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I'm working through the Section 1.1 exercises in Discrete Mathematics (Kenneth Rosen), 8th Ed., and I've run into a symbol that is not explained. Specifically, in Exercise 44 in Section 1.1, I came across this Equation from Exercise 44:

$$\bigwedge_{i=1}^{n-1}\bigwedge_{j=i+1}^{n} (\lnot p_i\vee \lnot p_j)$$

It looks like a large capital lambda that uses sigma notation. I have a feeling it's connected to the conjunction operator, but I have no idea. I've gone back through the section, and there's no description of this symbol there. I've also looked online for the various types of mathematical notation to see if there's a definition, but I couldn't find anything (that might be because I don't even know what to look for, however). I apologize if this is a very easy question, but I have no formal mathematical background and I have no idea what this means. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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They look like "big and" signs.

That is, they are the general conjunction of all the statements under them. Here is a reference link.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah, got it. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – mike_peta May 15 at 18:25
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We can define it recursively as \begin{equation} \bigwedge_{i=1}^{n}p_{i} = \begin{cases} p_1 \land p_2 & \text{if } n=2 \\ p_n \land \left( \bigwedge_{i=1}^{n-1}p_{i}\right) & \text{if } n>2 \end{cases} \end{equation}

in other words, $\bigwedge_i p_i$ is like $\prod_{i}p_i$ but for the operation $\land$ (i.e. logical and) instead of for the operation $*$.

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As mentioned already in the other answers, this is most likely repeated Logical Conjunction.

In general, most occurrences of a large symbol with indices appearing above and below like this, be it $\bigsqcup\limits_{n=0}^Na_n$ or $\bigotimes\limits_{n=0}^Na_n$ or otherwise is generally going to be repeated application of the operator associated with that symbol.


For completeness, this symbol also appears in the context of Lattices.

You have the Meet of $x$ and $y$, denoted $x\wedge y$, is the unique largest element of the lattice who is simultaneously less than both $x$ and $y$. Similarly, the Join of $x$ and $y$, denoted $x\vee y$, is the unique smallest element in the lattice larger than both $x$ and $y$. Note that the meet and join of some elements might not exist for example by failing the uniqueness requirement.

To help build intuition, think of the example of the lattice $(\mathcal{P}(A),\subseteq)$ where the meet is effectively intersection and the join is effectively union. Now, think of the scenario where not all of the elements of $\mathcal{P}(A)$ were included in the lattice.

You can define the meet of many elements $\bigwedge\limits_{i=1}^{n}p_{i}$ as in the other contexts as the repeated application of the meet operator. Also common is to simply write this as $\bigwedge P$ where $P=\{p_1,p_2,\dots,p_n\}$ is a set of lattice elements. Note the subtle difference between these two due to the fact that the meet might not be defined for a particular pair of elements in some cases but might have been defined for the set as a whole.


To be fair, it is clear that this is not the operation actually pictured since you have the symbol $\neg$ also appearing which does not appear in the context of Lattices. Still, I felt it important to mention as this is another usage of the symbol within discrete mathematics.

The symbol also appears in other topics, such as the Wedge Product in exterior algebra.

The end result being that if encountering a symbol in a context for the first time, it is worth double checking if it is defined in the preceding passages or appendix as many symbols have multiple uses throughout mathematics.

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