inclusion-exclusion principle

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inclusion-exclusion principle

[¦in‚klü·zhən ′eks‚klü·zhən ‚prin·sə·pəl]
(mathematics)
The principle that, if A and B are finite sets, the number of elements in the union of A and B can be obtained by adding the number of elements in A to the number of elements in B, and then subtracting from this sum the number of elements in the intersection of A and B.