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Concept# Fixed-point theorem

Summary

In mathematics, a fixed-point theorem is a result saying that a function F will have at least one fixed point (a point x for which F(x) = x), under some conditions on F that can be stated in general terms.
The Banach fixed-point theorem (1922) gives a general criterion guaranteeing that, if it is satisfied, the procedure of iterating a function yields a fixed point.
By contrast, the Brouwer fixed-point theorem (1911) is a non-constructive result: it says that any continuous function from the closed unit ball in n-dimensional Euclidean space to itself must have a fixed point, but it doesn't describe how to find the fixed point (See also Sperner's lemma).
For example, the cosine function is continuous in [−1,1] and maps it into [−1, 1], and thus must have a fixed point. This is clear when examining a sketched graph of the cosine function; the fixed point occurs where the cosine curve y = cos(x) intersects the line y = x. Numerically, the fixed point (known as the Dottie number) is approximately x = 0.73908513321516 (thus x = cos(x) for this value of x).
The Lefschetz fixed-point theorem (and the Nielsen fixed-point theorem) from algebraic topology is notable because it gives, in some sense, a way to count fixed points.
There are a number of generalisations to Banach fixed-point theorem and further; these are applied in PDE theory. See fixed-point theorems in infinite-dimensional spaces.
The collage theorem in fractal compression proves that, for many images, there exists a relatively small description of a function that, when iteratively applied to any starting image, rapidly converges on the desired image.
The Knaster–Tarski theorem states that any order-preserving function on a complete lattice has a fixed point, and indeed a smallest fixed point. See also Bourbaki–Witt theorem.
The theorem has applications in abstract interpretation, a form of static program analysis.
A common theme in lambda calculus is to find fixed points of given lambda expressions.

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Iterated function

In mathematics, an iterated function is a function X → X (that is, a function from some set X to itself) which is obtained by composing another function f : X → X with itself a certain number of times. The process of repeatedly applying the same function is called iteration. In this process, starting from some initial object, the result of applying a given function is fed again in the function as input, and this process is repeated. For example on the image on the right: with the circle‐shaped symbol of function composition.

Brouwer fixed-point theorem

Brouwer's fixed-point theorem is a fixed-point theorem in topology, named after L. E. J. (Bertus) Brouwer. It states that for any continuous function mapping a nonempty compact convex set to itself there is a point such that . The simplest forms of Brouwer's theorem are for continuous functions from a closed interval in the real numbers to itself or from a closed disk to itself. A more general form than the latter is for continuous functions from a nonempty convex compact subset of Euclidean space to itself.

Fixed-point theorems in infinite-dimensional spaces

In mathematics, a number of fixed-point theorems in infinite-dimensional spaces generalise the Brouwer fixed-point theorem. They have applications, for example, to the proof of existence theorems for partial differential equations. The first result in the field was the Schauder fixed-point theorem, proved in 1930 by Juliusz Schauder (a previous result in a different vein, the Banach fixed-point theorem for contraction mappings in complete metric spaces was proved in 1922). Quite a number of further results followed.

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