Mathematical Preliminaries: Types of Maps
- Differentiate between injective, surjective, and bijective maps
Types of Maps
Maps or functions between sets can be injective, surjective, bijective, or none of the above.
An injective map also called “one-to-one” is a map that designates a unique image for every element. Let . is injective if such that .
A surjective map also called “onto” is a map such that every element in the codomain has a pre-image. Let . is surjective if such that . In other words, there is always a pre-image for all the elements in .
A bijective map also called “invertible” is a map such which is both injective and surjective. An bijective maps is a map that can be inverted, i.e., let . is bijective, then, there exists such that . I.e., .
For example, let and . The map assigns every student a unique ID in the set of IDs of students at the University of Alberta. This map is injective or one-to-one since each student has his/her own unique ID. However, this map is not surjective (onto) because there are IDs in that are not assigned to students in . Similarly, let and . There is a surjective map between the students in the class and the gender types as there are both male and female students taking CivE 398. Unless there is only one male student and one female student, this map is surjective but not injective. Figure 1 contains some illustrative examples of the above definitions.