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In mathematics, the term **mapping**, sometimes shortened to **map**, refers to either a function, often with some sort of special structure, or a morphism in category theory, which generalizes the idea of a function. There are also a few, less common uses in logic and graph theory.

In many branches of mathematics, the term **map** is used to mean a function, sometimes with a specific property of particular importance to that branch. For instance, a "map" is a *continuous function* in topology, a *linear transformation* in linear algebra, etc.

Some authors, such as Serge Lang,^{[1]} use "function" only to refer to maps in which the codomain is a set of numbers (i.e. a subset of the fields **R** or **C**) and the term *mapping* for more general functions.

Sets of maps of special kinds are the subjects of many important theories: see for instance Lie group, mapping class group, permutation group.

In the theory of dynamical systems, a map denotes an evolution function used to create discrete dynamical systems. See also Poincaré map.

A *partial map* is a *partial function*, and a *total map* is a *total function*. Related terms like *domain*, *codomain*, *injective*, *continuous*, etc. can be applied equally to maps and functions, with the same meaning. All these usages can be applied to "maps" as general functions or as functions with special properties.

In category theory, "map" is often used as a synonym for morphism or arrow, thus for something more general than a function.^{[2]} For example, morphisms , in a concrete category, in other words morphisms that can be viewed as functions, carry with them the information of both its domain (the source of the morphism), but also its co-domain (the target ). In the widely used definition of function , this is a subset of consisting of all the pairs for . In this sense, the function doesn't capture the information of which set is used as the co-domain. Only the range is determined by the function.

In formal logic, the term **map** is sometimes used for a *functional predicate*, whereas a function is a model of such a predicate in set theory.

In graph theory, a **map** is a drawing of a graph on a surface without overlapping edges (an embedding). If the surface is a plane then a map is a planar graph, similar to a political map.^{[3]}

In the communities surrounding programming languages that treat functions as first-class citizens, a map often refers to the binary higher-order function that takes a function *f* and a list [*v*_{0}, *v*_{1}, ..., *v*_{n}] as arguments and returns [*f*(*v*_{0}), *f*(*v*_{1}), ..., *f*(*v*_{n})], where *n* ≥ 0.

**^**Lang, Serge (1971),*Linear Algebra*(2nd ed.), Addison-Wesley, p. 83**^**Simmons, H. (2011),*An Introduction to Category Theory*, Cambridge University Press, p. 2, ISBN 9781139503327**^**Gross, Jonathan; Yellen, Jay (1998),*Graph Theory and its applications*, CRC Press, p. 294, ISBN 0-8493-3982-0

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