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# Questions tagged [fractional-iteration]

The study of fractional self-iterations of a map. A basic example is the analysis of functional square roots of a map $g$, i.e. solutions $f$ to the functional equation $f \circ f = g$. The continuous version of fractional iteration concerns maps which have flows. This case is also known as continuous iteration. A classic example is the problem of extending tetration to the real and complex numbers.

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### Does the formal power series solution to $f(f(x))= \sin( x)$ converge?

I have spent some time using gp-pari. There is, of course, a formal power series solution to $f(f(x)) = \sin x.$ It is displayed below, identified by the symbol $g$ because I am not entirely sure ...
21k views

### How to solve $f(f(x)) = \cos(x)$?

I found the following interesting equation on some web page I cannot remember: $f(f(x))=\cos(x)$ Out of curiosity I tried to solve it, but realized that I do not have a clue how to approach such an ...
28k views

### solving $f(f(x))=g(x)$

This question is of course inspired by the question How to solve f(f(x))=cosx and Joel David Hamkins' answer, which somehow gives a formal trick for solving equations of the form $f(f(x))=g(x)$ on a ...
13k views

### f(f(x))=exp(x)-1 and other functions “just in the middle” between linear and exponential

The question is about the function f(x) so that f(f(x))=exp (x)-1. The question is open ended and it was discussed quite recently in the comment thread in Aaronson's blog here http://scottaaronson....
18k views

### Does the exponential function have a (compositional) square root?

(asked by Nathaniel Hellerstein on the Q&A board at JMM) Is there a "half-exponential" function $h(x)$ such that $h(h(x))=e^x$? Is it unique? Is it analytic? Related question: Is there an ...
1k views

### An explicit series representation for the analytic tetration with complex height

Tetration is the next hyperoperation after more familiar addition, multiplication and exponentiation. It can be seen as a repeated exponentiation, similar to how exponentiation can be seen as a ...
6k views

### “Closed-form” functions with half-exponential growth

Let's call a function f:N→N half-exponential if there exist constants 1<c<d such that for all sufficiently large n, cn < f(f(n)) < dn. Then my question is this: can we prove that no ...
5k views

### Is there an “elegant” non-recursive formula for these coefficients? Also, how can one get proofs of these patterns?

Not sure if this is a "good" question for this forum or if it'll get panned, but here goes anyway... Consider this problem. I've been trying to find a formula to expand the "regular iteration" of "...
2k views

### What's a natural candidate for an analytic function that interpolates the tower function?

I know that there are analytic functions whose composition with itself is the exponential function, the so-called functional square root of the exponential function, with the additional property that ...
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### Do complex iterates of functions have any meaning?

Using a method explained in this answer it is possible to calculate not only integer and real iterates of functions but also complex ones, for example, the $i$-th iterate, where $i=\sqrt{-1}$. Here ...
1k views

### The non-convergence of f(f(x))=exp(x)-1 and labeled rooted trees

This question is closely related to MO f(f(x))=exp(x)-1 and other functions “just in the middle” between linear and exponential. Consider $e^{e^x-1}$, this is the generating function of the Bell ...
Some four years ago I answered my own question on fractional iteration, concluding that there is a half iterate of sine, that is $f(f(x)) = \sin x,$ which is real analytic for $0 < x < \pi$ but ...