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In calculus, **logarithmic differentiation** or **differentiation by taking logarithms** is a method used to differentiate functions by employing the logarithmic derivative of a function *f*,^{[1]}

The technique is often performed in cases where it is easier to differentiate the logarithm of a function rather than the function itself. This usually occurs in cases where the function of interest is composed of a product of a number of parts, so that a logarithmic transformation will turn it into a sum of separate parts (which is much easier to differentiate). It can also be useful when applied to functions raised to the power of variables or functions. Logarithmic differentiation relies on the chain rule as well as properties of logarithms (in particular, the natural logarithm, or the logarithm to the base *e*) to transform products into sums and divisions into subtractions.^{[2]}^{[3]} The principle can be implemented, at least in part, in the differentiation of almost all differentiable functions, providing that these functions are non-zero.

The method is used because the properties of logarithms provide avenues to quickly simplify complicated functions to be differentiated.^{[4]} These properties can be manipulated after the taking of natural logarithms on both sides and before the preliminary differentiation. The most commonly used logarithm laws are^{[3]}

Using Faà di Bruno's formula, the n-th order logarithmic derivative is,

A natural logarithm is applied to a product of two functions

A natural logarithm is applied to a quotient of two functions

which is the quotient rule for derivatives.

For a function of the form

Using capital pi notation, let

The application of natural logarithms results in (with capital sigma notation)

- Darboux derivative
- Generalizations of the derivative – Fundamental construction of differential calculus
- Lie group – Group that is also a differentiable manifold with group operations that are smooth
- List of logarithm topics
- List of logarithmic identities
- Maurer–Cartan form – on a Lie group G, a canonical 1-form valued in its own Lie algebra; the unique principal-bundle connection on the unique G-bundle over the one-point space

**^**Krantz, Steven G. (2003).*Calculus demystified*. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 170. ISBN 0-07-139308-0.**^**N.P. Bali (2005).*Golden Differential Calculus*. Firewall Media. p. 282. ISBN 81-7008-152-1.- ^
^{a}^{b}Bird, John (2006).*Higher Engineering Mathematics*. Newnes. p. 324. ISBN 0-7506-8152-7. **^**Blank, Brian E. (2006).*Calculus, single variable*. Springer. p. 457. ISBN 1-931914-59-1.**^**Williamson, Benjamin (2008).*An Elementary Treatise on the Differential Calculus*. BiblioBazaar, LLC. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0-559-47577-1.