I just wanted to doublecheck answers for my sanity's sake (exam next week)

problem statement

recurrence relation, solve it

$y[n+1]= 35 + y[n]*0.5$

according to my teacher it will be such that the input sequence must be causal, so that we have re-arranged form such as

$y[n+1]- y[n]*0.5= 35u[n]$ ,where $y[0]=20$, and causal input

My understanding is that we should go as follows

  1. get $X(z)$
  2. find what is $Y(z)$
  3. then we can maybe do inverse Z-transform to get the y[k] output sequence in explicit form sequence
  4. typically the most difficult phase seems to be the inverse Z transform so it can be tricky, but we have a table, and our teacher taught us to either use
    1. z-table
    2. long division
    3. partial fraction expansion and z-table

enter image description here

Firstly, Z-transform both sides


according to the z-table we receive


combine terms and re-factor and emplace y[0]=20



We designate R(z) for the purposes of partial fraction expansion, because it is not found in the z-table


however the rightsided term is found directly in the z-table $Z^{-1}(20*\frac{z}{z-0.5}) = 20* (0.5^k)$

start partial fraction expansions $R(z)/z = \frac{1}{(z-1)(z-0.5)}=\frac{a}{(z-1)}+\frac{b}{(z-0.5)}$, then we find that, $a=2,b=-2$



apply inverse Z transform



tabulating some results

  • k=-1; y[-1]=0
  • k=0; y[0]= 20
  • k=1; y1= 45
  • k=2; y[2]= 115/2

1 Answer 1


With such simple recursions it's often easiest (and instructive) to actually go through the recursion and find a pattern. With $y[0]=20$ and using $c=35$ we get


So we can conclude

$$\begin{align}y[n]&=c\left[1+\frac12+\frac14+\ldots+\left(\frac12\right)^{n-1}\right]+y[0]\left(\frac12\right)^n\\&=c\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}\left(\frac12\right)^k+y[0]\left(\frac12\right)^n\\&=c\cdot\frac{1-\left(\frac12\right)^{n}}{1-\frac12}+y[0]\left(\frac12\right)^n\\&=2c+\big(y[0]-2c\big)\left(\frac12\right)^n,\qquad n>0\end{align}$$

which is the same expression you obtained.

  • $\begingroup$ I dont think that is the right approach. I think you made mistake where you assumed y[0]=35. I think I said in the beginning that y[0]=20. Anyway, I inputted the recurrence relation into my casio calculator recursive mode (that mode can also calculate newton-raphson and other recursive relations) It seems that you can easily compute the values recursively with computer. I got: k=0, y[0]=20; k=1, y[1]=45; k=2, y[2]=57,5 etc. etc. The problem apparently wants to have explicit defined sequence $\endgroup$
    – Late347
    Nov 18, 2018 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Late347: yes, I missed the line in your equation where $y[0]=20$ was specified. I'll update my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Matt L.
    Nov 18, 2018 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ I used excel to compute recursive relation / recurrence relation, so this problem was funny because the answer is "known" so you can recursively compute always results, but explicit formula was apparently desired... $\endgroup$
    – Late347
    Nov 18, 2018 at 16:31

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