Additive map

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In algebra an additive map, Z-linear map or additive function is a function that preserves the addition operation:

for every pair of elements x and y in the domain. For example, any linear map is additive. When the domain is the real numbers, this is Cauchy's functional equation. For a specific case of this definition, see additive polynomial.

More formally, an additive map is a Z-module homomorphism. Since an abelian group is a Z-module, it may be defined as a group homomorphism between abelian groups.

Typical examples include maps between rings, vector spaces, or modules that preserve the additive group. An additive map does not necessarily preserve any other structure of the object, for example the product operation of a ring.

If f and g are additive maps, then the map f + g (defined pointwise) is additive.

A map V × WX that is additive each of two arguments separately is called a bi-additive map or a Z-bilinear map.


  • Leslie Hogben, Richard A. Brualdi, Anne Greenbaum, Roy Mathias, Handbook of linear algebra, CRC Press, 2007
  • Roger C. Lyndon, Paul E. Schupp, Combinatorial Group Theory, Springer, 2001