# How can I find the non-integer smoothness of a continuous and almost everywhere differentiable function?

Take a function such as f($$\lambda$$) = min($$\lambda$$, c) for some $$\lambda$$ in $$[0, 1]$$ and some constant c in $$(0, 1)$$. This function is continuous and almost everywhere differentiable (it is not differentiable at c).

The smoothness of a function ($$\alpha$$) is a non-integer that depends on a derivative's modulus of continuity (or whether that modulus is of a certain order), which I find hard to determine for an arbitrary function, unlike the question of how many derivatives it has. If we restrict smoothness classes to integers, the function f above is obviously C0 and not C1. But in terms of non-integer smoothness, is the function any C$$\alpha$$ in between? In particular, if a function is continuous everywhere but not differentiable everywhere, is the modulus of continuity found in terms of the function itself to find what smoothness class it has? (And how can a function's non-integer smoothness class in general be found, besides counting its derivatives?)

Motivation:

This question is important to me because a method given in Holtz et al. (2011) relies on this non-integer notion of smoothness to describe a method to calculate polynomials that converge from above and below to a function, and I would like to apply this method.

REFERENCES:

• Holtz, O., Nazarov, F., Peres, Y., "New Coins from Old, Smoothly", Constructive Approximation 33 (2011).

In your specific example, the function is actually Lipschitz continuous. Such functions $$f$$ are $$C^{\alpha}$$ for each $$0 < \alpha < 1$$, and $$\|f\|_{C^{\alpha}} \leq K_L$$, where $$K_L$$ is any Lipschitz constant for $$f$$, for any $$0 < \alpha < 1$$.
Another example of Lipschitz continuous functions include the restrictions of concave or convex functions to $$I=[0,1]$$, when they are defined on an open interval containing $$I$$.
To determine in general a smoothness class, by differentiating the function, we can reduce to the case of a continuous non-$$C^1$$ function. Then, if the new function is Lipschitz continuous (e.g. differentiable almost everywhere with bounded derivative), the original function is $$C^{d + \alpha}$$ for each $$\alpha < 1$$, where $$d$$ is the number of continuous derivatives of the function.
Otherwise, you need to find a Hölder continuity index. This is harder, but if (for instance) there are finitely many non-$$C^1$$ points, you can consider the minimum of the Hölder indices in neighborhoods of such points. But it's not exactly the best way to bound the continuity modulus.