### basis function

(one of a set of functions used to approximate a function of interest)

A **basis function** is a function from a selected set
of functions used in approximating a function of interest.
Modeling, e.g., using numerical approximations of partial differential equations (PDEs)
is organized through the use of basis functions which are
parameterized and combined (e.g., summed) to approximate
a function of interest.

One example is the sine function, as used to form a Fourier series.
The concept is also used in the finite element method and similar methods
of solving PDEs.

(*mathematics,computation*)
**Further reading:**

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basis_function

**Referenced by pages:**

Bernstein polynomial

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