Here presented is a unified approach to Stirling numbers and their generalizations as well as generalized Stirling functions by using generalized factorial functions, k-Gamma functions, and generalized divided difference. Previous well-known extensions of Stirling numbers due to Riordan, Carlitz, Howard, Charalambides-Koutras, Gould-Hopper, Hsu-Shiue, Tsylova Todorov, Ahuja Enneking, and Stirling functions introduced by Butzer and Hauss, Butzer, Kilbas, and Trujilloet and others are included as particular cases of our generalization. Some basic properties related to our general pattern such as their recursive relations and generating functions are discussed. Three algorithms for calculating the Stirling numbers based on our generalization are also given, which include a comprehensive algorithm using the characterization of Riordan arrays.
- Stirling numbers of the first kind,
- Stirling numbers of the second kind,
- factorial polynomials,
- generalized factorial,
- divided difference,
- k-Gamma functions,
- Pochhammer symbol and k-Pochhammer symbol.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tian_xiao_he/64/