In mathematics, a subadditive set function is a set function whose value, informally, has the property that the value of function on the union of two sets is at most the sum of values of the function on each of the sets. This is thematically related to the subadditivity property of real-valued functions.

## Definition

If ${\displaystyle \Omega }$ is a set, a subadditive function is a set function ${\displaystyle f:2^{\Omega }\rightarrow {\mathbb {R} }}$, where ${\displaystyle 2^{\Omega }}$ denotes the power set of ${\displaystyle \Omega }$, which satisfies the following inequality.[1][2]

1. Submodular set function. Every non-negative submodular function is also a subadditive function.
2. Fractionally subadditive set function. This is a generalization of submodular function and special case of subadditive function. If ${\displaystyle \Omega }$ is a set, a fractionally subadditive function is a set function ${\displaystyle f:2^{\Omega }\rightarrow {\mathbb {R} }}$, where ${\displaystyle 2^{\Omega }}$ denotes the power set of ${\displaystyle \Omega }$, which satisfies one of the following equivalent definitions.[1]
3. Functions based on set cover. Let ${\displaystyle T_{1},T_{2},\ldots ,T_{m}\subseteq \Omega }$ such that ${\displaystyle \cup _{i=1}^{m}T_{i}=\Omega }$. Then ${\displaystyle f}$ is defined as follows

## Properties

1. If ${\displaystyle T}$ is a set chosen such that each ${\displaystyle e\in \Omega }$ is included into ${\displaystyle T}$ with probability ${\displaystyle p}$ then the following inequality is satisfied ${\displaystyle {\mathbb {E} }[f(T)]\geq pf(\Omega )}$