# commutative

 $a\circ b=b\circ a$

for all $a,b\in S$.

Viewing $\circ$ as a function  from $S\times S$ to $S$, the commutativity of $\circ$ can be notated as

 $\circ(a,b)=\circ(b,a).$

Some common examples of commutative operations are

• addition over the integers: $m+n=m+n$ for all integers $m,n$

• multiplication over the integers: $m\cdot n=m\cdot n$ for all integers $m,n$

• addition over $n\times n$ matrices, $A+B=B+A$ for all $n\times n$ matrices $A,B$, and

• multiplication over the reals: $rs=sr$, for all real numbers $r,s$.

A binary operation that is not commutative is said to be non-commutative. A common example of a non-commutative operation is the subtraction over the integers (or more generally the real numbers). This means that, in general,

 $a-b\neq b-a.$

For instance, $2-1=1\neq-1=1-2$.

Other examples of non-commutative binary operations can be found in the attachment below.

Remark. The notion of commutativity can be generalized to $n$-ary operations, where $n\geq 2$. An $n$-ary operation $f$ on a set $A$ is said to be commutative if

 $f(a_{1},a_{2},\ldots,a_{n})=f(a_{\pi(1)},a_{\pi(2)},\ldots,a_{\pi(n)})$

for every permutation $\pi$ on $\{1,2,\ldots,n\}$, and for every choice of $n$ elements $a_{i}$ of $A$.

 Title commutative Canonical name Commutative Date of creation 2013-03-22 12:22:45 Last modified on 2013-03-22 12:22:45 Owner CWoo (3771) Last modified by CWoo (3771) Numerical id 11 Author CWoo (3771) Entry type Definition Classification msc 20-00 Synonym commutativity Synonym commutative law Related topic Associative Related topic AbelianGroup2 Related topic QuantumTopos Related topic NonCommutativeStructureAndOperation Related topic Subcommutative Defines non-commutative