Tag Archives: maps

A semi-continuous function with a dense set of points of discontinuity

Let’s come back to Thomae’s function which is defined as:
\mathbb{R} & \longrightarrow & \mathbb{R} \\
x & \longmapsto & 0 \text{ if } x \in \mathbb{R} \setminus \mathbb{Q} \\
\frac{p}{q} & \longmapsto & \frac{1}{q} \text{ if } \frac{p}{q} \text{ in lowest terms and } q > 0

We proved here that \(f\) right-sided and left-sided limits vanish at all points. Therefore \(\limsup\limits_{x \to a} f(x) \le f(a)\) at every point \(a\) which proves that \(f\) is upper semi-continuous on \(\mathbb R\). However \(f\) is continuous at all \(a \in \mathbb R \setminus \mathbb Q\) and discontinuous at all \(a \in \mathbb Q\).

A strictly increasing continuous function that is differentiable at no point of a null set

We build in this article a strictly increasing continuous function \(f\) that is differentiable at no point of a null set \(E\). The null set \(E\) can be chosen arbitrarily. In particular it can have the cardinality of the continuum like the Cantor null set.

A set of strictly increasing continuous functions

For \(p \lt q\) two real numbers, consider the function \[
f_{p,q}(x)=(q-p) \left[\frac{\pi}{2} + \arctan{\left(\frac{2x-p-q}{q-p}\right)}\right]\] \(f_{p,q}\) is positive and its derivative is \[
f_{p,q}^\prime(x) = \frac{2}{1+\left(\frac{2x-p-q}{q-p}\right)^2}\] which is always strictly positive. Hence \(f_{p,q}\) is strictly increasing. We also have \[
\lim\limits_{x \to -\infty} f_{p,q}(x) = 0 \text{ and } \lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f_{p,q}(x) = \pi(q-p).\] One can notice that for \(x \in (p,q)\), \(f_{p,q}^\prime(x) \gt 1\). Therefore for \(x, y \in (p,q)\) distinct we have according to the mean value theorem \(\frac{f_{p,q}(y)-f_{p,q}(x)}{y-x} \ge 1\).

Covering \(E\) with an appropriate set of open intervals

As \(E\) is a null set, for each \(n \in \mathbb N\) one can find an open set \(O_n\) containing \(E\) and measuring less than \(2^{-n}\). \(O_n\) can be written as a countable union of disjoint open intervals as any open subset of the reals. Then \(I=\bigcup_{m \in \mathbb N} O_m\) is also a countable union of open intervals \(I_n\) with \(n \in \mathbb N\). The sum of the lengths of the \(I_n\) is less than \(1\). Continue reading A strictly increasing continuous function that is differentiable at no point of a null set

A monotonic function whose points of discontinuity form a dense set

Consider a compact interval \([a,b] \subset \mathbb R\) with \(a \lt b\). Let’s build an increasing function \(f : [a,b] \to \mathbb R\) whose points of discontinuity is an arbitrary dense subset \(D = \{d_n \ ; \ n \in \mathbb N\}\) of \([a,b]\), for example \(D = \mathbb Q \cap [a,b]\).

Let \(\sum p_n\) be a convergent series of positive numbers whose sum is equal to \(p\) and define \(\displaystyle f(x) = \sum_{d_n \le x} p_n\).

\(f\) is strictly increasing

For \(a \le x \lt y \le b\) we have \[
f(y) – f(x) = \sum_{x \lt d_n \le y} p_n \gt 0\] as the \(p_n\) are positive and dense so it exists \(p_m \in (x, y]\).

\(f\) is right-continuous on \([a,b]\)

We pick-up \(x \in [a,b]\). For any \(\epsilon \gt 0\) is exists \(N \in \mathbb N\) such that \(0 \lt \sum_{n \gt N} p_n \lt \epsilon\). Let \(\delta > 0\) be so small that the interval \((x,x+\delta)\) doesn’t contain any point in the finite set \(\{p_1, \dots, p_N\}\). Then \[
0 \lt f(y) – f(x) \le \sum_{n \gt N} p_n \lt \epsilon,\] for any \(y \in (x,x+\delta)\) proving the right-continuity of \(f\) at \(x\). Continue reading A monotonic function whose points of discontinuity form a dense set

Uniform continuous function but not Lipschitz continuous

Consider the function \[
f : & [0,1] & \longrightarrow & [0,1] \\
& x & \longmapsto & \sqrt{x} \end{array}\]

\(f\) is continuous on the compact interval \([0,1]\). Hence \(f\) is uniform continuous on that interval according to Heine-Cantor theorem. For a direct proof, one can verify that for \(\epsilon > 0\), one have \(\vert \sqrt{x} – \sqrt{y} \vert \le \epsilon\) for \(\vert x – y \vert \le \epsilon^2\).

However \(f\) is not Lipschitz continuous. If \(f\) was Lipschitz continuous for a Lipschitz constant \(K > 0\), we would have \(\vert \sqrt{x} – \sqrt{y} \vert \le K \vert x – y \vert\) for all \(x,y \in [0,1]\). But we get a contradiction taking \(x=0\) and \(y=\frac{1}{4 K^2}\) as \[
\vert \sqrt{x} – \sqrt{y} \vert = \frac{1}{2 K} > \frac{1}{4 K} = K \vert x – y \vert\]

Pointwise convergence not uniform on any interval

We provide in this article an example of a pointwise convergent sequence of real functions that doesn’t converge uniformly on any interval.

Let’s consider a sequence \((a_p)_{p \in \mathbb N}\) enumerating the set \(\mathbb Q\) of rational numbers. Such a sequence exists as \(\mathbb Q\) is countable.

Now let \((g_n)_{n \in \mathbb N}\) be the sequence of real functions defined on \(\mathbb R\) by \[
g_n(x) = \sum_{p=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{2^p} f_n(x-a_p)\] where \(f_n : x \mapsto \frac{n^2 x^2}{1+n^4 x^4}\) for \(n \in \mathbb N\).

\(f_n\) main properties

\(f_n\) is a rational function whose denominator doesn’t vanish. Hence \(f_n\) is indefinitely differentiable. As \(f_n\) is an even function, we can study it only on \([0,\infty)\).

We have \[
f_n^\prime(x)= 2n^2x \frac{1-n^4x^4}{(1+n^4 x^4)^2}.\] \(f_n^\prime\) vanishes at zero (like \(f_n\)) is positive on \((0,\frac{1}{n})\), vanishes at \(\frac{1}{n}\) and is negative on \((\frac{1}{n},\infty)\). Hence \(f_n\) has a maximum at \(\frac{1}{n}\) with \(f_n(\frac{1}{n}) = \frac{1}{2}\) and \(0 \le f_n(x) \le \frac{1}{2}\) for all \(x \in \mathbb R\).

Also for \(x \neq 0\) \[
0 \le f_n(x) =\frac{n^2 x^2}{1+n^4 x^4} \le \frac{n^2 x^2}{n^4 x^4} = \frac{1}{n^2 x^2}\] consequently \[
0 \le f_n(x) \le \frac{1}{n} \text{ for } x \ge \frac{1}{\sqrt{n}}.\]

\((g_n)\) converges pointwise to zero

First, one can notice that \(g_n\) is well defined. For \(x \in \mathbb R\) and \(p \in \mathbb N\) we have \(0 \le \frac{1}{2^p} f_n(x-a_p) \le \frac{1}{2^p} \cdot\ \frac{1}{2}=\frac{1}{2^{p+1}}\) according to previous paragraph. Therefore the series of functions \(\sum \frac{1}{2^p} f_n(x-a_p)\) is normally convergent. \(g_n\) is also continuous as for all \(p \in \mathbb N\) \(x \mapsto \frac{1}{2^p} f_n(x-a_p)\) is continuous. Continue reading Pointwise convergence not uniform on any interval

A Riemann-integrable map that is not regulated

For a Banach space \(X\), a function \(f : [a,b] \to X\) is said to be regulated if there exists a sequence of step functions \(\varphi_n : [a,b] \to X\) converging uniformly to \(f\).

One can prove that a regulated function \(f : [a,b] \to X\) is Riemann-integrable. Is the converse true? The answer is negative and we provide below an example of a Riemann-integrable real function that is not regulated. Let’s first prove following theorem.

THEOREM A bounded function \(f : [a,b] \to \mathbb R\) that is (Riemann) integrable on all intervals \([c, b]\) with \(a < c < b\) is integrable on \([a,b]\).

PROOF Take \(M > 0\) such that for all \(x \in [a,b]\) we have \(\vert f(x) \vert < M\). For \(\epsilon > 0\), denote \(c = \inf(a + \frac{\epsilon}{4M},b + \frac{b-a}{2})\). As \(f\) is supposed to be integrable on \([c,b]\), one can find a partition \(P\): \(c=x_1 < x_2 < \dots < x_n =b\) such that \(0 \le U(f,P) - L(f,P) < \frac{\epsilon}{2}\) where \(L(f,P),U(f,P)\) are the lower and upper Darboux sums. For the partition \(P^\prime\): \(a= x_0 < c=x_1 < x_2 < \dots < x_n =b\), we have \[ \begin{aligned} 0 \le U(f,P^\prime) - L(f,P^\prime) &\le 2M(c-a) + \left(U(f,P) - L(f,P)\right)\\ &< 2M \frac{\epsilon}{4M} + \frac{\epsilon}{2} = \epsilon \end{aligned}\] We now prove that the function \(f : [0,1] \to [0,1]\) defined by \[ f(x)=\begin{cases} 1 &\text{ if } x \in \{2^{-k} \ ; \ k \in \mathbb N\}\\ 0 &\text{otherwise} \end{cases}\] is Riemann-integrable (that follows from above theorem) and not regulated. Let's prove it. If \(f\) was regulated, there would exist a step function \(g\) such that \(\vert f(x)-g(x) \vert < \frac{1}{3}\) for all \(x \in [0,1]\). If \(0=x_0 < x_1 < \dots < x_n=1\) is a partition associated to \(g\) and \(c_1\) the value of \(g\) on the interval \((0,x_1)\), we must have \(\vert 1-c_1 \vert < \frac{1}{3}\) as \(f\) takes (an infinite number of times) the value \(1\) on \((0,x_1)\). But \(f\) also takes (an infinite number of times) the value \(0\) on \((0,x_1)\). Hence we must have \(\vert c_1 \vert < \frac{1}{3}\). We get a contradiction as those two inequalities are not compatible.

A discontinuous midpoint convex function

Let’s recall that a real function \(f: \mathbb R \to \mathbb R\) is called convex if for all \(x, y \in \mathbb R\) and \(\lambda \in [0,1]\) we have \[
f((1- \lambda) x + \lambda y) \le (1- \lambda) f(x) + \lambda f(y)\] \(f\) is called midpoint convex if for all \(x, y \in \mathbb R\) \[
f \left(\frac{x+y}{2}\right) \le \frac{f(x)+f(y)}{2}\] One can prove that a continuous midpoint convex function is convex. Sierpinski proved the stronger theorem, that a real-valued Lebesgue measurable function that is midpoint convex will be convex.

Can one find a discontinuous midpoint convex function? The answer is positive but requires the Axiom of Choice. Why? Because Robert M. Solovay constructed a model of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (ZF), exclusive of the axiom of choice where all functions are Lebesgue measurable. Hence convex according to Sierpinski theorem. And one knows that convex functions defined on \(\mathbb R\) are continuous.

Referring to my previous article on the existence of discontinuous additive map, let’s use a Hamel basis \(\mathcal B = (b_i)_{i \in I}\) of \(\mathbb R\) considered as a vector space on \(\mathbb Q\). Take \(i_1 \in I\), define \(f(i_1)=1\) and \(f(i)=0\) for \(i \in I\setminus \{i_1\}\) and extend \(f\) linearly on \(\mathbb R\). \(f\) is midpoint convex as it is linear. As the image of \(\mathbb R\) under \(f\) is \(\mathbb Q\), \(f\) is discontinuous as explained in the discontinuous additive map counterexample.

Moreover, \(f\) is unbounded on all open real subsets. By linearity, it is sufficient to prove that \(f\) is unbounded around \(0\). Let’s consider \(i_1 \neq i_2 \in I\). \(G= b_{i_1} \mathbb Z + b_{i_2} \mathbb Z\) is a proper subgroup of the additive \(\mathbb R\) group. Hence \(G\) is either dense of discrete. It cannot be discrete as the set of vectors \(\{b_1,b_2\}\) is linearly independent. Hence \(G\) is dense in \(\mathbb R\). Therefore, one can find a non vanishing sequence \((x_n)_{n \in \mathbb N}=(q_n^1 b_{i_1} + q_n^2 b_{i_2})_{n \in \mathbb N}\) (with \((q_n^1,q_n^2) \in \mathbb Q^2\) for all \(n \in \mathbb N\)) converging to \(0\). As \(\{b_1,b_2\}\) is linearly independent, this implies \(\vert q_n^1 \vert, \vert q_n^2 \vert \underset{n\to+\infty}{\longrightarrow} \infty\) and therefore \[
\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \vert f(x_n) \vert = \lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \vert f(q_n^1 b_{i_1} + q_n^2 b_{i_2}) \vert = \lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \vert q_n^1 \vert = \infty.\]

A positive smooth function with all derivatives vanishing at zero

Let’s consider the set \(\mathcal C^\infty(\mathbb R)\) of real smooth functions, i.e. functions that have derivatives of all orders on \(\mathbb R\).

Does a positive function \(f \in \mathcal C^\infty(\mathbb R)\) with all derivatives vanishing at zero exists?

Such a map \(f\) cannot be expandable in power series around zero, as it would vanish in a neighborhood of zero. However, the answer to our question is positive and we’ll prove that \[
f(x) = \left\{\begin{array}{lll}
e^{-\frac{1}{x^2}} &\text{if} &x \neq 0\\
0 &\text{if} &x = 0 \end{array}\right. \] provides an example.

\(f\) is well defined and positive for \(x \neq 0\). As \(\lim\limits_{x \to 0} -\frac{1}{x^2} = -\infty\), we get \(\lim\limits_{x \to 0} f(x) = 0\) proving that \(f\) is continuous on \(\mathbb R\). Let’s prove by induction that for \(x \neq 0\) and \(n \in \mathbb N\), \(f^{(n)}(x)\) can be written as \[
f^{(n)}(x) = \frac{P_n(x)}{x^{3n}}e^{-\frac{1}{x^2}}\] where \(P_n\) is a polynomial function. The statement is satisfied for \(n = 1\) as \(f^\prime(x) = \frac{2}{x^3}e^{-\frac{1}{x^2}}\). Suppose that the statement is true for \(n\) then \[
f^{(n+1)}(x)=\left[\frac{P_n^\prime(x)}{x^{3n}} – \frac{3n P_n(x)}{x^{3n+1}}+\frac{2 P_n(x)}{x^{3n+3}}\right] e^{-\frac{1}{x^2}}\] hence the statement is also true for \(n+1\) by taking \(P_{n+1}(x)=
x^3 P_n^\prime(x) – 3n x^2 P_n(x) + 2 P_n(x)\). Which concludes our induction proof.

Finally, we have to prove that for all \(n \in \mathbb N\), \(\lim\limits_{x \to 0} f^{(n)}(x) = 0\). For that, we use the power expansion of the exponential map \(e^x = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{x^n}{n!}\). For \(x \neq 0\), we have \[
\left\vert x \right\vert^{3n} e^{\frac{1}{x^2}} \ge \frac{\vert x \vert^{3n}}{(2n)! \vert x \vert ^{4n}} = \frac{1}{(2n)! \vert x \vert^n}\] Therefore \(\lim\limits_{x \to 0} \left\vert x \right\vert^{3n} e^{\frac{1}{x^2}} = \infty\) and \(\lim\limits_{x \to 0} f^{(n)}(x) = 0\) as \(f^{(n)}(x) = \frac{P_n(x)}{x^{3n} e^{\frac{1}{x^2}}}\) with \(P_n\) a polynomial function.

Counterexamples around Lebesgue’s Dominated Convergence Theorem

Let’s recall Lebesgue’s Dominated Convergence Theorem. Let \((f_n)\) be a sequence of real-valued measurable functions on a measure space \((X, \Sigma, \mu)\). Suppose that the sequence converges pointwise to a function \(f\) and is dominated by some integrable function \(g\) in the sense that \[
\vert f_n(x) \vert \le g (x)\] for all \(n \in \mathbb N\) and all \(x \in X\).
Then \(f\) is integrable and \[
\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \int_X f_n(x) \ d \mu = \int_X f(x) \ d \mu\]

Let’s see what can happen if we drop the domination condition.

We consider the space \(\mathbb R\) endowed with Lebesgue measure and for \(E \subseteq \mathbb R\) we denote by \(\chi_E\) the indicator function of \(E\) defined by \[
1 \text{ if } x \in E\\
0 \text{ otherwise}\end{cases}\] For \(n \in \mathbb N\), the function \(f_n=\frac{1}{2n}\chi_{(n^2-n,n^2+n)}\) is measurable and we have \[
\int_{\mathbb R} \frac{1}{2n}\chi_{(n^2-n,n^2+n)}(x) \ dx = \int_{n^2-n}^{n^2+n} \frac{1}{2n} \ dx = 1\] The sequence \((f_n)\) converges uniformly (and therefore pointwise) to the always vanishing function as for \(n \in \mathbb N\) we have for all \(x \in \mathbb R\) \(\vert f_n(x) \vert \le \frac{1}{2n}\). Hence the conclusion of Lebesgue’s Dominated Convergence Theorem doesn’t hold for the sequence \((f_n)\).

Let’s verify that the sequence \((f_n)\) is not dominated by some integrable function \(g\). For \(p < q\) integers, we have \[ \begin{aligned} q^2-q-(p^2+p) &= q^2-p^2 -q-p\\ &= (q-p)(q+p) -q -p\\ &\ge (q+p) -q-p=0 \end{aligned}\] Hence for \(p \neq q\) integers the intervals \((p^2-p,p^2+p)\) and \((q^2-q,q^2+q)\) are disjoint. Consequently for all \(x \in \mathbb R\) the sum \(\sum_{n \in \mathbb N} f_n(x)\) amounts to only one term and the function \(\sum_{n \in \mathbb N} f_n\) is well defined. If \(g\) dominates the sequence \((f_n)\), it satisfies \(0 \le \sum_{n \in \mathbb N} f_n \le g\). But \[ \int_{\mathbb R} \sum_{n \in \mathbb N} f_n(x) \ dx = \sum_{n \in \mathbb N} \int_{\mathbb R} f_n(x) \ dx = \sum_{n \in \mathbb N} 1 = \infty\] and \(g\) cannot be integrable. Continue reading Counterexamples around Lebesgue’s Dominated Convergence Theorem

Bounded functions and infimum, supremum

According to the extreme value theorem, a continuous real-valued function \(f\) in the closed and bounded interval \([a,b]\) must attain a maximum and a minimum, each at least once.

Let’s see what can happen for non-continuous functions. We consider below maps defined on \([0,1]\).

First let’s look at \[
x &\text{ if } x \in (0,1)\\
1/2 &\text{otherwise}
\end{cases}\] \(f\) is bounded on \([0,1]\), continuous on the interval \((0,1)\) but neither at \(0\) nor at \(1\). The infimum of \(f\) is \(0\), its supremum \(1\), and \(f\) doesn’t attain those values. However, for \(0 < a < b < 1\), \(f\) attains its supremum and infimum on \([a,b]\) as \(f\) is continuous on this interval.

Bounded function that doesn’t attain its infimum and supremum on all \([a,b] \subseteq [0,1]\)

The function \(g\) defined on \([0,1]\) by \[
0 & \text{ if } x \notin \mathbb Q \text{ or if } x = 0\\
\frac{(-1)^q (q-1)}{q} & \text{ if } x = \frac{p}{q} \neq 0 \text{, with } p, q \text{ relatively prime}
\end{cases}\] is bounded, as for \(x \in \mathbb Q \cap [0,1]\) we have \[
\left\vert g(x) \right\vert < 1.\] Hence \(g\) takes values in the interval \([-1,1]\). We prove that the infimum of \(g\) is \(-1\) and its supremum \(1\) on all intervals \([a,b]\) with \(0 < a < b <1\). Consider \(\varepsilon > 0\) and an odd prime \(q\) such that \[
q > \max(\frac{1}{\varepsilon}, \frac{1}{b-a}).\] This is possible as there are infinitely many prime numbers. By the pigeonhole principle and as \(0 < \frac{1}{q} < b-a\), there exists a natural number \(p\) such that \(\frac{p}{q} \in (a,b)\). We have \[ -1 < g \left(\frac{p}{q} \right) = \frac{(-1)^q (q-1)}{q} = - \frac{q-1}{q} <-1 +\varepsilon\] as \(q\) is supposed to be an odd prime with \(q > \frac{1}{\varepsilon}\). This proves that the infimum of \(g\) is \(-1\). By similar arguments, one can prove that the supremum of \(g\) on \([a,b]\) is \(1\).