I'm searching for some symbol representing minimum that is commonly used in math equations.

  • Wait - what's wrong with 'min'? – awesomeguy Apr 10 '11 at 22:44
  • @awesomeguy I assume it is the same as the difference between the operation + and a theoretical function plus(x,y). – RichF Nov 9 '17 at 13:31
up vote 30 down vote accepted

If you are looking for a symbol (and for some reason want to avoid the clear, and much more common notation "$\text{min}$"), I believe that some people use $\wedge$ - see here.

  • 19
    Indeed, $\wedge$ is a common abbreviation for min, and similarly $\vee$ for max. Especially, it seems, in probability theory. For example, in stochastic processes, a process $X_t$ stopped at a time $T$ is often written as $X^T_t\equiv X_{t\wedge T}$. Using $\vee$ and $\wedge$ is less cumbersome that max/min, especially in subscripts and superscripts. – George Lowther Apr 10 '11 at 23:57

The choice of symbol, depends mainly on the mathematics, physics, or programming discipline the equation is used in.

Merrian-Webster defines minimum as "the least quantity assignable, admissible, or possible."

For ordering, minimum means 'less than or equal to', which is symbolized in some/many mathematics disciplines as ≤. List A = [1 0 1 0], List B = [1 1 0 0]; List (A[i]≤B[j] = [1 0 0 0]. For Boolean algebras, just multiply the two lists to generate the minimums: List (A[i]*[j] = [1 0 0 0]. For Boolean Algebra * is a 'minimum' operator, whereas + is a 'maximum' operator.

But, as mentioned above, 'min' is OK, as most programming languages use some variant of min(). but C does not. Program comments would use either 'min' or '<=, both easy ASCII typing.

Stochastic processes use ∧ for minimum; however mathematical logic uses ∧ to mean logical conjunction or AND.

protected by Zev Chonoles Aug 5 '16 at 19:50

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