Reading a mathematical paper written in German, I can’t understand the following abbrevation:

o.E. f(x) := 0 für x ∈ M, sonst löse …

(proof of theorem 2.4.5 in this diploma thesis; page 57)

It should be something like “let f(x) = 0 for x ∈ M, and consider the following …”.


This stands for ohne Einschränkung, short for ohne Beschränkung der Allgemeinheit and would usually be abbreviated as “o.B.d.A.” The english equivalent is “WLOG”, which is short for without loss of generality and carries the exact same meaning: the assumption holds for all cases, not just the discussed special case.

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Is this a mathematical formula or a part of a mathematical proof?

If it is a proof then it seems: o.E. ohne Einschränkung (without limitation/exception) but as a mathematician i should say i only know the abbreviation "o.B.d.A. ohne Beschränkung der Allgemeinheit" which more or less means the same!

See also Wikipedia

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  • Thanks a lot, I should guess that mean, WLOG, is so commonly used in english. – van abel Oct 8 '15 at 7:19
  • In fact, it is the first sentence of the proof. – van abel Oct 8 '15 at 7:21
  • Great i found the Wikipedia explanation but it didn't suit me so i added oBdA=WLOG – Medi1Saif Oct 8 '15 at 7:24

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