# contraction mapping

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In mathematics, a **contraction mapping**, or **contraction** or **contractor**, on a metric space (*M*, *d*) is a function *f* from *M* to itself, with the property that there is some nonnegative real number such that for all *x* and *y* in *M*,

The smallest such value of *k* is called the **Lipschitz constant** of *f*. Contractive maps are sometimes called **Lipschitzian maps**. If the above condition is instead satisfied for
*k* ≤ 1, then the mapping is said to be a non-expansive map.

More generally, the idea of a contractive mapping can be defined for maps between metric spaces. Thus, if (*M*, *d*) and (*N*, *d'*) are two metric spaces, then is a contractive mapping if there is a constant such that

for all *x* and *y* in *M*.

Every contraction mapping is Lipschitz continuous and hence uniformly continuous (for a Lipschitz continuous function, the constant *k* is no longer necessarily less than 1).

A contraction mapping has at most one fixed point. Moreover, the Banach fixed-point theorem states that every contraction mapping on a non-empty complete metric space has a unique fixed point, and that for any *x* in *M* the iterated function sequence *x*, *f* (*x*), *f* (*f* (*x*)), *f* (*f* (*f* (*x*))), ... converges to the fixed point. This concept is very useful for iterated function systems where contraction mappings are often used. Banach's fixed-point theorem is also applied in proving the existence of solutions of ordinary differential equations, and is used in one proof of the inverse function theorem.

Contraction mappings play an important role in dynamic programming problems.