In mathematics, a concave function is one for which the value at any convex combination of elements in the domain is greater than or equal to the convex combination of the values at the endpoints. Equivalently, a concave function is any function for which the hypograph is convex. The class of concave functions is in a sense the opposite of the class of a convex functions. A concave function is also synonymously called concave downwards, concave down, convex upwards, convex cap, or upper convex.
A real-valued function on an interval (or, more generally, a convex set in vector space) is said to be concave if, for any and in the interval and for any ,
A function is called strictly concave if
for any and .
For a function , this second definition merely states that for every strictly between and , the point on the graph of is above the straight line joining the points and .
A function is quasiconcave if the upper contour sets of the function are convex sets.
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