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In number theory, an additive function is an arithmetic function f(n) of the positive integer n such that whenever a and b are coprime, the function of the product is the sum of the functions:[1]

f(ab) = f(a) + f(b).

An additive function f(n) is said to be completely additive if f(ab) = f(a) + f(b) holds for all positive integers a and b, even when they are not coprime. Totally additive is also used in this sense by analogy with totally multiplicative functions. If f is a completely additive function then f(1) = 0.

Examples

Example of arithmetic functions which are completely additive are:

• The restriction of the logarithmic function to N.
• The multiplicity of a prime factor p in n, that is the largest exponent m for which pm divides n.
• a0(n) - the sum of primes dividing n counting multiplicity, sometimes called sopfr(n), the potency of n or the integer logarithm of n (sequence A001414 in the OEIS). For example:
a0(4) = 2 + 2 = 4
a0(20) = a0(22 · 5) = 2 + 2+ 5 = 9
a0(27) = 3 + 3 + 3 = 9
a0(144) = a0(24 · 32) = a0(24) + a0(32) = 8 + 6 = 14
a0(2,000) = a0(24 · 53) = a0(24) + a0(53) = 8 + 15 = 23
a0(2,003) = 2003
a0(54,032,858,972,279) = 1240658
a0(54,032,858,972,302) = 1780417
a0(20,802,650,704,327,415) = 1240681
• The function Ω(n), defined as the total number of prime factors of n, counting multiple factors multiple times, sometimes called the "Big Omega function" (sequence A001222 in the OEIS). For example;
Ω(1) = 0, since 1 has no prime factors
Ω(4) = 2
Ω(16) = Ω(2·2·2·2) = 4
Ω(20) = Ω(2·2·5) = 3
Ω(27) = Ω(3·3·3) = 3
Ω(144) = Ω(24 · 32) = Ω(24) + Ω(32) = 4 + 2 = 6
Ω(2,000) = Ω(24 · 53) = Ω(24) + Ω(53) = 4 + 3 = 7
Ω(2,001) = 3
Ω(2,002) = 4
Ω(2,003) = 1
Ω(54,032,858,972,279) = 3
Ω(54,032,858,972,302) = 6
Ω(20,802,650,704,327,415) = 7

Example of arithmetic functions which are additive but not completely additive are:

• ω(n), defined as the total number of different prime factors of n (sequence A001221 in the OEIS). For example:
ω(4) = 1
ω(16) = ω(24) = 1
ω(20) = ω(22 · 5) = 2
ω(27) = ω(33) = 1
ω(144) = ω(24 · 32) = ω(24) + ω(32) = 1 + 1 = 2
ω(2,000) = ω(24 · 53) = ω(24) + ω(53) = 1 + 1 = 2
ω(2,001) = 3
ω(2,002) = 4
ω(2,003) = 1
ω(54,032,858,972,279) = 3
ω(54,032,858,972,302) = 5
ω(20,802,650,704,327,415) = 5
• a1(n) - the sum of the distinct primes dividing n, sometimes called sopf(n) (sequence A008472 in the OEIS). For example:
a1(1) = 0
a1(4) = 2
a1(20) = 2 + 5 = 7
a1(27) = 3
a1(144) = a1(24 · 32) = a1(24) + a1(32) = 2 + 3 = 5
a1(2,000) = a1(24 · 53) = a1(24) + a1(53) = 2 + 5 = 7
a1(2,001) = 55
a1(2,002) = 33
a1(2,003) = 2003
a1(54,032,858,972,279) = 1238665
a1(54,032,858,972,302) = 1780410
a1(20,802,650,704,327,415) = 1238677

Multiplicative functions

From any additive function f(n) it is easy to create a related multiplicative function g(n) i.e. with the property that whenever a and b are coprime we have:

g(ab) = g(a) × g(b).

One such example is g(n) = 2f(n).

Summatory functions

Given an additive function f, let its summatory function be defined by $${\displaystyle {\mathcal {M}}_{f}(x):=\sum _{n\leq x}f(n)}$$. The average of f is given exactly as

$${\displaystyle {\mathcal {M}}_{f}(x)=\sum _{p^{\alpha }\leq x}f(p^{\alpha })\left(\left\lfloor {\frac {x}{p^{\alpha }}}\right\rfloor -\left\lfloor {\frac {x}{p^{\alpha +1}}}\right\rfloor \right).}$$

The summatory functions over f {\displaystyle f} f can be expanded as $${\displaystyle {\mathcal {M}}_{f}(x)=xE(x)+O({\sqrt {x}}\cdot D(x))}$$ where

{\displaystyle {\begin{aligned}E(x)&=\sum _{p^{\alpha }\leq x}f(p^{\alpha })p^{-\alpha }(1-p^{-1})\\D^{2}(x)&=\sum _{p^{\alpha }\leq x}|f(p^{\alpha })|^{2}p^{-\alpha }.\end{aligned}}}

The average of the function f 2 {\displaystyle f^{2}} f^{2} is also expressed by these functions as

$${\displaystyle {\mathcal {M}}_{f^{2}}(x)=xE^{2}(x)+O(xD^{2}(x)).}$$

There is always an absolute constant $${\displaystyle C_{f}>0}$$ such that for all natural numbers $$x \geq 1$$,

$${\displaystyle \sum _{n\leq x}|f(n)-E(x)|^{2}\leq C_{f}\cdot xD^{2}(x).}$$

Let

$${\displaystyle \nu (x;z):={\frac {1}{x}}\#\left\{n\leq x:{\frac {f(n)-A(x)}{B(x)}}\leq z\right\}.}$$

Suppose that f is an additive function with $${\displaystyle -1\leq f(p^{\alpha })=f(p)\leq 1}$$ such that as $$x\rightarrow \infty$$ ,

$${\displaystyle B(x)=\sum _{p\leq x}f^{2}(p)/p\rightarrow \infty .}$$

Then $${\displaystyle \nu (x;z)\sim G(z)}$$ where G(z) is the Gaussian distribution function

$${\displaystyle G(z)={\frac {1}{\sqrt {2\pi }}}\int _{-\infty }^{z}e^{-t^{2}/2}dt.}$$

Examples of this result related to the prime omega function and the numbers of prime divisors of shifted primes include the following for fixed $${\displaystyle z\in \mathbb {R} }$$ where the relations hold for $${\displaystyle x\gg 1}$$:

$${\displaystyle \#\{n\leq x:\omega (n)-\log \log x\leq z(\log \log x)^{1/2}\}\sim xG(z),}$$
$${\displaystyle \#\{p\leq x:\omega (p+1)-\log \log x\leq z(\log \log x)^{1/2}\}\sim \pi (x)G(z).}$$

Prime omega function
Multiplicative function
Arithmetic function

References

Erdös, P., and M. Kac. On the Gaussian Law of Errors in the Theory of Additive Functions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1939 April; 25(4): 206–207. online

Janko Bračič, Kolobar aritmetičnih funkcij (Ring of arithmetical functions), (Obzornik mat, fiz. 49 (2002) 4, pp. 97–108) (MSC (2000) 11A25)
Iwaniec and Kowalski, Analytic number theory, AMS (2004).

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