Approximating the Derivative by the Symmetric Difference Quotient

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The derivative of a differentiable real function at can be approximated by the symmetric difference quotient, , where is small. Reduce the difference to reduce the error. The symmetric difference quotient is generally a more accurate approximation than the "standard" one-sided difference quotient .

Contributed by: Michael Schreiber (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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