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Chain rule

For derivatives of composed functions / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In calculus, the chain rule is a formula that expresses the derivative of the composition of two differentiable functions f and g in terms of the derivatives of f and g. More precisely, if is the function such that for every x, then the chain rule is, in Lagrange's notation,

or, equivalently,

The chain rule may also be expressed in Leibniz's notation. If a variable z depends on the variable y, which itself depends on the variable x (that is, y and z are dependent variables), then z depends on x as well, via the intermediate variable y. In this case, the chain rule is expressed as


for indicating at which points the derivatives have to be evaluated.

In integration, the counterpart to the chain rule is the substitution rule.