# Surjection

$\def\Id {\mathop{\rm Id}}$

A function (or mapping) is called surjective if the image of its domain (range of values) coincides with its range (codomain).

In other words, a function $f : A \to B$ from a set $A$ to a set $B$ is

a surjective function or a surjection or a function onto $A$

if and only if

$f(A)=B$, i.e., for each $b \in B$ there is an $a \in A$ such that $f(a)=b$.

#### Equivalent conditions

A function $f$ is surjective if and only if $f(f^{-1}(S)) = S$ for all subsets $S$ of the range $B$.

A function $f$ is surjective if and only if, for every pair of functions $g,h$ defined on $B$, the condition $g \circ f = h \circ f$ implies $g=h$.

A function $f$ is surjective if there is a right-inverse function $g$ with $f \circ g = \Id_B$ (cf. Section of a mapping). The converse statement is equivalent to the Axiom of Choice.

#### Related notions

A function that is both surjective and injective is called bijective (or, if domain and range coincide, in some contexts, a permutation).

An surjective homomorphism is called epimorphism.

Surjective mappings that are compatible with the underlying structure are often called projections.

How to Cite This Entry:
Surjection. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Surjection&oldid=35689
This article was adapted from an original article by O.A. Ivanova (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article