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indicates that the column's property is always true the row's term (at the very left), while ✗ indicates that the property is not guaranteed in general (it might, or might not, hold). For example, that every equivalence relation is symmetric, but not necessarily antisymmetric, is indicated by in the "Symmetric" column and ✗ in the "Antisymmetric" column, respectively. All definitions tacitly require the homogeneous relation be transitive: for all if and then |
In mathematics, a binary relation on a set is reflexive if it relates every element of to itself.^{[1]}^{[2]}
An example of a reflexive relation is the relation "is equal to" on the set of real numbers, since every real number is equal to itself. A reflexive relation is said to have the reflexive property or is said to possess reflexivity. Along with symmetry and transitivity, reflexivity is one of three properties defining equivalence relations.
Let be a binary relation on a set which by definition is just a subset of For any the notation means that while "not " means that
The relation is called reflexive if for every or equivalently, if where denotes the identity relation on The reflexive closure of is the union which can equivalently be defined as the smallest (with respect to ) reflexive relation on that is a superset of A relation is reflexive if and only if it is equal to its reflexive closure.
The reflexive reduction or irreflexive kernel of is the smallest (with respect to ) relation on that has the same reflexive closure as It is equal to The reflexive reduction of can, in a sense, be seen as a construction that is the "opposite" of the reflexive closure of For example, the reflexive closure of the canonical strict inequality on the reals is the usual non-strict inequality whereas the reflexive reduction of is
There are several definitions related to the reflexive property. The relation is called:
A reflexive relation on a nonempty set can neither be irreflexive, nor asymmetric ( is called asymmetric if implies not ), nor antitransitive ( is antitransitive if implies not ).
Examples of reflexive relations include:
Examples of irreflexive relations include:
An example of an irreflexive relation, which means that it does not relate any element to itself, is the "greater than" relation ( ) on the real numbers. Not every relation which is not reflexive is irreflexive; it is possible to define relations where some elements are related to themselves but others are not (that is, neither all nor none are). For example, the binary relation "the product of and is even" is reflexive on the set of even numbers, irreflexive on the set of odd numbers, and neither reflexive nor irreflexive on the set of natural numbers.
An example of a quasi-reflexive relation is "has the same limit as" on the set of sequences of real numbers: not every sequence has a limit, and thus the relation is not reflexive, but if a sequence has the same limit as some sequence, then it has the same limit as itself. An example of a left quasi-reflexive relation is a left Euclidean relation, which is always left quasi-reflexive but not necessarily right quasi-reflexive, and thus not necessarily quasi-reflexive.
An example of a coreflexive relation is the relation on integers in which each odd number is related to itself and there are no other relations. The equality relation is the only example of a both reflexive and coreflexive relation, and any coreflexive relation is a subset of the identity relation. The union of a coreflexive relation and a transitive relation on the same set is always transitive.
The number of reflexive relations on an -element set is ^{[6]}
Elements | Any | Transitive | Reflexive | Symmetric | Preorder | Partial order | Total preorder | Total order | Equivalence relation |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |
1 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |
2 | 16 | 13 | 4 | 8 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 |
3 | 512 | 171 | 64 | 64 | 29 | 19 | 13 | 6 | 5 |
4 | 65,536 | 3,994 | 4,096 | 1,024 | 355 | 219 | 75 | 24 | 15 |
n | 2^{n2} | 2^{n(n−1)} | 2^{n(n+1)/2} | ∑^{n} _{k=0} k!S(n, k) |
n! | ∑^{n} _{k=0} S(n, k) | |||
OEIS | A002416 | A006905 | A053763 | A006125 | A000798 | A001035 | A000670 | A000142 | A000110 |
Note that S(n, k) refers to Stirling numbers of the second kind.
Authors in philosophical logic often use different terminology. Reflexive relations in the mathematical sense are called totally reflexive in philosophical logic, and quasi-reflexive relations are called reflexive.^{[7]}^{[8]}