Bijection

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A bijective function.

In mathematics, a function f from a set X to a set Y is said to be bijective if and only if for every y in Y there is exactly one x in X such that f(x) = y.

Said another way, f is bijective if and only if it is a one-to-one correspondence between those sets; i.e., both one-to-one (injective) and onto (surjective).

For example, consider the function succ, defined from the set of integers Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \Z} to Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \Z} , that to each integer x associates the integer succ(x) = x + 1. For another example, consider the function sumdif that to each pair (x,y) of real numbers associates the pair sumdif(x,y) = (x+y, x-y).

A bijective function is also called a bijection or permutation. The latter is more commonly used when X = Y. It should be noted that one-to-one function means one-to-one correspondence (i.e., bijection) to some authors, but injection to others. The set of all bijections from X to Y is denoted as XFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {}\leftrightarrow{}} Y.

Bijective functions play a fundamental role in many areas of mathematics, for instance in the definition of isomorphism (and related concepts such as homeomorphism and diffeomorphism), permutation group, projective map, and many others.

Composition and inverses

A function f is bijective if and only if its inverse relation f-1 is a function. In that case, f-1 is a bijection.

The composition gFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \circ} f of two bijections fFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \;:\;} XFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {}\leftrightarrow{}} Y and gFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \;:\;} YFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {}\leftrightarrow{}} Z is a bijection. The inverse of gFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \circ} f is (gFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \circ} f)-1 = (f-1)Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \circ} (g-1).

File:INS then NIS.png
A bijective composition.

On the other hand, if the composition g o f of two functions is bijective, we can only say that f is injective and g is surjective.

A relation f from X to Y is a bijective function if and only if there exists another relation g from Y to X such that gFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \circ} f is the identity function on X, and fFailed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \circ} g is the identity function on Y. It is important to say that having the same cardinality for two sets is a must.

Bijections and cardinality

If X and Y are finite sets, then there exists a bijection between the two sets X and Y if and only if X and Y have the same number of elements. Indeed, in axiomatic set theory, this is taken as the very definition of "same number of elements", and generalising this definition to infinite sets leads to the concept of cardinal number, a way to distinguish the various sizes of infinite sets.

Examples and counterexamples

  • For any set X, the identity function idX from X to X, defined by idX(x) = x, is bijective.
  • The function f from the real line R to R defined by f(x) = 2x + 1 is bijective, since for each y there is a unique x = (y - 1)/2 such that f(x) = y.
  • The exponential function g : R Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \rightarrow} R, with g(x) = ex, is not bijective: for instance, there is no x in R such that g(x) = -1, showing that g is not surjective. However if the codomain is changed to be the positive real numbers R+ = (0,+∞), then g becomes bijective; its inverse is the natural logarithm function ln.
  • The function h : R Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \rightarrow} [0,+∞) with h(x) = x² is not bijective: for instance, h(-1) = h(+1) = 1, showing that h is not injective. However, if the domain too is changed to [0,+∞), then h becomes bijective; its inverse is the positive square root function.
  • A function f from the real line R to R is bijective if and only if its plot is intersected by any horizontal line at exactly one point.
  • Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathbf{R} \to \mathbf{R} : x \mapsto (x-1)x(x+1) = x^3 - x } is not a bijection because -1, 0, and +1 are all in the domain and all map to 0.
  • Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathbf{R} \to [-1,1] : x \mapsto \sin(x)} is not a bijection because Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \pi/3} and Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle 2\cdot\pi/3} are both in the domain and both map to Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle (\sqrt 3)/2} .

Properties

  • If X is a set, then the bijective functions from X to itself, together with the operation of functional composition (o), form a group, the symmetric group of X, which is denoted variously by S(X), SX, or X! (the last read "X factorial").
  • For subset A of the domain and subset B of the codomain we

|f(A)| == |A|, and |f-1(B)| == |B|.

(Note: a one-to-one function is injective, but may fail to be surjective, while a one-to-one correspondence is both injective and surjective.)

Bijections and category theory

Formally, bijections are precisely the isomorphisms in the category Set of sets.

See also

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