# Linear Approximation | Formula & Example

In mathematics, a linear approximation is an approximation of a general function using a linear function (more precisely, an affine function). They are widely used in the method of finite differences to produce first-order methods for solving or approximating solutions to equations.

Given a twice continuously differentiable function {\displaystyle f} of one real variable, Taylor’s theorem for the case {\displaystyle n=1} states that

{\displaystyle f(x)=f(a)+f'(a)(x-a)+R_{2}\ }

where {\displaystyle R_{2}} is the remainder term. The linear approximation is obtained by dropping the remainder:

{\displaystyle f(x)\approx f(a)+f'(a)(x-a)}.

This is a good approximation for {\displaystyle x} when it is close enough to {\displaystyle a}; since a curve, when closely observed, will begin to resemble a straight line. Therefore, the expression on the right-hand side is just the equation for the tangent line to the graph of {\displaystyle f} at {\displaystyle (a,f(a))}. For this reason, this process is also called the tangent line approximation.

If {\displaystyle f} is concave down in the interval between {\displaystyle x} and {\displaystyle a}, the approximation will be an overestimate (since the derivative is decreasing in that interval). If {\displaystyle f} is concave up, the approximation will be an underestimate.

Linear approximations for vector functions of a vector variable are obtained in the same way, with the derivative at a point replaced by the Jacobian matrix. For example, given a differentiable function {\displaystyle f(x,y)} with real values, one can approximate {\displaystyle f(x,y)} for {\displaystyle (x,y)} close to {\displaystyle (a,b)} by the formula

{\displaystyle f\left(x,y\right)\approx f\left(a,b\right)+{\frac {\partial f}{\partial x}}\left(a,b\right)\left(x-a\right)+{\frac {\partial f}{\partial y}}\left(a,b\right)\left(y-b\right).}

The right-hand side is the equation of the plane tangent to the graph of {\displaystyle z=f(x,y)} at {\displaystyle (a,b).}

In the more general case of Banach spaces, one has

{\displaystyle f(x)\approx f(a)+Df(a)(x-a)}

where {\displaystyle Df(a)} is the Fréchet derivative of {\displaystyle f} at {\displaystyle a}.

## Linear Approximation Calculator

Linear approximation is a method of estimating the value of a function, f(x), near a point, x = a, using the following formula:

This lesson shows how to find a linearization of a function and how to use it to make a linear approximation. This method is used quite often in many fields of science, and it requires knowing a bit about calculus, specifically, how to find a derivative. The formula we’re looking at is known as the linearization of f at x = a, but this formula is identical to the equation of the tangent line to f at x = a.

## Linear Approximation Formula

So, how do you find the linearization of a function f at a point x = a? Remember that the equation of a line can be determined if you know two things:

1. The slope of the line, m
2. Any single point that the line goes through, (ab).

We plug these pieces of info into the point-slope form, and this gives us the equation of the line. (This is just algebra, folks; no calculus yet.)

y – b = m(xa)

But, in problems like these, you will not be given values for b or m. Instead, you have to find them yourself. Firstly m = ‘(a), because of the derivative measures the slope, and secondly, b = f(a), because of the original function measures y-values.

Putting it all together and solving for y:

## Local Linear Approximation

Linear Approximation/Linearization. Linear approximation is a method of estimating the value of a function, f(x), near a point, x = a, using the following formula: The formula we’re looking at is known as the linearization of f at x = a, but this formula is identical to the equation of the tangent line to f at x = a.

### Releated

#### Key Features of MSc in Medical Lab Technology

MSc. in Medical Lab technology is a 2 years master’s program that mainly concentrates on advanced understanding and skills in laboratory diagnostics, medical testing, research methodologies, and quality guarantee in the field of medical laboratory science. The Scholars who are registered in an MSc program in Laboratory Technology develop an in-depth understanding in Lab technology, […]

#### How To Do Proper Referencing: A Guide for Students

Proper referencing is a crucial element of academic writing. Students need to add a reference crediting the original researcher wherever they quote or rephrase a piece of content like a book, web page, or article. It aids in citing the sources a researcher has employed in their paper and guarantees that they have proper proof […]