# CSCI 2824: Lecture 9

In this lecture we will talk about the principle of mathematical induction and attempt to prove properties of numbers using induction.

This lecture corresponds to section 2.3 of Ensley and Crawley's book.

## Mathematical Induction

Mathematical induction is a very common technique for proving properties of natural numbers (and other discrete structures such as sets, relations and trees that we will study very soon).

Here is a video of falling dominoes: Click here.

Let us imagine an infinitely long sequence of tiles arranged in a straight line (close enough to each other), and let us tip domino number 1.

We wish to argue that every domino will fall. Here is how we can argue:

• Base case: The first domino falls (we kicked it, so it falls).

• Inductive Step: Whenever a domino numbered n falls, then its successor numbered n+1, also falls. Therefore, we conclude that all the dominoes will fall.

The argument above is the crux of induction. To prove a property over all natural numbers , we may argue as follows:

• The property is true for (the first natural number).

• If the property is true for some natural number then it is true for natural number .

### Example-1

Induction can be really useful to guess and prove closed forms of sequences. Consider a simple one:

We have . Therefore here is our guess: . How do we prove it?

Claim: .

Proof

Proof is by induction on .

• Base Case: We verify that . So this works.

• Induction Hypothesis: For all , If then .

• Proof of induction hypothesis: Let be any given natural number such that . We seek to prove that .

Therefore, we have proved that for all by induction.

### Example-2

Theorem The sum of first numbers .

Proof

We prove this fact by induction just like we did for the dominoes.

Base Case: We will verify the fact for . Note that .

Inductive Hypothesis: For all , If , then .

Proof of Inductive Hypothesis

Let be any given natural number such that holds. We wish to show

We note that

### Example 3

Let us try the sequence .

First, we guess what the closed form could be: .

Claim .

Proof

We prove by induction. The base case is for .

• Base Case: For , we verify .

• Inductive Hypothesis: For all , If then .

## Weak Induction Proofs

We wish to prove a property for all natural numbers . I.e, .

Proof by (weak) induction proceeds by establishing a base case:

• Base Case: Verify that holds.

• Induction Hypothesis: .

So far, we have been working with weak induction. We will now work with strong induction proofs.

## Strong Induction Proofs

In weak induction, we prove that the number satisfies by assuming that (its immediate predecessor) does. That may not always yield the simplest proof.

### Example 1

Floor and Ceiling Functions

The function is also called the floor of . It gives the smallest integer that is less than or equal to .

The function is also called the ceil of . It gives the smallest integer that is greater than or equal to .

As examples, whereas . For negative numbers, it is a little counter intuitive: whereas .

Consider the recurrence .

Here is the result of performing the recurrence on a few values of .

Some of you may recognize the pattern (it is rather important one for CS). Here is the guess: for with .

We can now try proving it by induction. We will first use weak induction.

Theorem For all , If then .

The theorem only applies to natural numbers . We handle this by simply allowing the base case of induction to start at .

#### Failure of Proof by Weak Induction

Base-Case For , we verify that .

Inductive Hypothesis: .

This is not easy to prove and infact is strictly not true. This is because depends on and not on like our previous sequences.

#### Proof by Strong Induction

Strong induction is different from weak in the inductive hypothesis.

• Weak Induction: Assume prove .

• Strong Induction: Assume for all and prove .

Going back to dominoes, we assume in weak induction that the domino falls and prove that so does the . In strong induction, we assume that all dominoes numbered fall and prove that in that case the also falls.

Claim: For all , If then .

Proof

Proof is by strong induction over .

Base-Case For we verify that .

(Advanced note: For strong induction, the base case is really not needed but we will go through it for the sake of uniformity, anyway).

Strong Inductive Hypothesis:

For all If for all then .

We will prove the strong induction hypothesis.

We will split this into two cases based on being odd or not.

Case-1 Assume is odd, i.e, for some natural number . Then . We have

Case-2 Assume is even. I.e, for some . Therefore, .

There is now an extra proof needed on the side that argues that whenever is even, .

For completeness, here is the proof of the side claim.

Side-Claim: For all natural numbers , if is even, then .

Side Proof

This is an example of a proof by contradiction.

Let us assume otherwise. I.e., and . In other words, we have

Since is odd, we cannot have . Therefore, . As a result, there is a natural number between and . This is a contradiction. Therefore, it has to be the case that .