Function composition

In mathematics, function composition is an operation  ∘  that takes two functions f and g, and produces a function h = g  ∘  f such that h(x) = g(f(x)). In this operation, the function g is applied to the result of applying the function f to x. That is, the functions f : XY and g : YZ are composed to yield a function that maps x in domain X to g(f(x)) in codomain Z. Intuitively, if z is a function of y, and y is a function of x, then z is a function of x. The resulting composite function is denoted g ∘ f : XZ, defined by (g ∘ f )(x) = g(f(x)) for all x in X.[nb 1]

The notation g ∘ f is read as "g of f ", "g after f ", "g circle f ", "g round f ", "g about f ", "g composed with f ", "g following f ", "f then g", or "g on f ", or "the composition of g and f ". Intuitively, composing functions is a chaining process in which the output of function f feeds the input of function g.

The composition of functions is a special case of the composition of relations, sometimes also denoted by . As a result, all properties of composition of relations are true of composition of functions,[1] such as the property of associativity. But composition of functions is different from multiplication of functions (if defined at all), and has some quite different properties; in particular, composition of functions is not commutative.[2]


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