# Use a graph to locate the absolute maximum and absolute minimum

There is a difference between locating the highest and lowest points on a graph in a region around an open interval (locally) and locating the highest and lowest points on the graph for the entire domain. The [latex]y\text{-}[/latex] coordinates (output) at the highest and lowest points are called the **absolute maximum **and** absolute minimum**, respectively.

**Figure 10**

Not every function has an absolute maximum or minimum value. The toolkit function [latex]f\left(x\right)={x}^{3}[/latex] is one such function.

### A General Note: Absolute Maxima and Minima

The **absolute maximum** of [latex]f[/latex] at [latex]x=c[/latex] is [latex]f\left(c\right)[/latex] where [latex]f\left(c\right)\ge f\left(x\right)[/latex] for all [latex]x[/latex] in the domain of [latex]f[/latex].

The **absolute minimum** of [latex]f[/latex] at [latex]x=d[/latex] is [latex]f\left(d\right)[/latex] where [latex]f\left(d\right)\le f\left(x\right)[/latex] for all [latex]x[/latex] in the domain of [latex]f[/latex].

### Example 10: Finding Absolute Maxima and Minima from a Graph

For the function [latex]f[/latex] shown in Figure 11, find all absolute maxima and minima.**Figure 11**

### Solution

Observe the graph of [latex]f[/latex]. The graph attains an absolute maximum in two locations, [latex]x=-2[/latex] and [latex]x=2[/latex], because at these locations, the graph attains its highest point on the domain of the function. The absolute maximum is the *y*-coordinate at [latex]x=-2[/latex] and [latex]x=2[/latex], which is [latex]16[/latex].

The graph attains an absolute minimum at [latex]x=3[/latex], because it is the lowest point on the domain of the function’s graph. The absolute minimum is the *y*-coordinate at [latex]x=3[/latex], which is [latex]-10[/latex].

## Licenses & Attributions

### CC licensed content, Shared previously

- Precalculus.
**Provided by:**OpenStax**Authored by:**Jay Abramson, et al..**Located at:**https://openstax.org/books/precalculus/pages/1-introduction-to-functions.**License:**CC BY: Attribution.**License terms:**Download For Free at : http://cnx.org/contents/[email protected]..