A  An operation  on a set A is associative. The element b is called inverse of a and is denoted by a–1. Now. we have gof  x   IR {0} and fog (y) = IN   f 1  y   g  y   3 y 1  A binary operation  on a set A is a function  : A  A  A  An operation  on a set A is commutative. Let a. Therefore. Now.  is a binary operation. since a  R – {0}. a  b = ab and b  a = ba Since ab = ba. b. c  R. Solution: The operation  is defined for  a. if it exists. b. 1  R – {0} and a  1 = a  1 = a and 1  a = 1  a = a Therefore.gof  x   g  f  x    g x3  1  fog  y   f  g  y    f   3 x 3 3 1 1  x   3 y 1    y 1  1  y  3 Therefore. 1  R  {0} a [a  0] . if a  b = b  a  a. c  R – {0}.  is associative. where e is the identity for . Example: Show that  is a binary operation defined on R – {0} by a  b = ab Also show that  is both commutative and associative. Find the identity element of . a  (b  c) = a  (bc) = abc (a  b)  c = (ab) * c = abc a  (b  c) = (a  b)  c Hence. b.

However. a 1  1 a 1 a . a   1 Therefore.