**Symmetric relation :**

Let R be a symmetric relation defined on the set A and

a, b ∈ A, then R = { (a, b), (b, a) / for all a, b ∈ A }

That is, if "a" is related to "b", then "b" has to be related to "a" for all "a" and "b" belonging to A.

**Example :**

Let A be the set of two male children in a family, R be a relation defined on set A and R = "is brother of". Verify whether R is symmetric.

Let a, b ∈ A.

If "a" is brother of "b", then "b" has to be brother of "a".

Clearly, R = { (a, b), (b, a) }

Hence, R is symmetric.

Apart from the symmetric relation, we have some other relations on sets.

**Let us discuss the other different types of relations here:**

The other different types of relations on sets are

(i) Reflexive relation

(ii) Transitive relation

(iii) Equivalence relation

(iv) Identity relation

(v) Inverse relation

Let us discuss the above different types of relations in detail.

The rule for reflexive relation is given below.

" Every element is related to itself "

Let R be a reflexive relation defined on the set A and

a ∈ A, then R = { (a, a) / for all a ∈ A }

That is, every element of A has to be related to itself.

**Example :**

Let A = {1, 2, 3 } and R be a reflexive relation defined on set A.

Then, R = { (1, 1), (2, 2), (3, 3) }

Let R be a transitive relation defined on the set A and a, b, c ∈ A,

then R = { (a, b), (b, c), (a, c) / for all a,b,c ∈ A }

That is,

If "a" is related to "b" and "b" is related to "c", then "a" has to be related to "c".

**Example :**

Let A = { 1, 2, 3 }, R be a relation defined on set A as "is less than" and R = { (1, 2), (2, 3), (1,3) } Verify R is transitive.

From the given set A, let a = 1, b = 2 and c = 3.

Then, we have

(a, b ) = (1, 2) --> 1 is less than 2

(b, c ) = (2, 3) --> 2 is less than 3

(a, c ) = (1, 3) --> 1 is less than 3

That is, if 1 is less than 2 and 2 is less than 3, then 1 is less than 3

Clearly, the above points prove that R is transitive.

Important note :

For a particular ordered pair in R, if we have (a, b) and we don't have (b, c), then we don't have to check transitive for that ordered pair.

So, we have to check transitive, only if we find both (a, b) and (b, c) in R.

As we have seen rules for reflexive relation, symmetric relation and transitive relation, we don't have any specific rule for equivalence relation.

Let R be a relation defined on a set A.

If the three relations, reflexive, symmetric and transitive hold in R, then it is an equivalence relation.

To verify equivalence relation, we have to check whether the three relations, reflexive, symmetric and transitive hold.

The rule for identity relation is given below.

" Every element is related to itself only "

Let R be an identity relation defined on the set A and

a ∈ A, then R = { (a, a) / for all a ∈ A }

That is, every element of A has to be related to itself only.

**Example :**

Let A = {1, 2, 3 } and R be an identity relation defined on set A.

Then, R = { (1, 1), (2, 2), (3, 3) }

Here, every element of A is related to it self and not to any other different element.

Let R be a relation defined on the set A, a, b ∈ A and R = { (a, b) }, then the inverse relation of R is

R⁻¹ = { (b, a) }

In the given relation, if "a" is related to "b", then in the inverse relation "b" will be related to "a".

**Example :**

Let R = { (1, 2), (2, 3), (7, 5) }

Then R⁻¹ = { (2, 1), (3, 2), (5, 7) }

Reflexive = " Every element is related to itself "

Identity = " Every element is related to itself only "

Let us consider an example to have better understanding of the difference between the two relations. (Reflexive vs Identity)

Let **A = {1, 2, 3}**

Let **R₁** and **R₂** be two relations defined on set A such that

**R₁ = { (1,1) , (2,2) , (3,3) , (1,2) }**

**R₂ = { (1,1) , (2,2) , (3,3) }**

When we look at **R₁** , every element of A is related to itself and also, the element "1" is related to a different element "2".

**More details about R₁**

(i) "1" is related to "1", "2" is related to "2" and "3" is related to "3"

(ii) Apart from "1" is related to "1", "1" is also related to "2"

Here we can not say that "1" is related to "1" only. Because "1" is related to "2" also.

This is the point which makes the reflexive relation to be different from identity relation.

**Hence R₁ is reflexive relation**

When we look at **R₂**, every element of A is related to it self and no element of A is related to any different element other than the same element.

**More details about R₂**

(i) "1" is related to "1", "2" is related to "2" and "3" is related to "3"

(ii) "1" is related to "1" and it is not related to any different element.

The same thing happened to "2" and "3".

(iii) From the second point, it is very clear that every element of R is related to itself only. No element is related to any different element

This is the point which makes identity relation to be different from reflexive relation.

**Hence ****R₂** is identity relation

If a relation does mapping from the set A to set B, then we can define the following terms.

**Domain : Set A**

**Co domain : Set B**

**Range : Elements of B involved in mapping. **

Let R and R⁻¹ be the two relations which are inverse to each other.

Then we have,

**Domain (R) = Range (R⁻¹)**

**Range (R) = Domain (R⁻¹)**

After having gone through the stuff given above, we hope that the students would have understood "Symmetric relation".

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