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Overview

function

Any operation or procedure that relates one variable to one or more other variables. If y is a function of x, written y = f(x), a change in x produces a change in y, and if x is known, y ...

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A Dictionary of the Internet (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019

... A task that a software product is designed to carry out. For example, one of the functions of a word processor is to format text so that it has margins that are in...

function Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
145 words

... . A function takes objects (‘ arguments ’) and maps them on to objects (‘values’). For example, the addition function defined on the set of natural numbers takes pairs of natural numbers as its arguments and maps each pair, say 2 and 3, on to the value, here 5, which is the sum of the pair. Functions are often identified with set-theoretical constructions. So the doubling function, with the set of natural numbers as its domain of arguments, is identified with the set of ordered pairs, 〈 x , y 〉, such that y is twice x . Functions need not be...

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
131 words

... In mathematics, rule that assigns a unique value to each element of a given set . The given set is the domain of the function, and the set of values is the range . Two or more elements of the domain may be assigned the same value, but a function must assign only one value to each element of the domain. A function f maps each element x of the domain to a corresponding element (or value) y in the range. Here x and y are variables, with y dependent on x through the functional relationship f . The dependent variable y is said to be a...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
183 words

... 1. The part a unit plays in a larger structure. Especially in accounts of syntax: e.g. in I met my brother , the syntactic function of I is as a subject, and that of my brother is as a direct object. Both are functions within the larger structure of a clause. But units within a sentence may have other functions not distinguished in syntax. Thus I in I walked out may be said to have the semantic function of an agent . So may sentences or utterances as wholes: thus, following the question ‘Can you come?’, the utterance ‘Yes’ would function...

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A Dictionary of Computer Science (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Science and technology, Mathematics and Computer Science
Length:
303 words
Illustration(s):
2

...When the domain X is the Cartesian product of n sets then f is a function of n variables. Otherwise it is a function of one variable. Examples of functions are readily obtained from the mathematical equivalents of standard functions and operations typically supplied in programming languages. The usual trigonometric functions sin , cos , and tan are functions of one variable. The rule for converting from characters into their integer codes or equivalents is a function. Functions are often represented pictorially as graphs . See also bijection , ...

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The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
305 words

... 1. The syntactic role that a linguistic unit plays within a ‘higher’ unit, such as a phrase , clause , or sentence ; distinguished from its form . The five elements of clause structure, namely subject , verb , object , complement , and adverbial , are grammatical functions. In addition, we distinguish predicator as the function carried by the main verb in a clause, and predicate as the function assigned to the portion of a clause excluding the subject. Within phrases, certain types of units can function as modifiers , more specifically...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... A concept employed in structuralist literary theory in two senses: either as a kind of use to which language can be directed, or as an action contributing towards the development of a narrative . The first sense is employed in the influential model of communication outlined in Roman Jakobson ’s ‘Closing statement: linguistics and poetics’ ( 1960 ). Here Jakobson defines six linguistic functions according to the element of the communicative act that each function makes predominant. Thus the emotive function orients the communication towards the...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007

... 1 A mathematical expression describing the relationship between variables. In the scientific literature, a dependent variable may be expressed as a function of one or more independent variables. 2 Applied to a group, the behaviour of the group and how it operates. 3 In sociology, the contribution to the working and maintenance of a social system made by a particular social...

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A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
58 words

...function Any operation or procedure that relates one variable to one or more other variables. If y is a function of x , written y =f( x ), a change in x produces a change in y , and if x is known, y can be determined. x is known as the independent variable and y is the dependent variable...

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A Dictionary of Accounting (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Length:
46 words

... A section or department of an organization that carries out a discrete activity, under the control of a manager or director. It is the section of the business for which functional budgets are produced. Examples of separate functions are production, sales, finance, and...

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A Dictionary of Chemical Engineering

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

...function A mathematical formula or algorithm that expresses an output value for a given input. For the form of notation y = f ( x ), then y is a function of x in which x is the input or independent variable and y is the output or dependent variable. If x is known, then y can be determined. ...

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A Dictionary of Business and Management (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Length:
46 words

... A section or department of an organization that carries out a discrete activity, under the control of a manager or director. It is the section of the business for which functional budgets are produced. Examples of separate functions are production, sales, finance, and...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

... A function f from S to T , where S and T are non‐empty sets, is a rule that associates with each element of S (the domain) a unique element of T (the codomain). Thus it is the same thing as a mapping . The word ‘function’ tends to be used when the domain S is the set R of real numbers, or some subset of R , and the codomain T is R ( see real function ). The notation f : S → T , read as “ f from S to T ”, is used. If x ∈ S , then f ( x ) is the image of x under f . The subset of T consisting of those elements that...

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A Dictionary of Media and Communication (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
318 words

...answer, or statement. 8. For relationships between linguistic form and social or interpersonal settings or situations, see linguistic functions . 9. For usage related to roles in interpersonal communication, see communicative functions . 10. For uses of the media, see personal functions ; social functions . 11. A dependency relation. For example, the items in a typology are a function of the theory within which they are framed. 12. In Propp’s narratology , a standardized element in the plot of a narrative , defined in terms of...

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Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
46 words

... Most generally, the existence of any single variable or phenomenon as a product of its relationship to others. More substantively, the contribution of any social practices or institutions to others with which it is interdependent or in which it plays a part. See also functionalism...

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A Dictionary of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

... An equation that maps an input for some system to the corresponding output. This applies to systems where there is only one output value that corresponds to any given input value. Such systems will not have any internal state or memory that can influence the output. ...

function Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
79 words

... 1 (in chemistry) a functional group . 2 (in mathematics) a either of two variables so related to each other that for any value of one variable there is a corresponding value of the other. b a variable or expression that can take a set of values each of which is associated with the magnitude of an independent variable or variables. 3 (in physiology) the normal vital activity of a cell, organ, or tissue within an organism. —functional ...

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A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
1,260 words

... ( functionalism ) Although the use of the concepts of function and functionalism is usually associated with the work of Talcott Parsons in modern sociology, there is a long tradition of functional explanation in studying societies, and a form of modified functionalism is now undergoing a revival. Among the founders of sociology, Émile Durkheim is most closely associated with functionalism, since he often employs analogies with biology. The most prominent of these is an organic analogy , in which society is seen as an organic whole, each of its...

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Dictionary Plus Science and Technology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Science and technology
Length:
136 words

... In mathematics, a relationship between the elements of one set and one element of another or the same set, such that one or many inputs are related to only one output. For example, a function might relate a real number to the cube of that number. This relation can be written as f ( x ) = x 3 ; f is the name of the function, x is the input, and x 3 is the output, and f ( x ) is spoken as ‘ f of x ’. Thus if x = 4, then f (4) = 64. The input to a function is known as the argument and the output is the value. The set of permissible inputs is...

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A Dictionary of Animal Behaviour (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
239 words

...of their carriers. This phenomenon is called * kin selection . Functions are always complex and usually multiple. For example, the function of * incubation in herring gulls ( Larus argentatus ) is dependent upon a number of consequences of incubation. Thus, incubation keeps the eggs warm, but it prevents the sitter from foraging for food. It protects the eggs from predation, but it exposes the adult to attack by larger predators. Thus incubation has both costs and benefits. The function of incubation, therefore, has to be seen in terms of all the...

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