Questions tagged [derivatives]

Questions on the evaluation of derivatives or problems involving derivatives (for example, use of the mean value theorem).

The derivative of a function of a real variable measures the sensitivity to change of the function value (output value) with respect to a change in its argument (input value)

Derivative of a function has a very natural geometric and physical interpretation: it corresponds to slope of the tangent line and to instantaneous velocity. In applications, it usually describes the rate of change of a physical variable.

Basic techniques used for computing the derivative of a given function are

It is useful to know the derivatives of elementary functions. This tag is intended for questions on the evaluation of derivatives.

Derivatives may be generalized to functions of several real variables. In this generalization, the derivative is reinterpreted as a linear transformation whose graph is (after an appropriate translation) the best linear approximation to the graph of the original function. The Jacobian matrix is the matrix that represents this linear transformation with respect to the basis given by the choice of independent and dependent variables. It can be calculated in terms of the partial derivatives with respect to the independent variables. For a real-valued function of several variables, the Jacobian matrix reduces to the gradient vector.

30202 questions
1 answer

How discontinuous can a derivative be?

There is a well-known result in elementary analysis due to Darboux which says if $f$ is a differentiable function then $f'$ satisfies the intermediate value property. To my knowledge, not many "highly" discontinuous Darboux functions are known--the…
Chris Janjigian
  • 8,143
  • 4
  • 25
  • 41
10 answers

Derivative of sigmoid function $\sigma (x) = \frac{1}{1+e^{-x}}$

In my AI textbook there is this paragraph, without any explanation. The sigmoid function is defined as follows $$\sigma (x) = \frac{1}{1+e^{-x}}.$$ This function is easy to differentiate because $$\frac{d\sigma (x)}{d(x)} = \sigma (x)\cdot…
Bryan Glazer
  • 2,843
  • 3
  • 14
  • 12
6 answers

Why does this matrix give the derivative of a function?

I happened to stumble upon the following matrix: $$ A = \begin{bmatrix} a & 1 \\ 0 & a \end{bmatrix} $$ And after trying a bunch of different examples, I noticed the following remarkable pattern. If $P$ is a polynomial,…
1 answer

Derivative of Softmax loss function

I am trying to wrap my head around back-propagation in a neural network with a Softmax classifier, which uses the Softmax function: \begin{equation} p_j = \frac{e^{o_j}}{\sum_k e^{o_k}} \end{equation} This is used in a loss function of the…
Moos Hueting
  • 2,107
  • 3
  • 11
  • 10
6 answers

Why can't differentiability be generalized as nicely as continuity?

The question: Can we define differentiable functions between (some class of) sets, "without $\Bbb R$"* so that it Reduces to the traditional definition when desired? Has the same use in at least some of the higher contexts where we would use the…
2 answers

Discontinuous derivative.

Could someone give an example of a ‘very’ discontinuous derivative? I myself can only come up with examples where the derivative is discontinuous at only one point. I am assuming the function is real-valued and defined on a bounded interval.
  • 1,827
  • 3
  • 12
  • 3
9 answers

What is the Jacobian matrix?

What is the Jacobian matrix? What are its applications? What is its physical and geometrical meaning? Can someone please explain with examples?
9 answers

Prove that $C\exp(x)$ is the only set of functions for which $f(x) = f'(x)$

I was wondering on the following and I probably know the answer already: NO. Is there another number with similar properties as $e$? So that the derivative of $\exp(x)$ is the same as the function itself. I can guess that it's probably not, because…
7 answers

What exactly is the difference between a derivative and a total derivative?

I am not too grounded in differentiation but today, I was posed with a supposedly easy question $w = f(x,y) = x^2 + y^2$ where $x = r\sin\theta $ and $y = r\cos\theta$ requiring the solution to $\partial w / \partial r$ and $\partial w / \partial…
Chibueze Opata
  • 1,345
  • 2
  • 10
  • 9
6 answers

What did Alan Turing mean when he said he didn't fully understand dy/dx?

Alan Turing's notebook has recently been sold at an auction house in London. In it he says this: Written out: The Leibniz notation $\frac{\mathrm{d}y}{\mathrm{d}x}$ I find extremely difficult to understand in spite of it having been the one I …
  • 1,608
  • 2
  • 10
  • 20
8 answers

Why is the derivative of a circle's area its perimeter (and similarly for spheres)?

When differentiated with respect to $r$, the derivative of $\pi r^2$ is $2 \pi r$, which is the circumference of a circle. Similarly, when the formula for a sphere's volume $\frac{4}{3} \pi r^3$ is differentiated with respect to $r$, we get $4 \pi…
  • 8,471
  • 12
  • 37
  • 33
7 answers

Does L'Hôpital's work the other way?

As referred in Wikipedia (see the specified criteria there), L'Hôpital's rule says, $$ \lim_{x\to c}\frac{f(x)}{g(x)}=\lim_{x\to c}\frac{f'(x)}{g'(x)} $$ As $$ \lim_{x\to c}\frac{f'(x)}{g'(x)}= \lim_{x\to c}\frac{\int f'(x)\ dx}{\int g'(x)\…
  • 2,648
  • 1
  • 17
  • 32
5 answers

Difference between gradient and Jacobian

Could anyone explain in simple words (and maybe with an example) what the difference between the gradient and the Jacobian is? The gradient is a vector with the partial derivatives, right?
3 answers

Construct a function which is continuous in $[1,5]$ but not differentiable at $2, 3, 4$

Construct a function which is continuous in $[1,5]$ but not differentiable at $2, 3, 4$. This question is just after the definition of differentiation and the theorem that if $f$ is finitely derivable at $c$, then $f$ is also continuous at $c$.…
  • 5,282
  • 8
  • 41
  • 63
11 answers

Why not include as a requirement that all functions must be continuous to be differentiable?

Theorem: Suppose that $f : A \to \mathbb{R}$ where $A \subseteq \mathbb{R}$. If $f$ is differentiable at $x \in A$, then $f$ is continuous at $x$. This theorem is equivalent (by the contrapositive) to the result that if $f$ is not continuous at…
  • 11,600
  • 6
  • 43
  • 126
2 3
99 100