The plural of
minimum and
maximum respectively, these terms come into play in both
mathematics and
computational analysis where a minimum or maximum may only apply in some
neighbourhood of the data set's
range.
For example, the function y=sin x, the sin wave, has a minimum every 180 degrees, starting at x=270 degrees, and a maximum every 180 degrees, starting at x=90. This can be seen from the graph of the sin wave which looks like this:

 _ _
/ \ / \ \ x=1 (at top of line)
...+\/\...
_/ \_/ \_
 \ x=1 (at top of line)
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
9 2 4 6
0 0 7 5 3
0 0 0
degrees
In this example, the
local minimum and the
global minimum are equal (as are the global and local maximum), but in many other cases, most notably in
nonlinear functions, minima and maxima can differ and finding the
global minimum can be a
hard problem.