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Basis Function

(one of a set of functions used to approximate a function of interest)

A Basis Function is a function from a selected set of functions used in approximating a function of interest. Modeling, e.g., using numerical approximations of Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) is organized through the use of basis functions which are parameterized and combined (e.g., summed) to approximate a function of interest.

One example is using the sine function to form a Fourier series. The concept is also used in the Finite Element Method and similar methods of solving PDEs.