What are Linear Cost Functions? Definition, Example & 3 Facts

The linear cost function can be defined as the function of cost in which the cost is expressed as the linear function of a panel of items. Click on each section below to read more information related to it.

What are Linear Cost Functions?

A linear cost function is a mathematical tool used by businesses to calculate the overall production costs associated with a given quantity of goods. This approach of cost assessment is applicable when the cost per unit produced remains constant regardless of production volume.

What are Linear Cost Functions?

In such a situation, the linear cost function may be determined by adding the variable cost, which is the cost per unit multiplied by the number of units produced, to the fixed costs.

Performing this equation will yield the overall cost of a manufacturing order, enabling firms to budget appropriately and make decisions on production quantities.

Costs must always be on the minds of managers of firms engaged in production or manufacturing. Counting all the expenses once manufacturing is complete might lead to significant complications if the actual costs exceed the budgeted amount.

Therefore, managers must establish precise and dependable cost estimating techniques. Using a linear cost function is a straightforward approach to cost estimation.

Utilizing a linear cost function needs a fundamental comprehension of how functions operate. A function is a mathematical equation that, when applied to any collection of values, yields another set of values.

These values can be plotted on a graph to investigate their connection when the function is executed. When the values are entered, the function is known as a linear function if it generates a straight line on the graph.

Solving Word Problems Using Linear Cost Function

The following procedures are required to resolve word problems involving the linear cost function.

Step 1:

The first step is to thoroughly read and comprehend the information provided in the question.

After reviewing the query, we must determine whether the provided information is compatible with linear-cost function.

If the data fits the linear-cost function, we must proceed to step 2.

Step 2:


We must be aware of the target of our search.

Typically, the objective of a linear-cost function would be to locate either ‘y’ (total cost) or ‘x’ (number of units).

What are Linear Cost Functions?

Step 3:

In step 3, we must determine the two constants “A” and “B” based on the questions’ provided information. The example problem provided below demonstrates it well.

Step 4:

After determining the values of ‘A’ and ‘B’ in y = Ax + B, the linear-cost function would be totally understood.

Step 5:

After step 4, depending on the question’s objective, we must determine the value of ‘y’ or ‘x’ for the supplied input.

For instance, given the value of ‘x’ (number of units), we may determine the value of ‘y’ (total cost).

If we know the value of ‘y’ (total cost), we can calculate ‘x’ (number of units).

Explain linear cost functions with examples:

If you are already familiar with general linear functions, which have the form y = mx+c, linear cost functions provide nothing novel. Are you familiar with the equation?

Regarding linear cost functions, we shall be concerned with the cost of a two-component good or service. To determine how much it will cost to purchase the item or get the service, you must evaluate both the variable and fixed costs. The form of the equation is:


Y is the total expense.

A is the unit cost, which is dependent on the quantity of units x.

B represents the fixed cost or fee.

Consider your utility bills as an illustration. There is often a flat rate regardless of the number of units consumed. Therefore, whether or not you utilized energy in a given month, you must pay the set prices.

What are Linear Cost Functions?

How do we solve linear cost problems?

The key to understanding linear cost issues is to comprehend the question statement. You determine the value of B and A based on the given information. With these constants understood, the total cost y for each input variable x may be calculated. Let’s comprehend it by examples.

Example 1

The overall cost of making two gowns is $130, whereas the cost of producing five such dresses is $190. Assuming a linear cost function, how much does it cost to produce eight of these dresses?


We build two linear equations using the linear cost function and then solve for the unknown.

The generic equation is:

Clearly, we now have a system of two linear equations. We can use Gaussian elimination, algebraic substitution, or the graphical technique to solve it. In this instance, algebraic substitution will be utilized.

Using the initial expression:

Now, insert A in any equation to determine B.

Create a linear expense function:

The total cost to manufacture eight dresses is:

The entire cost of manufacturing eight outfits is $250.

What if our linear cost function is plotted?

At the fixed cost point, the line intersects with the y-axis (y-intercept). The value is ninety The y-axis indicates the overall cost, while the x-axis reflects the number of units produced.

Example 2

The fixed cost of operating machine A is $75, but the variable cost per unit of output produced by this machine is $3. Another machine, B, has a fixed cost of sixty dollars and a variable cost of four and a half dollars per unit produced. How many things will equalize the operating costs of both machines?

What are Linear Cost Functions?


Create two linear equations using the information provided in the problem description.

We determine x, the required value, by equating the right sides of the equations.

When we create our tenth unit, the cost of operating both machines is equivalent.


A linear cost function is a function with a linear or straight line cost curve. The cost function quantifies the inaccuracy of a system or model, such as a neural network or machine learning model.

What are Linear Cost Functions?

A training set of data would be used to train a model or neural network, and the output of that model or neural network would be compared to the predicted value. The model or neural network cost function is the deviation of the output from the predicted value.

Step one in solving linear cost functions is forming a system of two linear equations from the statement. Then, after solving for the unknown quantities, we can calculate the cost of producing any unit. You need just be attentive when interpreting the problem statement.


To summarize: A linear cost function has the form C(x)=mx+b, where mx is called the variable cost, b is called the fixed cost, and m is called the marginal cost. Notice that the marginal cost is just the slope of the linear function. A common interpretation of marginal cost is “the cost to produce one more item”.
A linear function is a function that represents a straight line on the coordinate plane. For example, y = 3x – 2 represents a straight line on a coordinate plane and hence it represents a linear function. Since y can be replaced with f(x), this function can be written as f(x) = 3x – 2.
This is the function where the cost curve of a particular product will be a straight line. Mostly this function is used to find the total cost of “x” units of the products produced. For any product, if the cost curve is linear, the linear cost function of the product will be in the form of. y = Ax + B.
The Cost Function of Linear Regression: The cost function is the average error of n-samples in the data (for the whole training data) and the loss function is the error for individual data points (for one training example). The cost function of a linear regression is root mean squared error or mean squared error.
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