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A set C in a real or complex vector space is said to be absolutely convex or disked if it is convex and balanced (some people use the term "circled" instead of "balanced"), in which case it is called a disk. The disked hull or the absolute convex hull of a set is the intersection of all disks containing that set.

The light gray area is the absolutely convex hull of the cross.

If S is a subset of a real or complex vector space X, then we call S a disk and say that S is disked, absolutely convex, and convex balanced if any of the following equivalent conditions is satisfied:

S is convex and balanced;
for any scalars a and b satisfying |a| + |b| ≤ 1, aS + bS ⊆ S;
for all scalars a, b, and c satisfying |a| + |b| ≤ |c|, aS + bS ⊆ cS;
for any scalars a1, ..., an satisfying \( {\displaystyle \sum _{i=1}^{n}|a_{i}|\leq 1}\) , \( {\displaystyle a_{1}S+\cdots +a_{n}S\subseteq S} \);
for any scalars c, a1, ..., an satisfying \( {\displaystyle \sum _{i=1}^{n}|a_{i}|\leq |c|} \) , \( {\displaystyle a_{1}S+\cdots +a_{n}S\subseteq cS} \);

Recall that the smallest convex (resp. balanced) subset of X containing a set is called the convex hull (resp. balanced hull) of that set and is denoted by co(S) (resp. bal(S)).

Similarly, we define the disked hull, the absolute convex hull, or the convex balanced hull of a set S is defined to be the smallest disk (with respect to subset inclusion) containing S.[1] The disked hull of S will be denoted by disk S or cobal S and it is equal to each of the following sets:

co(bal(S)), which is the convex hull of the balanced hull of S; thus, cobal(S) = co(bal(S));
Note however that in general, cobal(S) ≠ bal(co(S)), even in finite dimensions.
the intersection of all disks containing S
\( {\displaystyle \left\{\sum _{i=1}^{n}\lambda _{i}x_{i}:n\in \mathbb {N} ,\,x_{i}\in A,\,\sum _{i=1}^{n}|\lambda _{i}|\leq 1\right\},} \) where the λi are elements of the underlying field.

Sufficient conditions

The intersection of arbitrarily many absolutely convex sets is again absolutely convex; however, unions of absolutely convex sets need not be absolutely convex anymore.
if D is a disk in X, then X is absorbing in X if and only if span D = X.[2]

See also: Topological vector space § Properties


Although cobal(S) = co(bal(S)), the convex balanced hull of S is not necessarily equal to the balanced hull of the convex hull of S.[1] For an example where cobal(S) ≠ bal(co(S)), let X be the real vector space ℝ2 and let S := { (-1, 1), (1, 1)}. Then bal(co(S)) is a strict subset of cobal(S) that is not even convex. In particular, this example also shows that the balanced hull of a convex set is not necessarily convex. To see this, note that cobal(S) is equal to the closed square in X with vertices (-1, 1), (1, 1), (-1, -1), and (-1, 1) while bal(co(S)) is a closed "hour glass shaped" shaped subset that intersects the x-axis at the origin and is the union of two triangles: one whose vertices are the origin along with S and the other triangle whose vertices are the origin along with -S = { (-1, -1), (1, -1)}.

See also

Absorbing set
Balanced set
Bounded set (topological vector space)
Convex set
Star domain
Symmetric set
Vector (geometric), for vectors in physics
Vector field


Trèves 2006, p. 68.
Narici & Beckenstein 2011, pp. 67-113.
Narici & Beckenstein 2011, pp. 149-153.

Narici & Beckenstein 2011, p. 471.

Robertson, A.P.; W.J. Robertson (1964). Topological vector spaces. Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics. 53. Cambridge University Press. pp. 4–6.
Narici, Lawrence; Beckenstein, Edward (2011). Topological Vector Spaces. Pure and applied mathematics (Second ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1584888666. OCLC 144216834.
Schaefer, H.H. (1999). Topological vector spaces. Springer-Verlag Press. p. 39.

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