In mathematics, the qualifier pointwise is used to indicate that a certain property is defined by considering each value of some function An important class of pointwise concepts are the pointwise operations — operations defined on functions by applying the operations to function values separately for each point in the domain of definition. Important relations can also be defined pointwise.
Pointwise operations inherit such properties as associativity, commutativity and distributivity from corresponding operations on the codomain. An example of an operation on functions which is not pointwise is convolution.
Componentwise operations are usually defined on vectors, where vectors are elements of the set for some natural number and some field . can be generalized to a set. If we denote the -th component of any vector as , then componentwise addition is .
A tuple can be regarded as a function, and a vector is a tuple. Therefore any vector corresponds to the function such that , and any componentwise operation on vectors is the pointwise operation on functions corresponding to those vectors.
In order theory it is common to define a pointwise partial order on functions. With A, B posets, the set of functions A → B can be ordered by f ≤ g if and only if (∀x ∈ A) f(x) ≤ g(x). Pointwise orders also inherit some properties of the underlying posets. For instance if A and B are continuous lattices, then so is the set of functions A → B with pointwise order.1 Using the pointwise order on functions one can concisely define other important notions, for instance:2
- A closure operator c on a poset P is a monotone and idempotent self-map on P (i.e. a projection operator) with the additional property that idA ≤ c, where id is the identity function.
- Similarly, a projection operator k is called a kernel operator if and only if k ≤ idA.
converges pointwise to a function if for each in
- Gierz, p. xxxiii
- Gierz, p. 26
For order theory examples:
- T.S. Blyth, Lattices and Ordered Algebraic Structures, Springer, 2005, ISBN 1-85233-905-5.
- G. Gierz, K. H. Hofmann, K. Keimel, J. D. Lawson, M. Mislove, D. S. Scott: Continuous Lattices and Domains, Cambridge University Press, 2003.