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Algebra II: Functions

Relations and Functions

Terms

Relations and Functions, page 2

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Relations

A relation is a set of inputs and outputs, often written as ordered pairs (input, output). We can also represent a relation as a mapping diagram or a graph. For example, the relation can be represented as:


Mapping Diagram of Relation

Lines connect the inputs with their outputs. The relation can also be represented as:
Graph of Relation

Functions

A function is a relation in which each input has only one output.

In the relation , y is a function of x , because for each input x (1, 2, 3, or 0), there is only one output y . x is not a function of y , because the input y = 3 has multiple outputs: x = 1 and x = 2 .


Examples:

\: y is a function of x , x is a function of y .

: y is not a function of x ( x = 3 has multiple outputs), x is a function of y .

: y is a function of x , x is not a function of y ( y = 9 has multiple outputs).

: y is not a function of x ( x = 1 has multiple outputs), x is not a function of y ( y = 2 has multiple outputs).

The Line Test for Mapping Diagrams

To check if a relation is a function, given a mapping diagram of the relation, use the following criterion: If each input has only one line connected to it, then the outputs are a function of the inputs.


Example: In the following mapping diagram, y is a function of x , but x is not a function of y :

Line Test

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