Linear Function

Last Updated: June 29, 2017

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Definition - What does Linear Function mean?

A linear function is a mathematical expression which, when graphed, will form a straight line. A linear function is a simple function usually composed of constants and simple variables without exponents as in the example, y = mx + b.

This type of function is popular in economics because of its simplicity and ease in handling.

Techopedia explains Linear Function

A linear function is literally a formula for a straight line when solved and all the variables are replaced with constants. The base equation of a linear function is y = mx + b where:

  • "y" is the dependent variable; usually the one we are solving for so it is located to the left of the equal sign
  • "x" is the independent which we manipulate to get different result of y
  • "m" is the coefficient of the independent variable which determines the rate of change of "y"·
  • "b" is the constant term or the y intercept

In a linear equation, if you increment the independent variable and plot the points on a graph, you get a straight line.

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