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The Greatest Integer Function

Greatest integer function is also known as the floor function. For any real number x, we use the symbol [x] or [_x_] to denote the greatest integer less than or equal to x. for example: -

[2.75] = 2 (greatest integer less than and equal to 2.75)

[3] = 3 (as 3 is itself an integer that means equal to x )

[0.74] = 0 (greatest integer less than and equal to 2.75)

[-7.45] = -8 (greatest integer less than -7.45 is -8)

The function f : R → R defined by

f(x) = [x] for all x ? R

is called the Greatest Integer Function or the floor function.

It is also the called the step function.

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Clearly, domain of the greatest integer function is the set R of all real numbers and the range is the set z of all integers as it attains only integer values.

Some properties of greatest integer function are defined below

if n is an integer and x is a real number between n and n + 1, then

I. [-n] = -[n]

II. [x + k] = [x] + k for any integer k.

III. [-x] = -[x] -1

IV. [x] + [-x] = -1, if x !?Z and 0, if x ?Z

V. [x] - [-x] = 2 [x] + 1, if x !?Z and 2[x] , if x ?Z

VI. [x] => k → x => K, where k ?Z

VII. [x] =< k → x < K + 1, where k ?Z

VIII. [x] > k → x => K + 1, where k ?Z

IX. [x] < k → x < k, where k ?Z

X. [x + y] = [x] + [y + x]-[x] ] for all x, y ?R.

XI. [x] + [x + 1 / n] + [x + 2 / n] +

+

[x + n - 1 / n]= [n x], n ?N.

By following all describe properties we can obtain the greatest integer function.

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Let’s take some more examples to see the greatest integer function.

Example 1: - Find the greatest integer value for the following numbers 9.1, 5, -8.7, 2.8, 2 and

-3.9

Solution : - We have to give some real numbers that are 9.1, 5, -8.7, 2.8, 2 and -3.9

[9.1] = closest greatest integer value that is less than 9.1 is 9.

So [9.1] = 9

[5] = is itself an integer that is equal to x

So [5] = 5

[-8.7] = closest greatest integer value is -9 that is less than -8.7

So [-8.7] = -9

[2.8] = closest greatest integer value is 3 which is less than 2.8

So [2.8] = 2

[2] = is itself an integer that is equal to x

So [2] = 2

[-3.9] = closest greatest integer value is -4 that is less than -3.9

So [-3.9] = -4

Note: - It is to be noted that this function returns us closest integer value of the input as the output and it is also noted that this function is piece wise defined.

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