In mathematics, an R-function, or Rvachev function, is a real-valued function whose sign does not change if none of the signs of its arguments change; that is, its sign is determined solely by the signs of its arguments.
Interpreting positive values as true and negative values as false, an R-function is transformed into a "companion" Boolean function (the two functions are called friends). For instance, the R-function ƒ(x, y) = min(x, y) is one possible friend of the logical conjunction (AND). R-functions are used in computer graphics and geometric modeling in the context of implicit surfaces and the function representation. They also appear in certain boundary-value problems, and are also popular in certain artificial intelligence applications, where they are used in pattern recognition.
R-functions were first proposed by Vladimir Logvinovich Rvachev (Russian: Влади́мир Логвинович Рвачёв) in 1963, though the name, "R-functions", was given later on by Ekaterina L. Rvacheva-Yushchenko, in memory of their father, Logvin Fedorovich Rvachev (Russian: Логвин Фёдорович Рвачёв).
- V.L. Rvachev, “On the analytical description of some geometric objects”, Reports of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, vol. 153, no. 4, 1963, pp. 765–767 (in Russian)
- V. Shapiro, Semi-analytic geometry with R-Functions, Acta Numerica, Cambridge University Press, 2007, 16: 239-303
- 75 years to Vladimir L. Rvachev (75th anniversary biographical tribute)