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Math Help - Equivalence Relations

  1. #1
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    Equivalence Relations

    I am not sure how to go about doing the following questions... any help will be highly appreciated..

    Q. Which of these relations on the set of all people are equivalence relations? Determine the properties of an equivalence relation that the others lack.
    a) {(a,b)/ a and b are the same age}
    b) {(a,b)/ a and b have the same parent}
    c) {(a,b)/ a and b share a common parent}
    d) {(a,b)/ a and b have met}
    e) {(a,b)/ a and b speak a common language}

    MY Answers:

    a) a and b are same age, therefore it is reflexive since a = b
    It is symmetric a = b and b = a, it is transitive since a = b and b = c implies a = c.

    b) a and b have same parent, therefore it is reflexive since a = b, symmetric since a = b and b = a, but NOT transitive since a = b and b = c, but a != c.

    Similarly the rest of them... but I don't have a clue how to go about doing it...
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  2. #2
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    Be careful! (b) & (c) look alike but are not.
    (b) is transtive but (c) is not. WHY?

    As a rule of thumb: the word "same" implies an equivlance relation.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    Be careful! (b) & (c) look alike but are not.
    (b) is transtive but (c) is not. WHY?

    As a rule of thumb: the word "same" implies an equivlance relation.
    I was wondering if you could possibly explain me step-by-step.
    How to attack these problems? Where to start?
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  4. #4
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    Let’s change (b) to “have the same mother”.
    It is easy to see reflexive and symmetric.
    If a & b have the same mother and b & c have the same mother then surly a & c have the same mother. So it is transitive.

    But have a parent in common? Here a & b may have the same mother and b & c have the same father, but a & c may not have a common parent. Part (e) is exactly the same idea because some people are bilingual. A may speak English, B may speak English and French and C may speak French.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    Let’s change (b) to “have the same mother”.
    It is easy to see reflexive and symmetric.
    If a & b have the same mother and b & c have the same mother then surly a & c have the same mother. So it is transitive.

    But have a parent in common? Here a & b may have the same mother and b & c have the same father, but a & c may not have a common parent. Part (e) is exactly the same idea because some people are bilingual. A may speak English, B may speak English and French and C may speak French.

    It's easy for you to see if it is reflexive and symmetric but not for me!
    Could you please answer my questions one at a time?
    Like answer of a) answer of b) answer of c) answer of d) answer of e)

    Thanks for you help!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by robocop_911 View Post
    It's easy for you to see if it is reflexive and symmetric but not for me!
    Does a have the same mother as a, for every a? Reflexive.
    If a & b have the same mother the b & a have the same mother? Symmetric.
    It is easy.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    Does a have the same mother as a, for every a? Reflexive.
    If a & b have the same mother the b & a have the same mother? Symmetric.
    It is easy.
    What about the rest of the questions? They are not the same as the above one.
    Last edited by robocop_911; June 14th 2008 at 10:02 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by robocop_911 View Post
    What about the rest of the questions? They are not the same as the above one.
    Could you answer them too?
    No I will not do your homework for you.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    No I will not do your homework for you.
    I've got exam in 3 days and I don't want to spend my valuable time brooding over one topic! I've got other things to do too!

    Anyways, if you don't want to answer it's fine.
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