# Solution set

In mathematics, a solution set is the set of values that satisfy a given set of equations or inequalities.

For example, for a set $\{f_{i}\}$ of polynomials over a ring $R$ , the solution set is the subset of $R$ on which the polynomials all vanish (evaluate to 0), formally

$\{x\in R:\forall i\in I,f_{i}(x)=0\}.\$ The feasible region of a constrained optimization problem is the solution set of the constraints.

## Examples

1. The solution set of the single equation $x=0$  is the set  {0}.

2. For any non-zero polynomial $f$  over the complex numbers in one variable, the solution set is made up of finitely many points.

3. However, for a complex polynomial in more than one variable the solution set has no isolated points.

## Remarks

In algebraic geometry, solution sets are called algebraic sets if there are no inequalities. Over the reals, and with inequalities, there are called semialgebraic sets.

## Other meanings

More generally, the solution set to an arbitrary collection E of relations (Ei) (i varying in some index set I) for a collection of unknowns ${(x_{j})}_{j\in J}$ , supposed to take values in respective spaces ${(X_{j})}_{j\in J}$ , is the set S of all solutions to the relations E, where a solution $x^{(k)}$  is a family of values ${(x_{j}^{(k)})}_{j\in J}\in \prod _{j\in J}X_{j}$  such that substituting ${(x_{j})}_{j\in J}$  by $x^{(k)}$  in the collection E makes all relations "true".

(Instead of relations depending on unknowns, one should speak more correctly of predicates, the collection E is their logical conjunction, and the solution set is the inverse image of the boolean value true by the associated boolean-valued function.)

The above meaning is a special case of this one, if the set of polynomials fi if interpreted as the set of equations fi(x)=0.

### Examples

• The solution set for E = { x+y = 0 } with respect to $(x,y)\in \mathbb {R} ^{2}$  is S = { (a,-a) ; a ∈ R } .
• The solution set for E = { x+y = 0 } with respect to $x\in \mathbb {R}$  is S = { -y } . (Here, y is not "declared" as an unknown, and thus to be seen as a parameter on which the equation, and therefore the solution set, depends.)
• The solution set for $E=\{{\sqrt {x}}\leq 4\}$  with respect to $x\in \mathbb {R}$  is the interval S = [0,2] (since ${\sqrt {x}}$  is undefined for negative values of x).
• The solution set for $E=\{\exp(ix)=1\}$  with respect to $x\in \mathbb {C}$  is S = 2 π Z (see Euler's identity).