What is the number of one-to-one functions f from the set {1, 2, . . . , n} to the set {1, 2, . . . , 2n − 1} so that f(x) $\neq$ 2x − 1 for all x?

If we take $A_{i}$ to be a set of one-to one functions so f(x) = 2x − 1

$A_{1} \cup A_{2} \cup A_{3} .... \cup A_{n}$

is the set of one to functions so f(x)= 2x-1 for some x (complement of our original)

|$A_{i}$| has (2n-2)!

|$A_{i} \cap A_{j} $| has (2n-3)!

|$A_{i} \cap A_{j} \cap A_{k}$| has (2n-4)!


|$A_{i} \cap A_{j} \cap A_{k} ... \cap \ A_{n}$| = (n-1)!

I think I might've done this part wrong, but continuing ...

The total number of one to one functions is $\frac{(2n-1)!}{(n-1)!}$, and so taking what we know we can subtract the following from the total number of functions to get the final answer.

$\frac{(2n-1)!}{(n-1)!}$ - $ n \choose 1$ (2n-2)! + $n \choose 2$ (2n-3)! - $n \choose 3$ (2n-4)! + … + $(-1)^{n+1}$ ${n \choose n}^{(n-n)!}$

Now i strongly feel like I have made a mistake, and I'm pretty sure it was in the quote section, I'm really a beginner and so I wasn't sure behind how this works, and went off of my best guess.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Regardless of correct or incorrect, I appreciate that you took a shot at solving it and presented your work here. +$1$ $\endgroup$ – Clayton Apr 20 at 23:34

This is a good approach but not executed correctly. $|A_i|=\frac {(2n-2)!}{(n-1)!}$ because after you fix $f(i)$ you have $2n-2$ choices for the image of the first element, $2n-3$ for the second, on to $n$ choices for the last one. Similarly $|A_i\cap A_j|=\frac {(2n-3)!}{(n-1)!}$. All your sizes should be divided by $(n-1)!$ because you only have $n$ elements in the domain. Once you do that your expression is the correct implementation of the inclusion-exclusion principle.

  • $\begingroup$ Great and just to confirm my understanding, the part I marked incorrect was actually the part where I made the mistake? So in my final answer if I swap out the (2n-2)! ..and all of those for the corrected form, my answer is correct? Also for |$A_{i} \cap A_{j} \cap A_{k} ... \cap \ A_{n}$|, does this now equal 1? $\endgroup$ – Brownie Apr 21 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it now equals $1$ because you require every element $x$ to go to $2x-1$ so there is only one function in the intersection of all the $A_i$ $\endgroup$ – Ross Millikan Apr 21 at 0:27

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