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Division for Mathematics

Martin Lind

Functions of bounded variation

Mathematics
C-level thesis
Date:
Supervisor:
Examiner:

Karlstads universitet 651 88 Karlstad


Tfn 054-700 10 00 Fax 054-700 14 60
Information@kau.se www.kau.se

2006-01-30
Viktor Kolyada
Thomas Martinsson

Introduction
In this paper we investigate the functions of bounded variations. We study
basic properties of these functions and solve some problems.
Im very grateful to my supervisor Viktor Kolyada for his guidance.

Contents
Introduction

1 Monotone functions

2 Functions of bounded variation


2.1 General properties . . . . . . . .
2.2 Positive and negative variation . .
2.3 Conditions for bounded variation
2.4 The function v(x) . . . . . . . . .
2.5 Two limits . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3 Jump functions

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29

Monotone functions

The properties of monotone functions will be useful to us because later we


shall see that some of them can be extended directly to the functions of
bounded variation. First a definition:
Definition 1.0.1 Let f : [a, b] R be a function. Then f is said to be
increasing on [a, b] if for every x, y [a, b] x < y f (x) f (y)
decreasing on [a, b] if for every x, y [a, b] x < y f (x) f (y)
monotone if f is either increasing or decreasing on [a, b]
If the interval [a, b] can be divided into a finite number of intervals such that
f is monotone on each of them then f is said to be piecewise monotone on
[a, b]. The following theorem is given in [2], we refer to it for a proof.
Theorem 1.0.2 [2, p. 95]. Let f : [a, b] R be increasing on [a, b] and
suppose that c (a, b). Then f (c + 0) and f (c 0) 1 exists and
sup{f (x) : x < c} = f (c 0) f (c) f (c + 0) = inf{f (x) : x > c}
If f is decreasing the theorem above still holds, with opposite inequalities of
course. Thus we can state that if f is monotone and c (a, b) then both
f (c + 0) and f (c 0) exists. Therefore the following definition makes sense:
Definition 1.0.3 Let f : [a, b] R be monotone on [a, b] and let c [a, b].
(i) If c [a, b) we define the right-hand jump of f at c to be
c+ = f (c + 0) f (c)
(ii) If c (a, b] we define the left-hand jump of f at c to be
c = f (c) f (c 0)
1

We denote the right-hand and left-hand limits


lim f (c h) = f (c 0)

lim f (c + h) = f (c + 0)

h0

h0

where h tends to 0 from the positive side.

(iii) If c [a, b] we define the jump of f


+
c + c
+
c =
c
c

at c to be
if c (a, b)
if c = a
if c = b

We now make the following simple observation: if f : [a, b] R is monotone


on [a, b], then f is continuous at c [a, b] if and only if c = 0. Here, the
necessity is obvious and the sufficiency follows at once from theorem 1.0.2.
Of course, a monotone function neednt be continuous. However we can now
prove that if f : [a, b] R is monotone then it cant be too discontinuous.
Theorem 1.0.4 [2, p. 96]. Let f : [a, b] R be monotone on [a, b] and let
D be the set of all points of discontinuity of f . Then D is at most countable.
Proof: Suppose that f is increasing on [a, b]. A point c [a, b] is a point of
discontinuity of f if and only if c 6= 0. Since f is increasing on [a, b] clearly
c 0 for every c [a, b] and hence
D = {x [a, b] : x > 0}
For any given n N take points x1 , x2 , ..., xn satisfying a x1 < x2 < ... <
xn b. For 0 j n take points tj such that
a = t0 x1 < t1 < x2 < t2 < ... < tn1 < xn tn = b
Then, since f is increasing we have xj f (tj ) f (tj1 ) for 1 j n and
it follows that
x1 + x2 + ... + xn

n
X

(f (tj ) f (tj1 ))

j=1

= f (b) f (a)
So if Dk = {x : x (f (b)
S f (a))/k} then Dk can have at most k elements. Furthermore, D = k=1 Dk and since every Dk is finite D is at most
countable.


Functions of bounded variation

2.1

General properties

Let f : [a, b] R beP


a function and = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } a partition of [a, b].
We denote V (f ) = n1
k=0 |f (xk+1 ) f (xk )| and set
Vab (f ) = sup V (f )

where the supremum is taken over all partitions of [a, b]. We clearly have
0 Vab (f ) . The quantity Vab (f ) is called the total variation of f over
[a, b].
Definition 2.1.1 A function f : [a, b] R is said to be of bounded variation on [a, b] if Vab (f ) is finite. If f is of bounded variation on [a, b] we
write f V [a, b].
Occasionally we shall say that a function is of bounded variation, leaving out
the specification of interval, when the interval in question is clear.
We shall state and prove some important properties of functions of bounded
variation and their total variation but first we need a theorem concerning
refinements of partitions.
Theorem 2.1.2 Let f : [a, b] R be a function and any partition of
[a, b]. If 0 is any refinement of then V (f ) V0 (f ).
Proof: Since any refinement of can be obtained by adding points to
one at a time its enough to prove the theorem in the case when we add just
one point. Take = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } and add the point c to and denote
the result 0 . Assume that xj < c < xj+1 for some 0 j n 1, then the
triangle inequality gives that
|f (xj+1 ) f (xj )| = |f (xj+1 ) f (c) + f (c) f (xj )|
|f (xj+1 ) f (c)| + |f (c) f (xj )|
and hence
V (f ) =

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|

k=0

= |f (xj+1 ) f (xj )| +

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|

k=0,k6=j

|f (xj+1 ) f (c)| + |f (c) f (xj )| +

n1
X
k=0,k6=j

= V0 (f )
5

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|


The theorem above assures us that adding points to a partition will only
make the sum V (f ) larger or perhaps leave it unchanged, a useful fact that
we shall use in the proof of the following theorem, given in [1].
Theorem 2.1.3 [1, p. 120]. Let f : [a, b] R and c an arbitrary point in
(a, b). Then f V [a, b] if and only if f V [a, c] and f V [c, b]. Furthermore, if f V [a, b] then
Vab (f ) = Vac (f ) + Vcb (f )
Proof: Assume that f V [a, b]. We will show that f V [a, c], the proof
is similar to prove that f V [c, b]. Take an arbitrary partition of [a, c]
and add the point b to and denote the result 0 , which is a partition of
[a, b]. We then have
V0 (f ) = V (f ) + |f (b) f (c)| Vab (f )
V (f ) Vab (f ) |f (b) f (c)|
Since Vab (f ) is finite, the sums V (f ) are bounded above and thus sup V (f )
is finite, that is f V [a, c].
Now assume that f V [a, c] and f V [c, b]. Let be any partition of [a, b].
Add the point c to and denote the result 1 . Then 1 = 0 00 where
0 is a partition of [a, c] and 00 is a partition of [c, b]. Then we have
V (f ) V1 (f ) = V0 (f ) + V00 (f ) Vac (f ) + Vcb (f )
and since both Vac (f ) and Vcb (f ) are finite the sums V (f ) are bounded above
and thus f V [a, b] and Vab (f ) Vac (f ) + Vcb (f ).
Now we take any two partitions 0 and 00 of [a, c] and [c, b] respectively and
let be the union of 0 and 00 , then is a partition of [a, b]. We have
V0 (f ) + V00 (f ) = V (f ) Vab (f )
and thus V0 (f ) Vab (f ) V00 (f ). For any fixed partition 00 of [c, b] the
number Vab (f ) V00 (f ) is an upper bound for the sums V0 (f ) and therefore
Vac (f ) Vab (f ) V00 (f ). This is equivalent to V00 (f ) Vab (f ) Vac (f ) and
thus Vab (f ) Vac (f ) is an upper bound for the sums V00 (f ) and therefore
Vcb (f ) Vab (f ) Vac (f ) whence Vac (f ) + Vcb (f ) Vab (f ). But then we must
have Vab (f ) = Vac (f ) + Vcb (f ).

6

The following two theorems are given in [1] and are straightforward to prove
and therefore their proofs are omitted.
Theorem 2.1.4 [1, p. 120]. Let f, g : [a, b] R be of bounded variation on
[a, b]. Then (f + g) V [a, b] and Vab (f + g) Vab (f ) + Vab (g).
Theorem 2.1.5 [1, p. 120]. Let f : [a, b] R be of bounded variation on
[a, b]. Then cf V [a, b] for any c R and Vab (cf ) = |c|Vab (f )
Theorem 2.1.6 [1, p. 119]. If f : [a, b] R is monotone on [a, b] then
f V [a, b] and Vab (f ) = |f (b) f (a)|
Proof: We will give the proof in the case when f is increasing, it is similar
when f is decreasing. Let f be increasing on [a, b], then |f (b) f (a)| =
f (b) f (a). Take an arbitrary partition = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } of [a, b]. Since
f is increasing we have |f (xk+1 ) f (xk )| = f (xk+1 ) f (xk ) and hence
V (f ) =

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )| =

k=0

n1
X

(f (xk+1 ) f (xk )) = f (b) f (a)

k=0

Since the sum V (f ) is independent of the partition we conclude that


Vab (f ) = f (b) f (a)

Combining the theorem above with theorem 2.1.3 we see that any piecewise
monotone function defined on a compact interval is of bounded variation.
However, the converse is certainly not true. Indeed, there exists functions of
bounded variation that arent monotone on any subinterval.
Even so, functions of bounded variation can be characterized in terms of
monotone functions, as the following theorem due to Jordan shows.
Theorem 2.1.7 (Jordans theorem) [1, p. 121]. Let f : [a, b] R, f
is of bounded variation if and only if f is the difference of two increasing
functions.
Proof: Assume that f V [a, b] and let v(x) = Vax (f ), x (a, b] and
v(a) = 0. Then clearly f (x) = v(x) [v(x) f (x)]. We will show v(x) and
v(x) f (x) are increasing. For any x1 < x2 we have
v(x2 ) v(x1 ) = Vxx12 (f ) 0 v(x2 ) v(x1 )
so v(x) is increasing. Furthermore,
7

f (x2 ) f (x1 ) |f (x2 ) f (x1 )| Vxx12 (f ) = v(x2 ) v(x1 )


v(x1 ) f (x1 ) v(x2 ) f (x2 )
and thus v(x) f (x) is increasing.
Conversely, suppose that f (x) = g(x) h(x) with g and h increasing. Since
h is increasing h is decreasing and thus f (x) = g(x) + (h(x)) is the sum of
two monotone functions so theorem 2.1.6 together with theorem 2.1.4 gives
that f V [a, b]

Since any function of bounded variation can be written as the sum of two
monotone functions many of the properties of monotone functions are inherited by functions of bounded variation. If f V [a, b], then
The limits f (c + 0) and f (c 0) exists for any c (a, b).
The set of points where f is discontinuous is at most countable.
We shall return to these facts later on.
The following two problems demonstrate how one can use the theorems given
above in computations.
Problem 2.1.8 Represent f (x) = cos2 x, 0 x 2 as a difference of two
increasing functions.
Solution: The proof of Jordans theorem shows that the functions v(x)
f (x) and v(x) will do, so the problem is to determine v(x). Divide [0, 2]
] and I4 = [ 3
, 2].
into four subintervals I1 = [0, 2 ], I2 = [ 2 , ], I3 = [, 3
2
2
The function f (x) decreases from 0 to 1 on I1 and I3 and increases from 0
to 1 on I2 and I4 , so the total variation of f over any of these subintervals is
1. To determine V0x (f ) we need to study separate cases depending on which
interval x lies in. To demonstrate the principle, assume that x I3 , then

V0x (f ) = V02 (f ) + V (f ) + |f (x) f ()|


2

= 1 + 1 + | cos2 x 1| = 3 cos2 x
Similar calculations for the other subintervals gives that

1 cos2 x 0 x 2

1 + cos2 x 2 x
v(x) =
3 cos2 x x 3

3 + cos2 x 3

2
2
8


Problem 2.1.9 Represent the function

x2 0 x < 1
0
x=1
f (x) =

1
1<x2
as a difference of two increasing functions.
Solution: As above, we determine V0x (f ). On [0, 1) the function f (x) is
decreasing so if x [0, 1) then
V0x (f ) = | x2 0| = x2
To determine V01 (f ), let = {x0 , ..., xn } be any partition of [0, 1] and consider
V (f ). We have
V (f ) =

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|

k=0

n2
X
k=0
n2
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )| + |f (1) f (xn1 )|


(x2k+1 x2k ) + x2n1 = 2x2n1

k=0

By taking the point xn1 close enough to 1, V (f ) can be made arbitrary


close to but less than 2, and thus V01 (f ) = 2 . Finally, if x (1, 2] we have
V0x (f ) = V01 (f ) + V1x (f ) = 2 + V1x (f )
Let = {x0 , ..., xn } be any partition of [1, x] and consider V (f )

V (f ) =

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|

k=0

= |f (x1 ) f (x0 )| +

n1
X
k=1

= |1 0| = 1

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|

Clearly V (f ) is independent of the partition , so V1x (f ) = 1 and thus


V0x (f ) = 3 , x (1, 2]. Hence
2
x 0x<1
2 x=1
V0x (f ) =

3 1<x2
Then f (x) = V0x (f ) (V0x (f ) f (x)) where
2
2x 0 x < 1
x
2
x=1
V0 (f ) f (x) =

2
1<x2


10

2.2

Positive and negative variation

For any a R set


a+ = max{a, 0} and a = max{a, 0}
We begin by noticing the following equalities:
a+ + a = |a|
a+ a = a

(1)
(2)

Indeed, if a > 0 then a+ = a = |a| and a = 0 so a+ + a = |a| and


a+ a = a. The case a < 0 is treated similarly.
Equations 1 and 2 gives that a+ = (a + |a|)/2. Then we have
( + )+ =

+ + || + ||
+ + | + |

= + + +
2
2

that is
( + )+ + + +

(3)

Let f : [a, b] R and = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } any partition of [a, b]. Denote
P (f ) =

n1
X

[f (xk+1 ) f (xk )]

and Q (f ) =

k=0

n1
X

[f (xk+1 ) f (xk )]

k=0

and set
Pab (f ) = sup P (f ) and Qba (f ) = sup Q (f )

Pab (f )

Qba (f )

and
will be referred to as the positive respectively negative
variation of f on [a, b]. There is a connection between Pab (f ), Qba (f ) and
Vab (f ), as the following problem shows:
Problem 2.2.1 If one of the magnitudes Pab (f ), Qba (f ) and Vab (f ) is finite
then so are the two others.
Proof: For any partition of [a, b] we have P (f ) + Q (f ) = V (f ) and
P (f ) Q (f ) = f (b) f (a) according to equations 1 and 2. The equality
P (f ) Q (f ) = f (b) f (a) gives that
(i) P (f ) Qba (f ) + f (b) f (a)
(ii) Q (f ) Pab (f ) + f (a) f (b)
11

Hence Pab (f ) is finite if and only if Qba (f ) is finite.


Suppose that Vab (f ) is finite. For any partition of [a, b] we have
P (f ) + Q (f ) = V (f ) Vab (f ) and since P (f ) 0 and Q (f ) 0 we
also have P (f ) Vab (f ) and Q (f ) Vab (f ) whence it follows that Pab (f )
and Qba (f ) is finite.
Suppose now that one of Pab (f ), Qba (f ) is finite, then the other one is finite
as well. Then, for any partition
V (f ) = P (f ) + Q (f ) Pab (f ) + Qba (f )
so Vab (f ) must be finite.

Let f be a function of bounded variation. Then the additive property (theorem 2.1.3) holds also for the positive and negative variation of f , the problem
below shows this for the positive variation.
Problem 2.2.2 Let f V [a, b] and a < c < b. Then
Pab (f ) = Pac (f ) + Pcb (f )
Proof: We will prove an analogue of the theorem 2.1.2 on refinements of
partitions for the positive variation. Once this is done the proof is exactly
as the proof of theorem 2.1.3.
As in theorem 2.1.2 we take an arbitrary partition = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } of
[a, b] and add one additional point c, where xj < c < xj+1 for some j, and
denote the result 0 . By ( 3) we have
[f (xj+1 ) f (xj )]+ [f (xj+1 ) f (c)]+ + [f (c) f (xj )]+
and thus
P (f ) =

n1
X

[f (xk+1 ) f (xk )]+

k=0

= [f (xj+1 ) f (xj )]+ +

n1
X

[f (xk+1 ) f (xk )]+

k=0,k6=j
+

[f (xj+1 ) f (c)] + [f (c) f (xj )] +

n1
X
k=0,k6=j

= P0 (f )
12

[f (xk+1 ) f (xk )]+


With the useful additivity property established we consider the following
problem.
Problem 2.2.3 Find Pax (f ), Qxa (f ) and Vax (f ) if:
a) f (x) = 4x3 3x4 , 2 x 2
b) f (x) = x + 2[x], 0 x 3
Solution: a) The derivative f 0 (x) = 12x2 12x3 = 12x2 (1 x) gives
that f (x) is increasing on [2, 1] and decreasing on [1, 2]. If x [2, 1] then
x
V2
(f ) = |f (x)f (2)| = 4x3 3x4 +80 since f (x) is increasing. If x (1, 2]
then
x
1
V2
(f ) = V2
(f ) + V1x (f ) = |f (1) f (2)| + |f (x) f (1)|
= 81 + |4x3 3x4 1| = 81 + 1 4x3 + 3x4

Thus
x
V2
(f )


=

4x3 3x4 + 80 x [2, 1]


82 4x3 + 3x4 x (1, 2]

Since f is increasing on [2, 1] then [f (x) f (y)]+ = |f (x) f (y)| and


x
x
(f )
(f ) = V2
[f (x) f (y)] = 0 for any x, y [2, 1]. It follows that P2
and Qx2 (f ) = 0 when x [2, 1].
Since f is decreasing on [1, 2] then [f (x) f (y)]+ = 0 and [f (x) f (y)] =
|f (x) f (y)| for any x, y [1, 2]. It follows that P1x (f ) = 0 and Qx1 (f ) =
1
x
(f ) + P1x (f ) = 81 and Qx2 (f ) = Q12 (f ) +
(f ) = P2
V1x (f ) and then P2
Qx1 (f ) = V1x (f ) = 1 4x3 + 3x4 for x [1, 2].
Thus we have
x
P2
(f )


=

Qx2 (f )


=

4x3 3x4 + 80 x [2, 1]


81
x (1, 2]
0
x [2, 1]
3
4
1 4x + 3x x (1, 2]

b) The function f (x) is increasing on [0,3] so V0x (f ) = P0x (f ) and Qx0 (f ) = 0


for any x [0, 3]. Furthermore
V0x (f ) = |f (x) f (0)| = x + 2[x]
Thus, V0x (f ) = P0x (f ) = x + 2[x] and Qx0 (f ) = 0.

13

We shall finish this section with another characterization of functions of


bounded variation.
Problem 2.2.4 Let f be defined on [a, b]. Then f V [a, b] if and only if
there exists an increasing function on [a, b] such that
f (x00 ) f (x0 ) (x00 ) (x0 )
for any a x0 < x00 b
Proof: Suppose that f V [a, b]. We take (x) = Vax (f ), this function is
increasing and for any a x0 < x00 b we have
00

(x00 ) (x0 ) = Vxx0 (f ) |f (x00 ) f (x0 )| f (x00 ) f (x0 )


Conversely, suppose that there exist an increasing function on [a, b] such
that f (x00 ) f (x0 ) (x00 ) (x0 ) for any a x0 < x00 b.
Since is increasing on [a, b] we have V [a, b] and Vab () = Pab ().
Furthermore, since [f (x00 ) f (x0 )]+ equals to either f (x00 ) f (x0 ) or 0 we
have
[f (x00 ) f (x0 )]+ (x00 ) (x0 )
for any a x0 < x00 b. Therefore P (f ) Vab () for any partition of
[a, b] whence
Pab (f ) Vab ()
Since Vab () is finite Pab (f ) must be finite as well. But then Vab (f ) is finite
according to problem 2.2.1, that is f V [a, b].


14

2.3

Conditions for bounded variation

We know that piecewise monotone functions and any function that can be
expressed as the difference of two increasing functions are of bounded variation. In this section we shall give some additional conditions which will
guarantee that a function is of bounded variation.
Definition 2.3.1 Let f : [a, b] R, f is said to satisfy a Lipschitz condition if there exists a constant M > 0 such that for every x, y [a, b] we
have
|f (x) f (y)| M |x y|
Theorem 2.3.2 [1, p. 119]. If f : [a, b] R satisfies a Lipschitz condition
on [a, b] with constant K, then f V [a, b] and Vab (f ) K(b a).
Proof: Suppose that |f (x) f (y)| K|x y| for every x, y [a, b]. Take
an arbitrary partition = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } of [a, b]. Then
V (f ) =

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )|

k=0

n1
X

K|xk+1 xk | = K(b a)

k=0

Since was arbitrary the inequality above is valid for any partition, which
means that the sums V (f ) are bounded above by K(b a) whence it follows
that f V [a, b] and Vab (f ) K(b a).

Theorem 2.3.3 [1, p. 119]. If f : [a, b] R is differentiable on [a, b] and
if there exists M > 0 such that |f 0 (x)| M on [a, b] then f V [a, b] and
Vab (f ) M (b a)
Proof: For any x, y [a, b] we have f (x) f (y) = f 0 (c)(x y) for some c
between x and y according to the Mean value theorem. Hence
|f (x) f (y)| = |f 0 (c)||x y| M |x y|
for any x, y [a, b], that is f satisfies a Lipschitz condition on [a, b] with
constant M and thus Theorem 2.3.2 gives the result.

Problem 2.3.4 Prove that f V [0, 1] if
 3/2

x cos(/ x) 0 < x 1
f (x) =
0
x=0
15

Solution: For any x (0, 1] the function f (x) has the derivative

f 0 (x) = x1/2 cos(/ x) + sin(/ x)


2
2
and in the point 0 the derivative

f (x) f (0)
= lim x1/2 cos(/ x) = 0
x0
x0
x0

f 0 (0) = lim

Now, for any x [0, 1] we have

3
3
|f 0 (x)| | x1/2 cos(/ x)| + | sin(/ x)| +
2
2
2 2
Since f has a bounded derivative on [0, 1] we have that f V [0, 1].

With the additional assumption that the derivative f 0 is continuous on [a, b]
we can give a formula for the total variation:
Theorem 2.3.5 If f is continuously differentiable on [a, b] then f V [a, b]
and the total variation is given by
Z b
b
Va (f ) =
|f 0 (x)|dx
a

Proof: Since f 0 is continuous then f 0 is bounded so f V [a, b]. Furthermore, the continuity of |f 0 | implies that |f 0 | is Riemann-integrable on [a, b].
Rb
Set I = a |f 0 (x)|dx and let  > 0 be arbitrary. Then there exists > 0 such
that for any partition P with d(P) < the Riemann-sum S(|f 0 |, P), with
arbitrary intermediate points, satisfy the following inequalities:
I  < S(|f 0 |, P) < I + 
So let be a partition of [a, b] with d() < . According to the Mean Value
theorem |f (xk+1 )f (xk )| = |f 0 (tk )|(xk+1 xk ) for some tk (xk , xk+1 ) Hence
V (f ) =

n1
X

|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )| =

k=0

n1
X
k=0

16

|f 0 (tk )|(xk+1 xk )

The right hand side is a Riemann sum S(|f 0 |, ) and since d() < we have
I  < V (f ) < I +  I  < Vab (f ) whence I Vab (f ) since  is
arbitrary. Further, for any partition = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } we have
n1
n1 Z xk+1
X
X
V (f ) =
|f (xk+1 ) f (xk )| =
f 0 (x)dx|
|

k=0
n1
X Z xk+1
k=0

k=0

|f 0 (x)|dx =

xk

|f 0 (x)|dx

xk

Since is an arbitrary partition it follows that Vab (f ) I. Then we must


have I = Vab (f ).

In the following problem we will establish a fact that will be very useful
together with theorem 2.3.5.
Problem 2.3.6 Let f be defined on [a, b]. If f V [a, c] for any a < c < b
and if there exists a number M such that Vac (f ) M for any a < c < b then
f V [a, b].
Proof: Let = {x0 , x1 , ..., xn } be an arbitrary partition of [a, b]. Set 0 =
{x0 , x1 , ..., xn1 }. Then 0 is a partition of [a, xn1 ] and since Vaxn1 (f ) M
we have
V (f ) =

V0 + |f (b) f (xn1 )|
Vaxn1 (f ) + |f (b) f (xn1 )|
M + |f (b) f (xn1 )|
M + |f (b) + (f (a) f (a)) f (xn1 )|
M + |f (b) f (a)| + |f (a) f (xn1 )|
M + |f (b) f (a)| + Vaxn1 (f )
2M + |f (b) f (a)|

Thus V (f ) is bounded above by 2M +|f (b)f (a)| and therefore f V [a, b].

The problem below demonstrates how one can use theorem 2.3.5 and problem 2.3.6:
Problem 2.3.7 Prove that f V [0, 1] if
 3/2
x cos(/x) 0 < x 1
f (x) =
0
x=0
17

Solution: For any x (0, 1] the function f (x) has the derivative
f 0 (x) =

x cos(/x) + sin(/x)
2
x

For any 0 < a < 1 the function |f 0 (x)| is continuous on [a, 1] and thus
f V [a, 1] and the total variation of f over [a, 1] is given by
Z 1
1
|f 0 (x)|dx
Va (f ) =
a

Furthermore
|f 0 (x)| = |

x cos(/x) + sin(/x)|
x+
2
2
x
x

so it follows that
Va1 (f )

1
0

|f (x)|dx

=
a

(
a

x + )dx < 1 + 2
2
x

that is Va1 (f ) 1 + 2 for any a > 0. Then f V [0, 1] according to


problem 2.3.6.


18