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BSc Hons /Information Systems/ 2nd Year, Semester 1

Computer Quantitative Methods

Why study functions

4 enabling decision making, its paramount 2 be able 2 establish all significant interactions or relationships among the primary factors (variables) relevant 2 the problem. The simplified relationships (functions) help decision makers 2 understand complex management problems. Example: The demand 4 an item is not only related 2 its price, but also 2 the price of its substitutes.

Function
Definition: A special relationship between values: Each of its input values gives back exactly one output value. It is often written as "f(x)" where x is the value you give it. Example: f(x) = x/2 ("f of x is x divided by 2") is a function, because for every value of "x" you get another value "x/2", so: * f(2) = 1 * f(16) = 8 * f(-10) = -5

Value of functions

Functions facilitate programmers, like decision makers, 2 break a large programming problem into smaller problems, ea solving a part of the big problem. Each function is a complete unit. Fns can call ea other 2 provide their services. If a program is divided into functional parts, then ea part may be independently coded (resolved) and later combined into a single unit. This approach clearly results in a number of advantages: 1. It facilitates top-down modular programming. 2. Reduces the length of a program. 3. Debugging is made easier. 4. Reusability of function increases.

Functions are a numerical description of the actions we do everyday (such as throwing a ball, or driving a car, or figuring out the interest we've accrued in our savings accounts). Functions describe just about any action, reaction, or interaction through the use of defining variables, both dependent and independent. Without functions we would have no Computers, no Space Programs, no Air Flights, no Cell Phones, absolutely no progress in our lives, none of the things we take advantage of daily. Everything and anything can be described by a function. Learning about functions is the primary, elemental step to learning about anything in maths that follows.

How functions are presented

In mathematics, a function is a relation between a set of inputs and a set of permissible outputs with the property that ea input is related to exactly one output. The output of a function f corresponding to an input x is denoted by f(x) (read "f of x"). If the input is 3, and the output is 9, its written: f(3) = 9. The input variable(s) are sometimes referred to as the argument(s) of the function. There are many ways to describe or represent a function. Some functions may be defined by a formula or algorithm that tells how to compute the output for a given input; By a picture, called the graph of the function; By a table that gives the outputs for selected inputs. They can be described through a relationship with other functions, e.g as an inverse function or as a solution of a differential equation.

Terms in functions

Variable An input whose magnitude can vary. Can be discrete or continuous. *** Ordered pair - Express the input and output of a function, e.g for f(x) = x2, we have the ordered pair (3, 9). Domain Set of inputs of a fn in modern mathematics. Codomain - Set containing the outputs of a fn. Graph - Set of all paired input and outputs. Fn spaces - Collections of functions with the same domain and the same codomain, the properties of which are studied in such mathematical disciplines as real analysis and complex analysis.

Functions simplified

A function f takes an input x, and returns an output f(x). One metaphor describes the function as a "machine" or "black box" that for each input returns a corresponding output.

Functions in real life

Demand (D) of a commodity is related 2 price (p), i.e. D = f(p) or Demand is a fn of price. This diff from D equals f times p. D and p are variables becoz they can take diff numerical numbers. If demand of the commodity is related 2 the price per unit of the commodity and the level of advertising expenditure, then D = f(p,A).

Functions in decision making

Specific + explicit relationship among selected variables is necessary 4 making mngerial decisions, e.g. D = 4+3p-2pA+2A^2, i.e. 4 any given values of p and A, the value of D can be calculated. D is called dependent variable; p and A are independent variables. Domain of fn Set of values of independent variables. Range of fn Corresponding set of values of the dependent variable.

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Types of functions

Linear fns In which the pwr of independent variable is 1, e.g. Y = f(x) = a + bx, where a and b are given real numbers and x is an ind. variable. Its graph is always a straight ln. Non-linear fn Pwr of ind. variable is > 1, e.g. Y = f(x1,x2,,x^n) = a0+a1x+a2x2++anxn^n; Y=3+4x1+15x1x2+10x2^2. Single variable fn. Multivariable fn.

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Other types of fns

Polynomial Fn in the form Y = f(x) = a1x^n-1++anx^0, where a1s(l=1,2,,n) are real numbers. a). If n=1, then the polynomial fn is of degree 1 and is a linear fn, e.g. the fn becomes Y=a1x^1+anx^0 (a1=0, n=1-1=0), therefore Y=a+bx (x^0=1), where a and b symbolise an and a1 respectively.

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Quadratic fn

If n=2, then the polynomial fn is of 2nd degree and is called a quadratic fn. Thus, Y=a1x^2+a2x^1+anx^0 (a1 0) = ax^2+bx+c, where a1=a,a2=b and an=c. Absolute value = magnitude, Y=|x|, e.g. |7|=7 and |-6|=6.

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Inverse fn

The inverse fn of y=f(x), x=f^-1(y). If 4 diff values of an ind variable x in an interval, the dep variable y=f(x) takes a constant value, but takes diff value in diff intervals, then the given fn y=f(x) is called a step fn, e.g. for y=f(x), then y1, if 0<x<50; y2, if 51<x<100 and y3, if<x<150.

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Algebraic & transcendental fns

When only finite number of terms are involved in a fnal relationship and variables are affected only by the mathematical operations, then the fn is an algebraic one, otherwise its a transcendental. Examples of algebraic fns of x: y=2x^3+5x^23x+9; y=x+1/x^2; y=x^3-1/x+2. E.G. of transcendental fns of x:

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Logarithmic fns

Expressed as Y=logax, where a=1 and >0 is the base. Its read as Y is the log to the base a of x. Can also be written as X=a^y. Exercises: (p.15 Less 2).

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Business Applications of fns


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Areas of business where fns are applicable: Supply + demand situations Profit fns Revenue fns Production fns Utility fns Etc. Examples: (p.16+ Less 2) Linear, Quadratic

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Functions - Summary

Objective was providing exposure 2 fnal relationships among decision variables. W defined terms such as constant, parameter, independent + dependent variables. Various types of fns which are normally used in mngerial decision making were enumerated with suitable examples, their graphs & solution procedures. Finally, w demonstrated the applications of fnal relationships through examples.

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