Here's the code:

yan = FunctionInterpolation[x^2, {x, -1, 1}];
FullSimplify[yan[x] > -1, -1 < x < 1]

Needless to say, what I expect to see in the output is "True", but FullSimplify doesn't seem to work. What function should I turn to?

@J.M. @belisarius @acl

囧…A very simple solution suddenly struck me, it is:

yan = FunctionInterpolation[x^2, {x, -1, 1}];
MinValue[{yan[x], -1 < x < 1},x]>-1
  • $\begingroup$ Huh? "seems not to work" is correct? I just delete it because of my language sense…OK, let me add it back. $\endgroup$
    – xzczd
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ "doesn't seem to work" as you added is more standard, but in my opinion "seems not to work" is also acceptable and understandable. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ In fact I've become confused after I searched the Internet, so I turned to the standard form to be on the safe side 囧. $\endgroup$
    – xzczd
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 6:47

3 Answers 3


You can do this by explicitly constructing the InterpolatingPolynomial corresponding to yan, and then using FullSimplify:

yin = InterpolatingPolynomial[Transpose[Flatten /@ {yan[[3]],yan[[4]]}],x];
FullSimplify[yin > -1, -1 < x < 1]

Why does this work? Because yan actually has a list of points:


Mathematica graphics

so I can extract them with Transpose[Flatten /@ {yan[[3]],yan[[4]]}] and use them to construct a polynomial, which does the same thing as the interpolation function but which FullSimplify can now handle.

Maybe there's a better way to construct the InterpolatingPolynomial but this works.


The following is basically the same @acl did, but using the package InterpolatingFunctionAnatomy which (in principle) will behave better than peeking at the internal structures when Mma version changes.

yan = FunctionInterpolation[x^2, {x, -1, 1}];

yin = InterpolatingPolynomial[Transpose[Flatten /@
                                 InterpolatingFunctionValuesOnGrid@yan}], x];
FullSimplify[yin > -1, -1 < x < 1]
  • $\begingroup$ very nice. how come I have less votes than you though, despite being first and explaining details?! Not fair! :) $\endgroup$
    – acl
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ @acl That was because I forgot to upvote your answer. Easy to correct! :D $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ really, I was joking! $\endgroup$
    – acl
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 19:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In fact, you don't need to load the package if you remember the actual syntax being used internally; in this case, it's yan["Coordinates"] and yan["ValuesOnGrid"] that can be used directly. Still, this works only because the original function was well approximated by a polynomial. In general, a polynomial interpolant can be more oscillatory than the piecewise polynomial interpolant used by InterpolatingFunction[]; be careful! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M. yes, it was intended just for this case $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 23:52

Today I ocasionally recall this question I asked 10 years ago, and notice nowadays ResourceFunction["InterpolatingFunctionToPiecewise"] or InterpolationToPiecewise in this post seems to be the best choice to resolve the problem:

yan = FunctionInterpolation[x^2, {x, -1, 1}];
yanAnalytic = ResourceFunction["InterpolatingFunctionToPiecewise"][yan, x]
FullSimplify[yanAnalytic > -1, -1 < x < 1]
(* True *)

This method perfectly handles the troublesome case shown by J.M., too:

func = FunctionInterpolation[1/(1 + x^2), {x, -2, 2}];
funcAnalytic = ResourceFunction["InterpolatingFunctionToPiecewise"][func, x];
Simplify[funcAnalytic < 3/2, -2 < x < 2]
(* True *)

BTW, I don't evaluate my MinValue method in the question as the best, because it's essentially a numeric method. MinValue has secretly called NMinimize internally!:

Trace[MinValue[{yan[x], -1 < x < 1}, x], __NMinimize, TraceInternal -> True]

enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.