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2.1 Integers

The integer number system is a basic system of numbers. The set of all   integers is denoted by :

This number system is particularly simple and forms the basis for all of the other number systems presented here. Although the reader is assumed to be familiar with the integers, some semi-formal discussion follows, which serves to refresh the reader's memory and to illustrate common features of all number systems. The integers can be constructed from the   natural numbers; purists construct the naturals using set theory [41, 17, 59].

Integers can be combined through addition and multiplication. Operators abstract the notion of combining numbers, by allowing for unary and 0-ary operators. The terms function and operator are interchangable.   denotes a set of numbers. An n-ary operator maps an n-tuple of numbers to a single number. Formally stated,

Addition and multiplication are binary operators. An n-ary function   may be represented as a set F, of n+1-tuples of numbers:

Boldface is used to indicate vectors.

A set of numbers is closed under an n-ary operation if

Integers are closed under addition and multiplication: the sum or product of any two integers is another integer.

Since binary operators are so prevalent several properties of binary operators will be relevant. A binary operator is commutative if

it is associative if

it has identity if

and it has as an inverse if

where i is the identity for . A unary operator g has an inverse if

An n-ary function is total if

where states that g   is undefined for agument . A function which is not total is a partial function. The function g is injective (invertible) if

An inverse operator is a total inverse if it is a total operator, otherwise it is a partial inverse. A set of numbers is closed under operator if and only if is total. The domain   of a function g is written formally as .

An n-ary function may be restricted to a set , so that is not defined for :

Negation is the total inverse of addition. Subtraction is defined as the sum of a number with another number's additive inverse:

A serious limitation of the integers is the lack of a total inverse of multiplication. Division is defined as the product of a number with another number's multiplicative inverse:

It follows that the integers are not closed under division.

Addition and multiplication over the integers jointly satisfy the following distributive law:

multiplication is said to distibute over addition. Addition and multiplication over the integers do not satisfy the following, alternative, distributive law:

The first distributive law will be hereafter referred to as ``the'' distributive law.

Another nice property of the integers is that comparing any pair of integers will always result in exactly one of three orderings. Equivalently, every pair of distinct integers contains a larger member:

where denotes exclusive or.

The comparison operator ( ) maps pairs of numbers to booleans:

where   , the set of booleans.

Common Practice

Almost all computers have hardware dedicated to performing very quick operations on integers. Many systems strictly limit the magnitude of the integers to guarantee certain limits on computational resource requirements, while some do not. Although the manipulations of integers by computers is a fascinating and vitally important research area we will envision integers as a basic data type with rudimentary operations.

Next: 2.2 Rational Numbers Up: 2 Numbers Previous: 2 Numbers
 Jeff Tupper March 1996