# Re: the meaning of linearity, was Re: picking a hash function to be encrypted

```Travis H. wrote:
```
```- Stream ciphers (additive)
```
```
This reminds me, when people talk about linearity with regard to a
function, for example CRCs, exactly what sense of the word do they
mean?  I can understand f(x) = ax + b being linear, but how exactly
does XOR get involved, and are there +-linear functions and xor-linear
functions?  Are they disjoint?  etc.
```
```
If you have a linear algebra book handy, look up "linear transformation".

```
Briefly, a function T from a vector space V to another vector space W (where V and W are defined over the same field) is called a
```linear transformation if it satisfies

i) T(u +_V v) = T(u) +_W T(v)
ii) T(c *_V u) = c *_V T(u)
iii) T(0_V) = 0_W

CRC is a linear transformation because

CRC(u + v) = CRC(u)+CRC(v).

-James

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