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Is there a method to check whether a function is integrable?

Of-course trying to solve it is one but some questions in integration may be so tricky that I don't get the correct method to start off with those problems. So, is there a method to find correctly whether a function is integrable?

Clarification: I am asking about indefinite integrals which have no elementary anti derivative.


marked as duplicate by user147263, JimmyK4542, JohnD, Claude Leibovici, Venus Dec 21 '14 at 6:54

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    $\begingroup$ By integrable, do you mean "has a convergent definite integral", or "has an elementary anti-derivative"? For example the integral of $\operatorname{e}^{-x^2}$ over $\mathbb{R}$ is $\sqrt{\pi}$, while there is no elementary function whose derivative is $\operatorname{e}^{-x^2}$. $\endgroup$ – Fly by Night Sep 13 '13 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I am asking about indefinite integrals which has an elementary anti derivative. $\endgroup$ – Rajath Krishna R Sep 13 '13 at 15:26

Maybe you are asking for a procedure for determining, given an elementary function $f(x)$, whether there is an elementary function $F(x)$ such that $F'(x)=f(x)$.

With some caveats, there is such a procedure, called the Risch Algorithm. For some discussion of the algorithm, please see the linked Wikipedia article.

Part-implementations of the Risch Algorithm are a component of various symbolic integration programs.


If you mean Riemann integrable on an interval $[a,b]$, you may find Lebesgue's criterion useful: $f$ is Riemann integrable on $[a,b]$ if and only if it is continuous almost everywhere (i.e. its discontinuities form a set of measure $0$) and bounded.


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