Symmetric Difference of Sets

Symmetric Difference of Sets

In the universal set U, the symmetric difference of sets A and B is the set of elements belonging to either A or B but not both sets at the same time.


The symbol of symmetric difference is “Δ” which is read as “delta” or “symmetric difference”.

Therefore, “A Δ B” is read as “A delta B” or “set A symmetric difference set B”.


By involving other operations on the sets, we can write:

A Δ B = (A ∪ B) \ (A ∩ B)


A Δ B = (A ∩ B’) ∪ (A’ ∩ B)


In the universal set U represented here, we have:

E Δ F = (E ∪ F) \ (E ∩ F) ={a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k} \{c, d, e} = {a, b, f, g, h, i, j, k}


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