Examples exist of extended-real-valued closed functions on $\R^n$ whose subdifferentials (in the standard, limiting sense) have large graphs. By contrast, if such a function is semi-algebraic, then its subdifferential graph must have everywhere constant local dimension $n$. This result is related to a celebrated theorem of Minty, and surprisingly may fail for the Clarke subdifferential.
Cornell University, School of Operations Research and Information Engineering, 206 Rhodes Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853. April 2010.