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Local Behavior

The appearance or properties of a function, graph, or geometric figure in the immediate neighborhood of a particular point. Usually this refers to any appearance or property that becomes more apparent as you zoom in on the point.

For example, as you zoom in to the graph of y = x2 at any point, the graph looks more and more like a line. Thus we say that y = x2 is locally linear. We say this even though the graph is not actually a straight line.

 


  this page updated 21-feb-16
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
NCTM Web Bytes December 2004 Web Bytes March 2005 Web Bytes