A line is represented mathematically by a "linear" equation, which takes the following standard form:

y = mx + b

This equation defines the point y given the input x, and parameters m and b.

m is the slope. A downward sloping straight line will have a negative value of m. What this means is that as x increases in value, y decreases in value. Thus there is a negative correlation between the variables x and y. The parameter b establishes a fixed reference point, namely the point (0,b).

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