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Re: Recursive Proofs...

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg29965] Re: Recursive Proofs...
  • From: Ignacio Rodriguez <ignacio at>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 03:28:29 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: UCM
  • References: <9j0hdr$fje$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Dear Mr Trichard,

It is possible to use mathematical induction, but please be aware that
Mathematica will not do it by itself.

For example, imagine we define f as

f[n_]:=r f[n-1]+a;

and we want to prove that f[n] equals a Sum[r^i,{i,0,n-1}]. We cannot use just
Simplify[f[n]==a Sum[r^i,{i,0,n-1}] as this would lead to an infinite
recursion. However, we can try induction like this

Simplify[(0==a Sum[r^i,{i,0,-1}])&&(r a Sum[r^i,{i,0,n-1}]+a==a

In your case, if you have a 2d recursion it may be a bit more difficult, but
the procedure is esencially the same.

Louis Trichard wrote:

> Dear All,
>     I have a complicated 2d recursion in which I'd like to prove that the
> r(i,i) = a^i. (i.e. something simple) by induction. I've left out the
> definition of the recursive function, since it is not necessary.
>     I can use mathematica to show this simple expression for i = 1..100 or
> more, i.e. Simplify[r[10,10]] = a^10, but this is no proof.
>     I would like some general advice on:
>     1/ How could one use mathematica to help prove such recursive
> expressions by induction (or other methods) for general i, i.e. I know one
> cannot use Simplify[r[i,i]], since this would give an infinite recursion
> depth error.
> Thanks for all your help,
> Louis Trichard


Ignacio Rodriguez Ramirez de Arellano
Unidad de RMN
Universidad Complutense
Paseo Juan XXIII, 1
Madrid 28040, Spain

Tel. 34-91-394-3288
Fax  34-91-394-3245
e-mail: ignacio at

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