You are on page 1of 6

Functions

Recommended Texts and webs:


Ahsan Akhtar and Sabiha Ahsan, Text book of Differential Calculus, ISBN 81-203-2442-0, Prentice hall India Otto Bretscher, Linear Algebra with applications, ISBN 81-317-1441-1, Dorling Kindersley Pvt Ltd library.thinkquest.org/2647/algebra/funcbasc.htm en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Function_(mathematics)

Key terms Relation :A rule that associates a value in the domain with a value in the range. Function :A function is a relation (rule) that assigns each element in the domain to exactly one element in the range. Domain :The set of all the values which may be input into a function. That is, the set of all the values the independent variable may assume. Graphically, the domain is the set of all the x-coordinates. Codomain: The set of values or type containing all possible results of a function Range :The set of all the values which are output when the function is evaluated at all the input values from the domain. That is, the set of all the values the dependent variable may assume. Graphically, the range is the set of all the y-coordinates. Independent Variable :The independent variable is the variable which is free to assume different values independently of the other variable. Normally, in most cases, the independent variable is x. There can be more than one independent variable. Dependent Variable :The dependent variable is the variable which is determined based on the value of the independent variable(s). Normally, in most cases, the dependent variable is y

We can define domain, range and codomain in the following simple manner What can go into a function is called the Domain What may possibly come out of a function is called the Codomain What actually comes out of a function is called the Range

Two variables x and y are said to be functionally related if for each value of x , there exist one and only one value of y or vice versa. Formal Definition of a Function

A function relates each element of a set with exactly one element of another set (possibly the same set).

Functional notation If y is a function of x then it is normally denoted by y=f(x). If y is a function of x1 , x2 ,....xn then it is normally denoted by y f ( x1 , x2 ,......xn ) Evaluating a function Consider the function f ( x) x 2 1 . Value of the function at x=3 and x=4 is given by,

f (3) 32 1 10 f (4) 4 2 1 17
There we replace x by the given value. Classification of functions Algebraic Functions An algebraic function is basically an expression of a single variable with elementary algebraic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). Example

x 2 7 x 1,

1 x 3
2

Polynomial Function Polynomial functions take the following form where n is a positive integer and a is a constant.
f ( x) a0 x n a1 x n1 a2 x n2 ................ an

Example: x 4 3x 3 x 1 Rational and Irrational functions

The ratio between two polynomial functions of the same variable is called a Rational function. Example

x4 1 3x 2 2 x 7
Algebraic functions which are not rational are called irrational numbers. Example

x 2 2x 7 Trigonometric functions
Functions involving trigonometric ratios are called Trigonometric Functions. Example
f ( x) sin x 1, x

Logarithmic functions The functions such as x log a y is called logarithmic functions. Exponential functions Functions such as e x , a x are called exponential functions Modulus functions Functions with modulus of variables are called modulus functions Example f ( x) x , f ( x) x 2 1 Real valued functions A function whose domain and codomain are subsets of the set real numbers is called a real valued function

Consider the function y x 2

f(x) A 1 2 3 4 B In this illustration: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


the set "A" is the Domain, the set "B" is the Codomain,

and the set of elements that get pointed to in B (the actual values produced by the function) are the Range, also called the Image

Types of functions 1. Into functions

A a b c d

f(x)

B p q r s t

Note that there are elements which are not functional images of any element of A. If there is at least one such element in B, then that function is called an Into function

2. Onto functions (Surjective functions)

A a b c d

f(x)

B p q r s

Here no element is left in B without being a functional image of any element of A i.e. each element in B is a functional element of at least one element of A, such functions are called onto functions

3. One-to-one functions (injective functions) A a b c f(x) B p q r s

A function is said to be one to one, if different elements in A have different images in B.

4. Many to one functions

A a b c

f(x)

B p q r s

A function is said to be many to one if more than one element in A have the same image in B

Inverse functions Consider a one to one mapping of A to B. If we can define a function, say h, from B to A such that h( y) x , then this function h is called inverse function of f and denoted by f 1 Consider the function y x 2 [ y f ( x)] f(x) A 1 2 3 4 B A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 h(x) B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

If we can find a function as shown the figure 2 that is the inverse function of f [ f 1 ( y)] . For this example it is clearly x y 2