# Symmetric closure

In mathematics, the symmetric closure of a binary relation R on a set X is the smallest symmetric relation on X that contains R.

For example, if X is a set of airports and xRy means "there is a direct flight from airport x to airport y", then the symmetric closure of R is the relation "there is a direct flight either from x to y or from y to x". Or, if X is the set of humans and R is the relation 'parent of', then the symmetric closure of R is the relation "x is a parent or a child of y".

## Definition

The symmetric closure S of a relation R on a set X is given by

${\displaystyle S=R\cup \left\{(x,y):(y,x)\in R\right\}.}$

In other words, the symmetric closure of R is the union of R with its converse relation, RT.