Definition: The difference of set A minus set B is a set having all the members which are in A, but not in B.

See also complement, union, intersection, symmetric set difference.

Note: For example, {2, 3, 5} - {7, 5} = {2, 3}.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 17 December 2004.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "difference", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed., U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from:

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