Q:
# What Are Piecewise Defined Functions?

**A piecewise-defined function consists of two or more subfunctions while maintaining the rule that a function has only y-value for each x-value.** Some mathematicians call the piecewise function a hybrid function. Merchants use piecewise functions in describing pricing schemes that give discounts for volume sales.

Credit:
YouraPechkin
E+
Getty Images

There are an infinite number of examples of piecewise functions, varying in complexity. The absolute value function is one of the simplest of these functions. Its formula is written f(x) = |x|. The subfunctions that define this function are f(x) = x if x > 0 and f(x) = -x if x < 0. The graph of this function is two rays, originating at the point (0,0), both at a 45-degree angle to the horizon.

The floor function forms an infinite number of steps and is a piecewise-defined function. In this function, f(x) is the integer greater than or equal to x.

Piecewise functions join functions of varying complexity, according to application. On one side of the gap, the function could be part of a parabola, while the other side is a straight line. In some piecewise functions, there are gaps between the two subfunctions where x is undefined, leaving a gap in the graph as well. If f(x) = 1/x, the function is undefined where x=0.

Learn more about Calculus-
Q:
## How Do You Find the Second Partial Derivative?

A: The second partial derivative for a function with two or more variables is found by differentiating twice in terms of one variable or in terms of one varia... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## How Do You Find the Derivative of Sin2x?

A: To find the derivative of a sin(2x) function, you must be familiar with derivatives of trigonometric functions and the chain rule for finding derivatives. ... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What Is the Midpoint Rule in Calculus?

A: The midpoint rule of calculus is a method for approximating the value of the area under the graph during numerical integration. This is one of several rule... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What Is Chain Rule Integration?

A: The term chain rule integration refers to the integration technique that reverses the process of differentiating using the chain rule. Chain rule integrati... Full Answer >Filed Under: